Gastric bypass and other weight loss procedures, collectively known as “bariatric surgery,” are used by some obese people to shed extra pounds. Worldwide, around 580,000 people undergo these procedures each year. But bariatric surgery offers benefits beyond weight loss.
More than two out of every five adults in the u-s are obese. Some people opt for bariatric surgery to drop weight, but new research at Cleveland Clinic shows it can do more than affect weight.
“We found that patients with morbidity who underwent bariatric surgery had significantly lower risk of death and also heart failure, and heart attack, and stroke,” said Amgad Mentias, M.D., a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic.
Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found obese adults who lost weight with bariatric surgery had a 32% lower risk of developing cancer and a 48% lower risk of cancer-related death compared to those who didn’t have surgery. Other research has shown bariatric surgery puts Type 2 diabetes into remission, lessens joint pain, relieves depression and even improves fertility. It’s also effective for sleep apnea. More than 80% of people experience remission of their sleep apnea one year after surgery.
“If a patient was diagnosed with obesity, they should not delay the decision to seek help if they have been trying to lose weight and have not been very successful,” Mentias said.
Of course, as with any surgery, there are also risks such as infection, blood clots, bleeding and more. You need to talk to your doctor about both the benefits and the risks of bariatric surgery before making a decision.
While the numbers depend on the type of bariatric surgery you have done, people often experience a 40% to 80% reduction in excess weight after having the procedure. The risk of death associated with bariatric surgery is around 0.1%, and the likelihood of having a major complication is around 4%, according to the American Cociety for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.