It is a case of choosing a lesser evil in comparison to a bigger evil. Between staying obese and opting for a weight loss surgery, the former is a bigger evil, which is probably why the latter’s popularity has increased tremendously in recent times.
Experts in the medical circles as well as recent studies have pointed that despite the risks it is safer to go in for weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, than live obese.
Christopher Still, director of the Geisinger Centre for Nutrition and Weight Management, categorically states that the health complications caused by obesity far exceed the risk associated with bariatric weight-loss surgery.
“Some obesity-related conditions can be fatal, and others require chronic medication and treatment,” avers Still.
The benefits of bariatric surgery
“With the help of bariatric surgery, medical complications caused by obesity can be eliminated, and patients can enjoy a much healthier life,” Still maintains.
Not only does the weight loss surgery eliminate medical complications associated with being overweight, it enables patients to feel in control of their lives.
Post surgery, the patient can accomplish simple tasks like driving, walking and exercising, which appeared beyond their reach prior to the surgery.
At its best, bariatric surgery provides the impetus to the patients to develop new, healthier habits.
In the words of Still, “The benefits of bariatric surgery are much greater than simply losing a few pounds. After surgery, patients are able to reclaim their health and their lives.”
The surgery also increases the patient’s life span.
A recent study established that women in their 40’s with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 45, termed as severely obese, would increase her life span by three years by losing weight through surgery.
Likewise, men with a BMI of 45 would gain an additional 2.6 years of life expectancy.
Downside of bariatric surgery
On the flip side, bariatric surgery risks carry a mortality rate of as much as two percent within a month of surgery.
Data suggests that the surgery has resulted in 3.5 percent fatality rate within three months of the surgery. This rate inches up to five percent in one year indicating that bariatric surgery would prove fatal, in one year, for five out of the 100 patients opting for it.
The surgery is also associated with various infections including incisional infections, bladder infections, kidney infection and blood infection.
by Jyoti Pal