The Pros and Cons of Bariatric Surgery
Before deciding to undergo any sort of medical procedure, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits carefully with the aid of a licensed physician. Bariatric, or weight loss surgery, is no exception. Any elective surgery comes with its own pros and cons. Although weight loss surgery has the potential to change your life for the better, serious complications are always a possibility. Obesity-related health conditions are often reduced after losing weight, but surgery may not be the right step. Weigh your options before deciding that bariatric surgery is right for you.
- Less than 2 percent of patients suffer from complications as a result of bariatric procedures.
- Patients suffering from obesity-related disorders often see improvements within a three year span, if not sooner.
- Improvements in cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes are related to weight loss.
- In the case of hypertension in particular, patients can see vast improvements within 2-3 months after surgery.
- Stress incontinence also responds dramatically to surgery.
- Weight-related aches and pains can also be resolved through bariatric surgery.
- Breathing disorders such as asthma and sleep apnea generally improve.
- Over 90 percent of patients with Type II Diabetes see positive results, sometimes with the disorder going into remission. Borderline diabetics are even more likely to see a reversal in their symptoms.
- As with any surgery, the risk of bleeding is a factor, especially as the area of operation with bariatric surgery is close to the spleen, which is particularly fragile and prone to bleeding.
- Patients with existing heart or lung conditions, or who are severely demobilized, are at greater risk of heart attack or lung failure during or after surgery.
- Complications during surgery can result in prolonged hospital stays and more surgeries.
- Patients who have a history of blood clots can be more prone to heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) during surgery.
- Infections can occur, affecting the initial wound or abdominal cavity. Abdominal infection in particular is quite serious. This can also result in prolonged hospital stays or additional operations.
- Also, as with any surgery, death is a possibility. However, the percentage of patients who don’t survive surgery is at about 1 percent, with the most common causes being infection and pulmonary embolism resulting from blood clotting.
Before electing to have bariatric surgery, talk to your doctor or specialist about your condition. As an alternative to surgery, many obesity-related diseases can be controlled with medication. If you suffer from hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure or even mobility issues, consider a proactive way to manage your health conditions.