What is Bariatric Surgery, and is it Safe?

Physical rehabilitation

If you struggle with your weight, you have probably considered every possibility to deal with the problem. A lot of people in America are in the same boat. Currently, a whole third of adults are obese and another third are overweight. Over half the country is actively trying to lose weight and nearly all of them are finding it difficult. If you’re one of those people, read on for some information about different possibilities for dealing with that weight that just won’t come off.

What is Obesity?

The terminology is important to understand. In general, a person is considered to be overweight if they weight 10% to 20% more than what is considered “normal.” Normal is defined according to charts that calculate for sex, weight, and height. Charts can give you a calculation of your Body Mass Index, or BMI, and a BMI of 25-30 is considered overweight. A BMI of over 30 is considered obese, and this means you weigh 21%+ more than is normal. There are limitations to these calcuations, however, because they cannot differentiate weight from fat from weight from muscle, and they are based on broad averages that may not apply to you. Your doctor can tell you more.

Is Losing Weight Important?

If you are obese, losing weight is so important that people are regularly looking for a surgery center to get bariatric surgery, gastrectomy, or gastric bypass surgery to help the process. If you are able to lose even 5% to 10% of your body weight, this has been shown to drastically reduce the risk of getting heart disease. Losing weight also improves your ability to enjoy a lot of things in life, from sports to playing with your kids.

Is Visiting a Surgery Center Really a Good Option?

Seeing a bariatric surgeon is a good option for people who find it difficult or impossible to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. For a lot of people, it’s almost impossible to find a time to exercise. Fewer than 5% of American adults are getting 30 minutes of activity a day. Only one in three people are getting the weekly physical activity recommended for them. Dieting is very difficult as well, and half of the people in the United States say they cannot lose weight because they lack the self-discipline to control their diet. Since diet and exercise aren’t working for so many people, they are increasingly turning to a surgery center to get a gastric balloon or other procedure to help them lose weight successfully.

Does a Visit to the Surgery Center Really Work?

In general, bariatric surgery has a high rate of success. The term “success” when it comes to bariatric procedures, is defined as losing 50% or more of your excess body weight. Most patients have success, and most are able to keep the weight off for the long term. About half of patients gain back some of their weight two years later, but the amounts are quite small: only 5% of the weight typically comes back.

Is Bariatric Surgery Safe?

All medical procedures have some risk, and surgery is always inherently risky. However, the risk of death with bariatric surgery is far less than other common operations, such as hip replacement or gallbladder removal. Additionally, the risks of obesity are far greater than anything the surgery might present, and those who have these surgeries greatly decrease their risk of mortality.

Bariatric surgeries are not a cop-out or a waste of your time. They’re a proven way for those who cannot see any weight loss by traditional methods to lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off. If you’re struggling to regain control of your weight and your health, visit a surgery center near you and see what options are available to help you.