Why Choose Surgery?
Surgery has been clearly demonstrated to be the most effective long term solution for morbid obesity. While diet and exercise are always important components of any weight loss program, they are relatively ineffective in the morbidly obese population, often leading to only temporary weight loss. The vast majority of morbidly obese people have tried numerous diets, only to find that after losing weight, several weeks or months later all the weight is regained…..plus an additional five to ten pounds. The next diet attempt a few months later…..leads to the same outcome.
This is because the condition of morbid obesity is much more physiologically complex than just being slightly overweight. As a result, simplistic, single modality approaches to weight loss are usually unsuccessful.
The treatment of severe obesity requires several strategies all working together. The most effective approach is to combine diet and exercise with behavior modification, and surgery. This combination has been demonstrated by numerous studies to be the most effective approach, and is the method endorsed by the National Institute of Health.
Morbidly obese patients who choose to have surgery typically lose between 50% to 80% of their excess body weight, depending on the type of operation performed, and how compliant they are to a comprehensive strategy which of course includes exercise and behavior modification. Furthermore, two years after surgery, studies show most patients are able to maintain 59% excess body weight loss.
Perhaps the most compelling argument for surgery lies in a 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrating gastric bypass surgery was shown to reduce long term mortality by 40% compared to the control group. So surgery in many instances is life saving.
In addition, surgery is well established as the most effective means of curing Type II diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Research has also demonstrated that after bariatric surgery, patients have an improved quality of life, feel better, have greater self confidence, and are more productive individuals.
Bariatric surgery also has a significant economic benefit to most patients. Over 20 years between the ages of 30 and 50, obese patients who are morbidly obese spend 36% more on health care services, and 77% more on medications than cigarette smokers. Obese individuals spend $395 more on medical care per year than non-obese individuals.