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Why do people want to get bariatric surgery? In one study, researchers asked 40 women who were about to have a bariatric procedure. “Weight loss” was the most common response before the surgery.
A year after the surgery, however, things had changed. The women had indeed lost weight, but when they were asked about the most satisfying aspects of getting bariatric surgery, the top answer was “improved self-esteem.”
What this study showed — and what our surgeons and former patients know — is that bariatric surgery has numerous benefits. While some aren’t as obvious as substantial weight loss, they’re no less significant.
“Some of the most meaningful changes I see in my patients after surgery extend far beyond the new number on the scale,” says renowned bariatric surgeon Dennis Smith, MD, FACS, FASMBS. “It’s their renewed energy — both physically and emotionally — and their fresh outlook that are so inspiring and impactful.”
If you’re considering bariatric surgery and are researching your options, Dr. Smith wants you to know about these seven benefits that could change your life, so you can feel confident starting your transformation journey.
1. Helpful Hormonal Changes
Overall, bariatric surgery is more likely to lead to lasting weight loss than dieting. Hormonal changes after surgery usually have a positive impact on how the body burns calories. Dieting, in contrast, may have a negative effect.
2. Improved Blood Sugar Levels
Type 2 diabetes typically improves or goes into remission after bariatric surgery — and it may not take long to see results. In some cases, people who have diabetes and have bariatric surgery sometimes leave the hospital with normal blood sugar levels.
“In patients who undergo duodenal switch, diabetes is resolved or at least improved in around 95% of them and with the gastric bypass, many people leave the hospital off all their diabetes medications.” says Dr. Smith. “Even with the sleeve gastrectomy, blood sugar improvement starts right after surgery, before they even go home.”
3. Better Cardiovascular Health
LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels often go down after bariatric surgery. HDL (or “good”) cholesterol levels often go up. The surgery may also lower or eliminate high blood pressure, improving your heart health.
4. Reduced Risk of Obesity-Related Conditions
Other obesity-related conditions that frequently improve after bariatric surgery include:
- Fatty liver disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD
- Chronic back and joint pain
- Sleep apnea
5. More Physical Energy
Losing excess weight makes it easier to be physically active and get into an exercise routine that works for you. In turn, the combination of increased physical activity and weight loss improves the body’s ability to burn fat.
6. Enhanced Mental Well-Being
A more active lifestyle, coupled with successful weight loss, can also brighten your overall outlook. Bariatric surgery has been linked to decreased levels of depression and anxiety, too.
7. Better Quality of Life
All in all, people report a better quality of life after bariatric surgery. In some cases, they’re more likely to be employed, and they have more meaningful social interactions.
“Ultimately, bariatric surgery helps you become physically healthier, but the benefits can truly improve every area of your life,” says Dr. Smith. “If you’re thinking about making this leap and want a fresh start, my team is ready to help you change your life, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.”
Get Started with Personalized Bariatric Care
At AdventHealth, we know that diet and exercise alone often aren’t enough to get you where you want to be. That’s why our weight-loss solutions go beyond what’s on your plate and how you work out to help you build a healthier body, mind and spirit.
When you’re ready to make a change, our team is ready to help you get started. Click here to learn more about our personalized bariatric and weight-care options.