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Joseph Afram, MD
The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
Center For Obesity
. http://www.obesitycenter.org

The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery continues to benefit people struggling with morbid obesity worldwide. Most importantly, bariatric surgery saves lives. Facts supporting the effectiveness of bariatric surgery as a weight loss tool and as treatment for obesity-related health conditions grow each month. Recent studies show that bariatric surgery patients are living longer lives. You also can see the benefits of bariatric surgery when you look back on how individual lives have improved.

Reduction in Mortality (Extended Life Expectancy)

Reduced life span due to obesity is important to consider. Compared to a person of normal weight, a 25-year-old obese man has a reduced life span, and he can expect a loss of about 12 years of life. Bariatric surgery has been shown to improve life span by reducing excess body weight. In a recent study, bariatric surgery reduced overall morbidity and the development of new health-related conditions in morbidly obese patients. Bariatric surgery reduced the relative risk of death by 89 percent with an absolute mortality reduction of 5.49 percent.
Resolution of Obesity-Related Health Conditions
Bariatric surgery has been shown to impact obesity-related health conditions. Recent studies have indicated
Through gastric bypass surgery, patients have shown more than 83 percent resolution in type 2 diabetes.
Patients experienced up to 88 percent resolution in obstructive sleep apnea, while another group noted 75 percent resolution in hypertension.
More than 70 percent of patients saw an improvement in their hyperlipidemia.
Obesity-related health conditions that may be improved or resolved with bariatric surgery include
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure/heart disease
Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints
Sleep apnea/respiratory problems
Gastroesophageal reflux/heartburn
Urinary stress incontinence
Menstrual irregularities
Skin breakdown
Swollen legs/skin ulcers
Extremity venous stasis
Surgical treatment, although not without risk, is the most effective long-term treatment for extreme obesity and is likely to be used more widely given that the number of Americans with a BMI > 40 has nearly tripled in the last decade. In 2004, approximately 140,600 bariatric surgeries were performed in order to treat morbid obesity. An estimated 173,000 people had bariatric surgery in 2005.

Lifestyle Opportunities

Bariatric surgery, by reducing excess body weight and improving overall health, can improve patients lives in many personal ways. Some benefits are common among patients; others are unique to each individual patient.
Here are some of the surgery benefits patients have described
Improved job or career prospects
Reduced shortness of breath
Increased energy level
Regularly get a good night of sleep
Greater confidence
Improved dating life
Greater variety in choice of clothes
Exercise is more rewarding

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