While Covid-19 has dominated the health industry over the past year, another pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the United States.
Did you know that the prevalence of obesity is over 42%? More than 9% of Americans meet the definition of severe obesity as defined by the CDC.
Obesity opens the door for many other health complications. This is why so many Americans are desperate to lose weight. Whether through weight loss surgery or other options, people want to drop the extra pounds.
Read on to learn the pros and cons of weight loss surgery. Explore whether surgery for weight loss is the best option for you.
There are many serious health complications linked to obesity. For example, you are at an increased risk of heart disease. Strokes are also more common in overweight people.
Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer also have a correlation with obesity. Most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on overweight people. One study showed that 78% of people hospitalized with Covid-19 were overweight.
There are other potential complications for overweight people who contract Covid-19. They are more likely to experience long-term complications from the virus due to their obesity.
It is clear that your long-term health depends on losing weight. Considering weight loss options is the best way to extend your life expectancy and quality of life.
Before you consider surgery, it is important to consider the other options. Dietary changes are the first place you should turn to when deciding to lose weight. We offer nutritional counseling to help people create achievable and sustainable diets.
You often hear about keto diets and intermittent fasting. Our nutrition counselors advise you on the best diets for your particular situation.
Diets do not achieve the desired results for millions. There are also safe weight loss supplements to take.
For example, appetite suppressants are a popular weight loss supplement. Appetite suppressants are natural and curb hunger to keep your diet on track.
We have all been there when a good diet day is derailed by a hunger craving. Your healthy consumption habits are ruined by a late-night bag of chips or cookies. Appetite suppressants help you avoid these setbacks and stay committed to the diet.
Many people opt for surgery as a quick way to lose weight. However, surgery is a major decision and requires careful scrutiny. Continue reading to learn the pros and cons of opting for weight loss surgery.
The benefits of surgery for weight loss are obvious. It is a safe medical procedure that helps you lose weight.
The vast majority of surgery recipients report that their quality of life is improved. They are moving around better and feel more confident in their appearance.
There are medical studies that show surgery recipients prolong their life expectancy.
While the benefits of surgery are profound, there are a number of risks that you should be aware of. Like any surgery, there is a potential for complications.
In the short term, there is a recovery associated with the surgery. There is the potential for your wound to get infected. In some cases, there is excessive bleeding around the incision point.
Also, some surgery recipients report having breathing problems afterward. Others deal with feelings of nausea, diarrhea, and potentially vomiting.
From a long-term perspective, malnutrition and abdominal hernias are possible. There are other potentially more serious long-term complications.
For instance, the surgical gut connections may leak. Some experience bleeding ulcers that are painful on a daily basis.
Malnutrition is more prevalent after gastric bypass surgery. As a result of this surgery, fewer calories are absorbed by the digestive system from food. This situation forces gastric bypass surgery recipients to take vitamin supplements.
The worst complications for a small percentage are heart attacks or pulmonary embolisms.
The cost of surgery is another con. Depending on the type of surgery you receive, the total cost ranges from $20,000 to $25,000.
Health insurance may provide coverage based on what state you live in. More than half of the states in the country cover bariatric surgery.
There are additional costs you may incur. There may be a hospital or facility charge to pay for. You may receive additional bills for follow-up procedures, anesthesia, or the use of medical devices.
Surgery for weight loss does not always work either. This means that you incur the cost and rehabilitation from surgery and do not achieve the desired results.
There are several different types of surgery that your surgeon presents as a solution to obesity. Earlier, we briefly covered gastric bypass surgery, which is when the stomach is split into two.
This is the most effective surgery as it pertains to weight loss. The results are the fastest and afford the greatest weight reduction.
Another common type of surgery is called gastric banding. This is when an inflatable band is placed around the stomach.
The presence of this band creates a small upper stomach and a larger lower stomach. Food slowly funnels into the larger lower stomach but makes the person feel full quicker. One concern is that the band can move or even leak, causing significant pain.
A gastric sleeve is another surgery type. This option removes the majority of the stomach and creates a sleeve between the esophagus and small intestine.
This is a benefit over banding, as there is no foreign object in the stomach. You also lose weight at a much faster rate.
The addition of a gastric sleeve is a lower risk than gastric bypass surgery. For people that are too obese for a bypass, the gastric sleeve is viewed as an alternative.
Now is the time to act if you are overweight. The long-term health risks of obesity are too serious to ignore.
There are a few different strategies to reduce weight. Some choose surgery, while others opt for dietary changes or supplements. If you are considering weight loss surgery and want to learn more about alternatives, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Anand Thakkar is a licensed Internal Medicine physician and is board certified in Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine. He is a member of the teaching faculty for students at Chicago Medical School and has been featured on ABC, FOX, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Do not make any major changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise without the supervision of a licensed medical professional.