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How Bariatric Surgery Affects Your Heart Health
Heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States since 1950. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease now accounts for approximately one in every five deaths, totaling about 695,000 people yearly.
Those numbers break down to one death every 33 seconds.
One common denominator for many individuals with heart disease is obesity. Your weight can directly affect your likelihood of a heart disease diagnosis, but there are steps you can take to help minimize your risk.
If you’re a candidate for bariatric surgery, it can have transformative effects that change your heart health — and whole health — for the better.
Why Your Weight Plays a Part
Excess body weight can lead to fatty buildup in your arteries, and this buildup greatly affects your health. Clogged and damaged blood vessels strain your heart, leading to heart disease.
When you carry less weight, you naturally decrease the strain on your heart, as it no longer needs to work as hard to pump blood throughout your body.
Many people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other weight-related health concerns find these health issues subside or resolve entirely after bariatric surgery, thus helping them live healthier lives.
Bariatric Surgery and Heart Disease
Recent studies have shown that bariatric surgery can benefit those with heart disease.
One study in Canada compared two groups of individuals with heart disease who were also severely obese (with a body mass index of 40 or higher.) One group chose to proceed with bariatric surgery, and the second did not. Nearly five years later, follow-up findings showed that the participants who underwent bariatric surgery experienced far fewer cardiovascular-related events post-surgery than those who chose not to proceed with surgery.
Similarly, a recent study from Rutgers University showed that obese individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were nearly 50 percent less likely to experience cardiovascular events such as angina, heart attacks or strokes after their bariatric procedures than those who did not undergo weight loss surgery.
As both studies show, there is growing evidence that, for obese individuals, even if you already have heart disease, bariatric surgery can often be an effective tool to decrease your likelihood of experiencing a cardiovascular event and may even improve your heart health.
In addition, most bariatric procedures are now performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic technology, thus greatly minimizing the risks associated with traditional open bariatric surgery.
Making Heart-Healthy Moves
Weight loss can transform your life, helping you feel whole and live your life fully. If you have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and wonder if bariatric surgery may benefit your heart health, our leading-edge bariatric experts can help you learn more.