Do you know about all the amazing benefits of bariatric surgery? The one you are probably most familiar with is weight loss. Around 15 million Americans are said to suffer from life-threatening obesity, which means the person is 100 pounds overweight or has a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40. But that’s only the beginning.
What follows are the little-known benefits of bariatric surgery. If you have been considering surgery but have so far been on the fence, these facts may be enough to push you to schedule a consultation with a weight loss surgeon near you.
Little Known Facts About Weight Loss Surgery
Lose Weight Fast
The problem of obesity is not only a weight problem. Obesity is actually considered a metabolic disease. When you become obese, your metabolism slows so that you remain severely overweight, even when you consume a moderate number of calories. This is why diet and exercise fail to work, in most cases.
Most weight loss surgeries work by decreasing the size of your stomach while also lessening the amount of hunger hormones in your body. The result is rapid weight loss. How much weight can you lose and how fast?
Most bariatric surgery patients go on to lose 50% or more of their excess weight within the first two years. Within the first 30 days alone, the weight loss tends to average 5 to 15 pounds per week. By the end of the first month, most people lose around 20% of their excess weight. By six months, patients average 50% excess weight loss. The amount of weight you lose, and how quickly, may vary.
Bariatric Surgery is Safe
While all surgeries come with risks, the risks associated with bariatrics are no greater than those of standard procedures like laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. These surgical risks are certainly nowhere as risky as remaining obese. As long as there are no underlying health concerns that could present issues later on, bariatric surgery is safe for patients of all ages, including those 65 years or older.
You’ll Want to Eat Better & More Slowly
Bariatric surgery patients experience a decrease in the hormone ghrelin, which affects hunger. Many patients also report a change in their tastes and flavors, which can diminish their cravings for junk food. Surgeries like gastric sleeve and bypass simultaneously decrease your stomach capacity. These elements make the act of losing weight much easier. You’ll find yourself consuming smaller portions and healthier meals, and you won’t feel a bit deprived, because that’s all your body will be able to consume.
Fast Recovery from Surgery
Recovery from bariatric surgery is easier than you might think. You will spend two or three days in the hospital immediately following your procedure. You can then expect to be back to your normal activities within three to five weeks.
Many people associate any amount of surgery with unsightly scars. Bariatric surgeries performed today are minimally-invasive. They involve laparoscopic tools that only require tiny incisions that are ½ to 1-inch long, at most.
Lessened Risk of Cancer
Studies show that bariatric procedures halve your risk of developing several cancers, including those of the breast, thyroid, skin, colon, kidney, uterus, and lung.
Potentially Longer Life Span
Obese individuals tend to die an average of 12-15 years earlier than people of normal weight. Multiple studies of large populations of obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery showed that these individuals had an 89% increase in life expectancy compared to people with a similar BMI who didn’t have surgery.
Obese women have a harder time trying to conceive than women in the normal weight range. Men, too, have a harder time getting a woman pregnant when his BMI is elevated. Research shows that not only can bariatric surgery improve fertility in both men and women, but maternal weight loss surgery has been shown to make for easier pregnancies with fewer risks to mom and baby. Mothers should wait 12 to 18 months after their procedures before trying to conceive to achieve these bariatric surgery benefits.
Successful weight loss after bariatric surgery can lower your healthcare costs over your lifetime. They can also make you more productive at work, thus increasing your potential earning power. This puts more money in your pocket. All of these factors equate to a more fulfilling life.
Insurance May Pay for It!
Bariatric procedures can cost between $15,000 and $25,000 or more, depending on which surgery you have and whether surgery-related complications occur. Your costs may be higher or lower, depending on a few factors, such as where you live.
Most insurance companies provide coverage for weight loss surgery, including government-issued insurance such as Medicaid and Medicare. Some policies will foot the entire bill once you’ve covered the deductible, while others will pay the anesthesia fee, facility fees, and surgeon’s fees.
Even if insurance doesn’t cover the costs of your procedure, medical financing is available through companies like CareCredit and Prosper Healthcare Lending, making it easier than ever to pay for the surgery you want.
Reversal of Comorbidities
Patients with life-threatening obesity also tend to suffer from multiple medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis, cardiac disease, and depression. Successful weight loss from bariatric surgery can mitigate these medical conditions. For some patients, these comorbidities completely go away after having surgery. For others, the surgery improves the conditions. Take diabetes for example. Surgery can prevent prediabetes from getting worse and in some cases eliminates or reduces the need for diabetes medication.
Long-Term Weight Loss Success
Some people hold the misconception that weight loss surgery patients go on to regain weight later in life. The research says otherwise. A whopping 95% of people who undergo surgery lose half or more of their excess weight and keep it off for years afterward. This makes bariatric surgery the most effective solution to battling severe obesity.
Better Quality of Life
Patients who undergo bariatric surgery report unexpected increases to the quality of their lives. They don’t need extra seats on airplanes. They can go on rides at amusement parks without issues. And they can take long walks or play with their children or grandchildren without feeling winded or exhausted.
Then there are the monetary gains.
Ready to Experience These Bariatric Surgery Benefits?
Bariatric surgery is by no means a vanity procedure. The surgeries used today are performed for health reasons only. If you are currently obese with a BMI of 40 or above (or 35 with weight-related conditions like type 2 diabetes), then gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, lap band, or non-surgical interventions like gastric balloon may be right for you.
You can experience all of these benefits along with safe and rapid weight loss by contacting a qualified bariatric surgeon. If you live in Los Angeles, Glendale, or Encino, call Healthy Life Bariatrics to discuss one of these surgeries and how you may benefit from them. You’ll gain more mobility, a higher quality of life, and so much more. Get started by picking up the phone and dialing (310)694-4486.