Bariatric Surgery and Obesity
Obesity rates in America are steadily increasing to higher rates each year. Obesity can either be caused by genetics or caused by your environment, culture, socio-economic status, food types, and level of physical activity. No matter how you gained the weight, obesity can lead to health complications that must be taken into account before deciding that surgery is right for you to improve your quality of life. Keep in mind that a body mass index (BMI) of 30 - 39.9 is considered obese, and morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI 40 or higher.
|18.5 - 24.9||healthy|
|25.0 - 29.9||overweight|
|30.0 - 39.9||moderately obese|
Health problems with obesity
The following health issues are more common in obese individuals than in non-obese individuals:
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Macular degeneration
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Infertility and pregnancy complications
- Shortened life expectancy
Even losing a relatively small percentage of body weight, such as 10 - 20%, can decrease your chance of experiencing these health issues.
What are my options?
According to Kaplan, bariatric surgery has the best possible weight loss outcome, with 50 - 70% of patients losing up to 50% of their excess weight and keeping it off, compared with weight loss medications (0%) and diet and exercise (2 - 5%).
Before considering bariatric surgery, you may considering doing the following:
- Calculate your BMI; if it's 25 or above, you are overweight. If it's 30 or above, you are obese.
- Consult with your doctor about your weight and ask for recommendations about different weight loss procedures and strategies.
- Learn how to calculate your daily caloric intake; then work on reducing it.
- Begin to exercise to see if you can begin losing the excess weight.
- Consider joining a weight loss group for support.
Not all methods are right for everyone. You must consider all of your options before you choose the right option or surgery for you. Dietary lifestyle changes takes time, and before deciding on surgery and other plastic surgical procedures like liposuction , remember that it also takes a life-long commitment to change.
Find out more about bariatric surgery
For more information on bariatric surgery, browse the menu options above. To find a bariatric surgeon near you, use our bariatric surgeon locator.
Find out if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery.
Kaplan L. 2003. Presentation at Digestive Disease Week 2003. Orlando, FL.