Is Weight Loss Surgery an option for Older Patients?
Obesity in older patients just like Obesity in general is now considered a deadly disease not only here in Lebanon, but all over the world. Currently, it is estimated that the number of people suffering from obesity and overweight is significantly higher than the number of people who are underweight.
Obesity is a condition cuts across all age categories and affects children, teenagers’ adults and elderly adults. It is considered deadly because it has many co-morbidity. These are conditions that occur together or as a result of this disease.
Obese people are significantly more likely to develop conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney problems, heart diseases, various types of cancers just to name a few.
In fact, it is estimated that complications related obesity kills more people than malnutrition. Not only does it shorten the lifespan of many people the world over, it also causes a decreased quality of life as well.
Obesity in Older Patients
Getting older is a reality of life. As people get older, they become more at risk of developing complications like heart problems, diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases than the average middle aged adult. These are common health issues that the average elderly person is likely to face as they continue to get older.
Most people also tend to gain weight as they grow older. Studies show that obesity in older patients could be linked to genetics, diet, changes in metabolism, lack of physical activity, stress and other factors could contribute.
Older people are usually not as active as middle aged adults. Health issues like joint pain, osteoporosis and arthritis make it difficult for elderly people to be mobile. Obesity in older patients only makes this worse.
Overweight and obese people develop mobility problems because of carrying around excess weight. As they age, this problem increases and this makes it very difficult for them to participate in most physical activities.
Now, a little excess weight is not bad in old age. But it is also true that elderly people suffering from moderate and morbid obesity become even more at risk of developing these serious medical conditions than the average elderly person.
Is Bariatric Surgery Safe for Elderly Obese Patients?
Yes, studies shows that the weight loss surgery risks for elderly patients is the same as those for middle aged adults provided they have no underlying conditions. This means that the risks do not increase with age and obese elderly people can undergo bariatric surgery safely with no additional risk associated with their advanced age.
Provided than an obese patient qualifies as a candidate for bariatric surgery under the guidelines and criteria established; research shows that they stand to benefit from bariatric surgery safely. However, emotional assessment of older obese adults before the surgery is very important to ensure that the surgery is successful.
Bariatric surgery enables elderly patients suffering from obesity to lose the excess weight that would otherwise compromise their health. Their risk for developing chronic diseases and lifelong reliance of medication can be greatly reduced through weight loss surgery.
This improves their quality of life through better mobility, reduced reliance on medication and reduced chronic joint pain.
Are there any specific weight loss surgeries for older obese adults?
There is no specific procedure that is prescribed for an older adult. This means that if you qualify as a candidate for bariatric surgery, you can opt for any weight loss procedure depending on your health issues and the solution you are looking for.
Challenges Older Obese Patients Face When Considering Surgery
Sometimes, older people feel that they would like to have a weight loss surgery done to help them lose excess weight and live healthier lives. But their family may not approve of the surgery because of myths or misinformation about weight loss surgery. This can be a huge problem that prevents older people from getting the treatment them need.
Where do I start?
If you feel that this could be a treatment option for you, get the right information from a qualified and experienced bariatric surgeon. This way, you can be sure that whatever treatment option you choose will be the best for you.
If you are aging and obese, surgery may still be an option for you. If you are thinking about having a bariatric procedure done but are not sure whether you would qualify, contact us at Advanced BMI, Lebanon.
Our experienced bariatric surgical team led by Dr. Jean Nagi Safa will thoroughly assess your weight and your current health status and determine whether you qualify for this surgery or not.
If we find that you do not qualify for weight loss surgery in Lebanon, we will advise you on what you can do to lose weight gradually and keep the weight from creeping back.
Feel free to ask us any questions about obesity, weight loss and weight loss surgery. We will be happy to help you out in your journey towards a lighter you and a healthier life.