According to many studies, 1 out of 3 people in the US is obese. There are several factors responsible for this observation, including genetics, high prevalence of added sugar to processed food, aggressive marketing strategies by food industry, and high stress associated with fast-paced lifestyle triggering desire for comfort food. Once a person is overweight, it is very difficult to lose and keep off the excess weight. Scientific community generally believes that the difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight for individuals of size is not primarily caused by lack of self-control. Rather, after a person reaches a higher weight, a new metabolic set point is reached through hormonal changes, creating a physiological environment not friendly to losing weight. Every attempt at weight loss then results in body’s own hormonal response – via increased appetite, decreased metabolic rate, etc – to reverse the weight loss process. If you have tried everything to lose weight through diets and exercise and have been unsuccessful, perhaps it is time to consider bariatric weight loss surgery.
Bariatric surgery causes weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach and improving the metabolism. Most bariatric procedures are performed today by minimally invasive techniques. Some of the common bariatric surgical procedures include Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass. Sleeve Gastrectomy is the most popular bariatric procedure worldwide. In this procedure nearly 80% of the stomach is surgically removed, without manipulation of the rest of the digestive system. The procedure works by restricting food intake and suppressing hunger, and it results in loss of over 70% of excess weight at 3-5 years. Because small intestines are not manipulated, the procedure does not interfere with absorption of food.
Studies have shown that 90% of those suffering from severe obesity are successful in losing and maintaining more than 50% of their excess body weight following surgery. This is a much higher percentage compared to those who use non-surgical weight loss methods. There is also significant improvement in life expectancy following bariatric surgery. This is because bariatric surgery often improves and in some cases even cures obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleeping difficulty. In addition to all these benefits, there is documented evidence of improvement in quality of life with reduced depression and anxiety, improved self-esteem, greater social interaction, and improved sexual function. Most importantly, these modern procedures are extremely safe with mortality rate of 0.1%, which is very similar to that of gall bladder surgery.
Given so many obvious advantages of bariatric surgery, it could be well worth your while to discuss this option with your doctor and find out if you could benefit from it.
Dr. Marc Zaré specializes in minimally invasive surgery and believes that modern surgery should be innovative, non-invasive, and patient-centered. His mission is to provide every patient compassionate surgical care based on sound scientific evidence. With more than 15 years of experience in clinical practice, Dr. Zaré is considered to be a leader and one of the foremost experts of his field in Northern California. He is recognized for his surgical skills, clinical expertise, and superior outcomes.