Once upon a time, it was very rare for people to be offered bariatric surgery. This is because the procedure was classed as extreme, and hence only given in extreme situations. However, overtime, it became clear that the outcomes after bariatric surgery are very positive and it therefore became more popular.
Why Is Bariatric Surgery So Popular?
Most of us would avoid going under the knife as much as possible, yet we all seem to accept bariatric surgery. This is because this type of surgery is an investment into ourselves, an investment into our long term health. It is a known fact that bariatric patients have better long term outcomes than people who are morbidly obese and who do not have any surgery.
It is also known that people who have had bariatric surgery see remarkable improvements in their cardio-vascular health, their sleep disorders, their diabetes, and their musculoskeletal system. The most important thing, as well, is that these health benefits seem to be sustainable. The average long term outcomes for bariatric patients is that they manage to keep the weight off, and keep the various obesity related conditions at bay.
In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association has stated that the best type of treatment for people who are morbidly obese is to have bariatric surgery. They have based this on the following statistics:
- Maximum weight loss is achieved between 18 months and 24 months following the procedure.
- Around 60% of excess weight is lost.
- Five years after surgery, the 60% weight loss is maintained.
- After 14 years, 50% of weight loss was still maintained in a survey of 600 patients.
No other type of treatment for obesity is able to achieve this type of success.
What Is Obesity?
If someone is more than 100 pounds heavier than they should be, or has a BMI (body mass index) of 39, they are classed as morbidly obese. Those who have a BMI of 35 and have obesity-related illnesses are also classified in the same category. This is known as ‘clinical severe obesity’. Around 6 million people in this country suffer from it, and the risks to their health are much greater if they stay obese, than if they were to go under the knife.
That is not to say anybody with a BMI of over 35 will automatically be accepted for bariatric surgery. In fact, even those with a BMI of 40 aren’t necessarily good candidates. They must have a full psychological assessment, for starters, to determine whether they are properly motivated to actually keep the weight off. Those who do not understand the role they have had to play in their own obesity will not be considered until they do, as the procedure will not be successful. Secondly, some people are so obese that they cannot be anesthetized, which means they also aren’t good candidates. They often have to lose weight on their own first, and it is not unheard of for surgeons to tell them to continue to lose weight naturally if they have been successful.