A new review of several large weight loss surgery studies in the New York Times highlights just how effective these operations are at helping people achieve lasting weight loss, improving weight-related health conditions, and even reducing risk of death. The studies provided follow-up of five to 25 years, finding major long-lasting benefits to weight loss surgery patients’ health and quality of life.
As Dr. Mona Misra’s patients typically know, weight loss surgery candidates have spent many years trying—and failing—to lose weight and keep it off. These patients have lost significant weight over and over again, yet gain it back. This is not for lack of willpower, but because a body with longstanding obesity defends itself against weight loss by drastically reducing its metabolic rate. This effect is not observed after having surgery, because in many cases surgery alters the digestive tract permanently. Most patients are able to finally achieve long-term weight loss with the help of weight loss surgery.
Perhaps just as important – or more so—than the weight loss itself is the medical benefits that weight loss surgery patients experience. Dr. Misra’s patients regularly experience improvements in their blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, as well as in sleep apnea. Studies show that the majority of people with diabetes who have weight loss surgery achieve remission of their disease, as well as improvement in the damage it can cause to the heart and blood vessels.
If weight loss surgery is such an effective treatment for obesity, some may question why more people aren’t having it, given our current obesity epidemic. According to the review, only about one percent of people who qualify for surgery are utilizing it. Part of the issue is the reluctance of some insurers to cover weight loss procedures, though many studies have found that the costs associated with extreme obesity often outweigh those of surgery. Another barrier is the notion that bariatric surgery may not be very safe. In reality, it is actually much safer nowadays than it was even a decade ago, and typically performed using minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Mona Misra performs her weight loss procedures laparoscopically, making just a few tiny incisions so that her patients experience less pain, less risks and a faster recovery.
Nothing is more important to Dr. Misra and her team than the safety, success, and happiness of their patients. If you are considering having weight loss surgery, or a non-surgical option like the balloon, and want to learn more about your choices, we are happy to answer your questions! Contact us at 1-800-788-1394.