Is Weight Loss Surgery Worth the Risk?
Obesity has reached its peak in recent times. This prevalence has been immense since more than a third of American adults have been hit hard by this modern world condition. This has simultaneously resulted to an increment in the number of varying weight loss surgeries that are being conducted in order to remedy this problem.
This topic has been subject to long debates since people have been very inquisitive pertaining to whether the benefits of these weight loss procedures really outweigh the risks involved. This article aims to answer this lingering question in order to establish if weight loss surgeries are worth the risk.
It is very clear that obesity poses various life threatening ailments such as stroke and heart diseases. It ultimately leads to low self-esteem and depression and this aids to explain why most people are on the constant look out and pursuit for different interventions to tackle and deal with obesity.
Dieting and working out in the gym is very cumbersome and time consuming. Most people have very strict schedules and they are unable to adhere to the strict gym timelines hence they seek for an alternative means, which is bariatric surgery. This is because it seems like a quick fix and does not have excess hassles. This surgery aids to reduce food intake thus resulting into weight loss.
Advantages of Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery is seen as the most effective way of tackling obesity and other associated ailments. Various experts and professionals in this field have postulated that weight loss surgery is effective as compared to other kinds of different non-surgical weight loss methods.
Many studies have also clearly depicted that these surgeries have very few cardiovascular complications after surgery. Doctors have further demonstrated the numerous benefits of weight loss surgery and its general acceptance in the society has been significantly elevated. This has led to a discussion regarding whether patients are overlooking and undermining the several negative effects that emanate from the surgery.
Disadvantages of Weight Loss Surgery
At the outset, weight loss surgeries have major risks associated with anesthesia. Nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, infections and the general inability to eat certain specified foods are also other kind of risks. This also includes weight gain instead of the intended weight loss. Bowel obstruction, low blood sugar, ulcers and the dumping syndrome are other long-term risks associated with weight loss surgery. Other types of weight loss surgery such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve also pose several risks such as leakage, stricture and blood clots among others.
Is Weight Loss Surgery Worth the Risk?
Weight loss procedures such as gastric banding result to a dilation of the esophagus in case the patient happens to ingest excess food. The patient is expected to adhere to very strict diet plans and attend all follow up clinic visits as instructed by the doctor. Patients have to stick to these diet plans for the rest of their lives.
At the same time, other weight loss procedures such as gastric bypass lead to serious mineral and vitamin deficiencies that necessitate supplementation for the rest of the patient’s life. Studies conducted have also illustrated how bariatric surgery results to premature births and underweight babies for the women who have undergone this surgery.
Despite this, weight loss surgery is still beneficial because it has less cardiovascular risks and leads to improved sex drive or fertility. It also results to remission of type 2 diabetes, relief from depression, reduction of joint pain and elimination of sleep apnea. In addition to this, weight loss surgery helps in alleviation of other accompanying medical problems that come about because of carrying too much weight.
From this information, it is clear that weight loss surgeries have their own pros and cons. It is therefore important to have an understanding of both sides to ensure you are making the best decision for yourself.
In order to answer this question and settle this debate, doctors have surprisingly ascertained that the risks associated with obesity outweigh the risks associated with weight loss surgeries. The physicians should therefore ensure that the patients are well informed about the various risks associated with weight loss surgery and how they can be circumnavigated. This could include measures such as workouts, quitting smoking and a reduction of the body mass index. The answer to the given question may not appear to be definitive since the risks involved are unique to every potential candidate hence the doctor should assess each patient and render the best possible advice involving the slightest of risks.
Dr. Saniea F. Majid, MD, FACS, FASMBS, is our founder, director, and award-winning surgeon with more than 10 years of experience treating patients. She is the President of the New Jersey state chapter of ASMBS, a member of the Board of Directors at New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance, and Chair of the Post Operative Weight Recurrence Task Force (POWER). Dr. Majid has devoted her life to helping people like you lose weight and transform their lives and not only started and directed the Metabolic and Bariatric Center at Saint Michaels Medical Center but also achieved the National Center of Excellence. Dr. Majid is one of only three bariatric doctors and surgeons featured in the 2023 Healthy Living magazine published by NJ Top Docs. She is also a regular guest speaker for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) where she trains bariatric surgeons on the latest methods and techniques.