Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Gastric bypass and other bariatric (weight-loss) surgeries can provide long-term weight loss. The amount of weight you lose depends on your type of surgery and your change in lifestyle habits. It may be possible to lose half, or even more, of your excess weight within two years.

In addition to weight loss, gastric bypass surgery may improve or resolve conditions often related to being overweight, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory insufficiency
  • Sleep apnea syndrome
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Stress urinary incontinence
  • Low back pain, degenerative disk disease, and degenerative joint disease

Long-term weight loss

Bariatric surgery results in long-term weight-loss. Most studies demonstrate that more than 90 percent of individuals previously affected by severe obesity are successful in maintaining 50 percent or more of their excess weight loss following bariatric surgery.

Improved longevity

Several large population studies find that individuals affected by severe obesity who have had bariatric surgery have a lower risk of death than individuals affected by obesity who do not have surgery. One such study comparing mortality rates of bariatric and non-bariatric patients found a greater than 90 percent reduction in death associated with diabetes and a greater than 50 percent reduction in death from heart disease.

The mortality rate for bariatric surgery (3 out of 1000) is similar to that of a gallbladder removal and considerably less than that of a hip replacement. The exceptionally low mortality rate with bariatric surgery is quite remarkable considering that most patients affected by severe obesity are in poor health and have one or more life-threatening diseases at the time of their surgery. Therefore, as regards mortality, the benefits of surgery far exceed the risks.

When weight-loss surgery doesn't work

It is possible to not lose enough weight or to regain weight after any type of weight-loss surgery, even if the procedure itslef works correctly. This weight-gain can happen if you don't follow the recommended lifestyle changes. To help avoid regaining weight, you must make permanent healthy changes in youur dietand get regular physical activity and exercise. If you frequently snack of high-calorie foods, for instance, you may have inadequate weight loss.