Medically Supervised Weight Loss Plans
When medically supervised weight loss plans fail, weight loss surgery offers a final chance at enjoying good health and a longer life. Successful bariatric surgery for weight loss involves a serious commitment to a healthy diet and regular exercise. Understanding the serious health risks associated with obesity motivates many patients to make this commitment. Below is a list of obesity-related health conditions and how weight loss surgery can affect each one. Below is a list of obesity-related health conditions and how weight loss surgery can affect each one.
Obesity-Related Health Concerns
Type 2 Diabetes
When the body resists insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin, blood sugar levels can become dangerously elevated, leading to a range of problems. This is known as type 2 diabetes, and it can occur regardless of someone’s age, gender, or body mass; however, the disease tends to be more prevalent in overweight and obese individuals. Weight loss surgery can lower insulin resistance as well as high blood pressure and the amount of fats in the blood. Many who undergo weight loss surgery experience complete resolution of type 2 diabetes.
High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Excess body weight prevents the heart from working properly, which can result in high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure can cause strokes as well as heart and kidney damage. Weight loss surgery reduces excess body weight over time, which reduces strain on the heart. Changes in diet and exercise following surgery can lead to significant improvement of hypertension and other cardiovascular problems.
Lipid Disorders/High Cholesterol
Lipid disorders including high cholesterol tend to be more severe in those who are overweight. As these lipids (fats) build up inside the artery walls, harmful scar tissue and other debris begin thickening and hardening the walls. This is known as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Weight loss surgery can improve lipid disorders in most patients.
Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is a chronic condition in which the cartilage in joints breaks down over time. Morbidly obese people with osteoarthritis often experience severe inflammation and pain in the knees and hips. Excess weight also leads to constant strain on the bones and muscles of the back, causing disc problems, pain, and decreased range of motion. Weight loss can reduce this strain on joints, alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis in many patients.
Several types of cancer are more likely to develop in those who carry excess body fat. These include colon, kidney, breast, uterine, and esophageal cancers.
Emotional health parallels physical health. Lifestyle improvements and renewed health can help resolve depression. Weight loss, combined with counseling, can be very helpful in improving mental health. Patients who undergo successful weight loss surgery often experience improved quality of life, psychological well-being, and even improved social interactions, employment opportunities, and economic status.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition characterized by a sudden stop in breathing due to the collapse of soft tissue in the rear of the throat during sleep; this can occur hundreds of times during the night. Sleep apnea can contribute to many other health problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease. Morbid obesity can cause sleep apnea and other respiratory problems as fat builds up in the tongue and neck and as more weight presses down on the chest and lungs. Significant weight loss can dramatically reduce or resolve sleep apnea and other breathing problems.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that causes the valve connecting the esophagus and the stomach to open and close when it shouldn’t. This allows stomach acid and other stomach contents to come into the esophagus. Over time chronic exposure to stomach acid can lead to esophageal problems, including esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer. While heartburn is often associated with this disease, occasional heartburn does not indicate GERD. Excess body weight may weaken the valve at the top of the stomach, allowing acid to escape into the esophagus. Weight loss surgery often improves GERD by reducing the amount of stomach acid produced.
Urinary Stress Incontinence
A large, heavy abdomen and relaxation of the pelvic muscles due to excess body weight can cause the valve of the urinary bladder to weaken, leading to leakage of urine with coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Weight loss surgery can improve urinary stress incontinence, reducing strain on the bladder and other problems associated with excess weight.
Asthma and Pulmonary conditions
Adult-onset asthma is closely associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Common symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. Asthma is treatable but incurable; however, symptoms tend to improve with weight loss.
Menstruation issues associated with obesity include cycle interruption, abnormal flow, and additional pain during menstrual cycle. Fertility issues include possible miscarriage, reduced success with fertility treatments, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Weight loss surgery can improve or resolve conditions that might interfere with pregnancy.
Schedule a Consultation
There are several types of weight loss surgery, including sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and gastric banding Revision. Dr. Brian Mirza is a board-certified surgeon with 15 years of experience performing bariatric surgery in Houston, TX. Call Bariatric Care Centers at 713-339-1353 for a consultation about which weight loss surgery options may be appropriate for you.
All weight loss claims are due to surgery and before and after care. Results will vary by person and are based upon the patient, the surgery type and the compliance with the aftercare program. As with any Medical procedure or surgery, there are specific risks and possible complications. If you have specific questions about the procedure we suggest you arrange for a consult with the Doctor.
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