Weight Loss Surgery

weight loss surgeryThe Cleveland Clinic defines severe obesity as someone whose body mass index ranges from 35 to 49.9.and who is >100 percent over their ideal body weight. Resulting from a proliferation of abnormally large fat cells, obesity is the primary cause of many cases of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and respiratory problems. In fact, men in their twenties who are severely obese can expect to have their life expectancy shortened by as much as 13 years.

One explanation why obesity is so detrimental to overall health is the excessive amount of cytokines that growing fat cells release into the body. Cytokines are proteins that help fight infection but can often become dysregulated for unknown reasons. Since research has found that obesity correlates with a chronic, inflammatory state, scientists think adipose tissue may be a significant source of inflammatory signals that contribute to the development of obesity-related diseases.

How Bariatric Surgery Can Help

Bariatric surgery, is an umbrella term for various weight loss surgeries such as gastric sleeve, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and gastric bypass. All bariatric surgeries modify your gastrointestinal anatomy and some may influence the release of intestinal hormones enough to significantly reduce hunger and appetite. In fact, hormonal changes that occur after bariatric surgery can increase metabolism, improve energy levels and provide a long-term balance of hormones and general body chemistry conducive to maintaining a healthy weight.

Severely obese people undergoing bariatric surgery experience extreme weight loss that quickly allows them to become more physically active once the impediment of heavy adipose tissue is gone. Typically, most bariatric patients enjoy the following benefits of bariatric surgery:

  • Reduction of blood glucose and insulin (one of the leading causes of diabetes)
  • Reduction of cortisol levels (cortisol is a stress hormone known to increase the risk for heart disease, hypertension and early-onset dementia)
  • May resolve asthma, sleep apnea and other breathing disorders associated with obesity
  • Improves symptoms of GERD, fatty liver disease, urinary stress incontinence, venous stasis and some autoimmune disorders like arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Moreover, when these conditions no longer exist after losing a hundred or more pounds, bariatric patients do not need to take medications necessary to manage such health issues. In fact, bariatric patients diagnosed with Type II diabetes mellitus have reported vast improvement in their diabetes symptoms and sometimes complete remission of their disease after bariatric surgery.

Improved Psychological State and Quality of Life

In addition to improving the functioning of all physiological systems, bariatric surgery also enhances quality of life, increases self-esteem and provides patients with a sense of optimism and peace of mind they never experienced as a severely obese individual. Study after study has found that significant weight loss diminishes feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness and isolation while facilitating the ability of patients to obtain employment, develop intimate relationships and lead a full, healthy and satisfying life.