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Experts: Weight Loss Surgery Worth the Risks

There are complications associated with weight loss surgery, just as there are with any surgery. But researchers now agree that obese people who also suffer from heart ailments should view bariatric surgery as a helpful option, regardless of the risks.

Severely obese people (those with a body mass index of at least 40), should be open to having weight loss surgery, as it can effectively reduce the intake of calories and encourage rapid, sometimes drastic weight loss.

Bariatric surgery aims to restrict food intake and/or limit or prevent the full absorption of food as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. This type of surgery is a huge step in anyone’s life, and requires that the patient thoroughly understand the benefits and risks of the whole process.

The researchers studied scientific literature bariatric surgery and determined that the procedure is generally successful in helping obese people lose significant amounts of weight over the long term, which in turn can help to reduce cardiac and other health risks that are commonly seen in obese people.

Though the researchers were careful not to give blanket approval for bariatric surgery in all cases, they noted that even though the surgery can produce complications, it is generally considered safe. They cautioned that weight loss surgery should be limited to those severely obese patients who have been unsuccessful with other forms of weight loss, and who are physically and emotionally able to withstand the stress and strain of surgery.

There are several health conditions that can be improved through weight loss, particularly through bariatric surgery. These ailments include:

  • cardiovascular dysfunction,
  • diabetes,
  • high blood pressure,
  • liver problems,
  • high cholesterol, and
  • sleep apnea.

Due to this, the researchers concluded that severely obese people can prolong their lifespan by undergoing one of the several different types of weight loss surgery.

Risks that are typically seen as a result of bariatric surgery include:

  • blood clots,
  • internal bleeding,
  • infection,
  • and even death.

The surgery also has a profound emotional impact on patients, and is meant to bring about a major change in lifestyle and eating habits.

Before agreeing to have bariatric surgery, patients must demonstrate that they are willing to make these behavioral changes, which will involve eating much less, getting regular exercise, taking recommended vitamin and mineral supplements, and adhering to the follow-up visits with the bariatric surgeon as well as other doctors and therapists associated with the patient’s aftercare.


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