Bariatric surgery is the term used for weight loss surgery, ranging from the lap-band and sleeve gastrectomy, to the more popular gastric bypass. Bariatric surgery is advisable for many overweight individuals as losing weight helps improve their overall health, such as reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Another fact about weight loss surgery is that it reduced the total number of deaths caused from obesity. The Journal of the American Medical Association has released a study conducted by University of Gothenburg in Sweden that looks at how much weight loss surgery reduces the obesity-related mortality rate.
This was a 20-year study that surveyed more than 2,000 obese individuals according to their body mass index (BMI). They were all middle aged at the time of the surgery, which was a type of bariatric surgery. There was also a control group with an even number of people around the same weight range and health status, without getting the surgery but received regular healthcare. The health and weight of each participant was checked by researchers at 2 years, 10 years, 15 years and 20 years. In each group, the participants had about a BMI of 40, which is in the morbidly obese category for the United States.
The group of individuals who had weight loss surgery showed maintained weight loss of between 16 percent and 23 percent. The individuals without the weight loss surgery were around the same BMI over the years. The official follow-up was at 14.7 years, in which participants without the surgery showed a higher risk for heart disease, stroke and heart attacks, including some that were fatal. The group of participants who had the surgery had 28 deaths from cardiovascular reasons, while it was more than double that with the control group who did not get the surgery. This shows that getting weight loss surgery can indeed save a person’s life.
Other Important Notes
Researchers make a note that while gastric bypass and other weight loss surgeries improve your overall health by helping you lose weight and reduce cardiovascular issues, it does have its own risks. This includes the risk of infection, bleeding and hernia. It can also cause leakage from the stomach to the abdomen, and nutritional deficiencies.
Because these risks do not even come close to how beneficial surgery is, it is still recommended for many obese individuals. It means less risk of obese-related deaths and a longer, healthier life.