Obesity rates in the United States continue to climb. Over 70% of Americans are considered overweight or obese, and an estimated 22 million Americans have BMIs over 40. Traditionally, Americans tend to seek the lifesaving assistance of bariatric surgery once their BMI exceeds 40.
However, clinical data consistently demonstrates the benefit of bariatric surgery at a lower BMI of 30-35. We advocate surgery at lower BMIs, and our experts explain the major benefits of acting early.
Here at Healthy Life Bariatrics, Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki performs gastric sleeve surgery to help our patients achieve lasting weight loss and improve their health. Sleeve gastrectomy not only shrinks the size of your stomach, it alters your metabolism to help you quickly shed pounds.
Surgery results in decreased levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and higher levels of leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone. After bariatric surgery, patients have a lower desire to eat and find themselves feeling fuller faster than prior to surgery. Dr. Moeinolmolki’s patients typically experience rapid weight loss and improvements in cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and other metabolic health parameters.
BMI and health
Health risks are strongly linked to BMI and waist circumference. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. You’re considered overweight if your BMI falls between 25 and 29.9 and obese when your BMI reaches 30 or more. Extreme obesity is classified as a BMI of 40 and higher.
When patients are overweight, Dr. Moeinolmolki measures waist circumference to help estimate health risks that come with your level of obesity. Carrying most of your fat around your waist instead of your hips increases the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. This is due to the impact of excess body fat on your organs.
If you’re a woman, a waist size above 35 inches puts you at an increased risk. For men, the risk goes up when waist size is greater than 40 inches.
Sleeve gastrectomy for weight loss
Most patients who consider weight loss surgery have tried and failed, to lose weight on their own. Under these circumstances, procedures like sleeve gastrectomy provide an effective solution. The surgery involves removing approximately 75% of your stomach. The remaining portion of the stomach takes the shape of a tube or “sleeve.”
With good adherence to dietary and behavioral guidelines, patients shed on average 60% of their excess weight following sleeve gastrectomy.
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How sleeve gastrectomy saves lives
Obesity places a major burden on every part of your body, from your joints to your organs. Your chances of developing chronic conditions significantly rise once your BMI reaches 30 and above and soars when you climb beyond a BMI of 40. Here are just some of the conditions you’re at risk for:
- Certain cancers
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Elevated cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome
- Obstructive sleep apnea
Getting below a BMI of 30 is a primary health goal
Obesity is a chronic disease that worsens without intervention. Getting your BMI to 30 and under is crucial to reducing your risk for serious adverse health conditions. When your weight reaches a healthy range, your chances of developing problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol significantly diminishes. In addition to feeling better, many patients notice the following benefits:
- Increased energy
- Improved mobility
- Desire to be physically active
- Better quality of life
As you lose weight and move more, you make even more strides in your overall health.
Benefits of sleeve gastrectomy at a lower BMI
We find in our practice that early intervention leads to better patient outcomes. Patients who undergo sleeve gastrectomy before their BMI reaches 40 are much more likely to drop their BMI below 30 within the first year.
For the best outcome, the ideal time to discuss whether you can benefit from sleeve gastrectomy is when your BMI is 30-35. Remember, a BMI of 30 or below has a major impact on reducing your health risks. As your BMI climbs, it’s more challenging and takes longer to bring it down to a safe range. This means waiting may result in less-than-ideal results.
Less than 10% of patients with a BMI of 50 or higher are able to drop it into a safe range within the first year, and it often takes several years. Considering that by the time most patients consider sleeve gastrectomy they’re already battling at least one chronic disease, time isn’t on your side. This makes it even more imperative that you get your BMI within a healthy range as quickly as possible.
Dr. Moeinolmolki offers a variety of bariatric surgery options to help patients live longer, healthier lives. If you’ve tried everything to lose weight on your own, he can help. If you live in the Los Angeles area, calling our office and speaking with our wonderful staff, or book an appointment online at your convenience. by