Weight loss surgery is a proven option for obese and morbidly obese individuals to help improve their health overall. No matter the procedure performed, all surgery types show positive results from having weight loss surgery. Many individuals believe that the procedures are not safe and that the risk of death is high. Although according to American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the chance of dying from metabolic or bariatric surgery averages at just .13% within 30 days of the procedure. This is just one out of every 1,000 patients. The rate itself is less than most operations including gallbladder removal.
Many individuals believe obesity is an addiction to food. However, a small percentage of obese individuals actually suffer from binge eating disorder. The vast majority of individuals affected by obesity become this size because of chronic sleep loss, consumption of high-fat, high caloric food, stress and psychological distress, various medications and lack of physical activity (ASMBS).
Ultimately the need for bariatric surgery has never been greater. The American Heart Association estimates that by 2030 total medical costs could reach up to $957 billion. Obesity medical costs could jump from $147 billion to $210 billion annually.
While yes, these procedures can lead to some type of deficiencies, patients are given guidelines of what foods to eat and what supplements to take post-op. According to the Surgery for Obesity and Other Related Disorders Journal in 2015, health problems due to deficiencies usually only occur in patients who do not follow-up with their surgeon as recommended.
Study Shows Gastric Bypass Yields Greater, More Sustained Weight Loss Than No Surgery
In a 2016 Veterans Affairs study published on the Journal of the American Medical Association website, ten years of data were compiled suggesting that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery shows more continued weight loss than no surgery at all. The study also found that the same surgery results in more weight loss over 4 years that the gastric sleeve and the gastric banding types.
The study looked at electronic medical records data to compare 10-year weight changes in nearly 1,787 veterans who had the surgery and 5,305 patients who did not. After 10 years, the weight loss surgery patients lost 21% more of their weight compared with those who did not have surgery.
According to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study, in the three years post-op, most patients experienced an improvement in both pain and walking ability. The study followed 2,221 patients who have undergone weight loss surgery at one of 10 different hospitals in the United States. After three years, the study found that the patients weighed on average 28% less than before surgery. Most of the patients received Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. After three years, over 76% of patients reported that their back or leg pain did not interfere with their work or life in any way. Resting heart rate also was shown to be improved as well.