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Lesser-Known Benefits of Bariatric Surgery Besides Losing Weight

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It can also help improve or resolve co-existing conditions

Posted by Rohit Soans, MD

A lot of people come to Temple for bariatric surgery with the goal of losing weight to feel better. But bariatric surgery is so much more than that. At Temple, bariatric surgery is one component of a comprehensive, life-changing program.

With bariatric surgery, you’ll not only lose weight, but you may also see significant health benefits. For many, it’s the beginning of many positive changes they see in their lives.

Obesity is a complex condition that puts you at risk of developing multiple, preventable health problems. These include:

Over time, excess weight takes a toll on your health and these conditions can worsen. Our goal with weight-loss surgery is to help people overcome these health challenges so they can hopefully live a more engaging life.

We encourage anyone interested in bariatric surgery to view our online seminar. This is a great introduction to the types of bariatric surgery we offer, and it also goes into more detail about obesity as a condition.

Afterward, you can schedule an appointment with me or another Temple bariatric surgeon to talk more about the program and ask any questions you may have. You may be curious to learn more about co-existing health conditions, for example. Here are just a few of the questions we might talk about:

What conditions are related to obesity?

I mentioned sleep apnea, high blood pressure and diabetes, but obesity is also linked to other potentially serious conditions such as:

Once you develop these conditions, you may need treatment such as taking medication or having to use a CPAP machine every night.

Even losing 5-10% of your weight can help prevent you from getting these conditions or stop them from getting worse.

How can bariatric surgery help you manage co-existing health conditions?

Our ultimate goal with bariatric surgery is to help you improve or even resolve co-existing health conditions altogether. We’d like to see you:

  • Decrease your need for medications
  • Have the ability to move more freely
  • Stop using your CPAP machine

These benefits are sometimes possible with weight-loss surgery.

What are some obesity-related conditions that may improve following bariatric surgery?

High Blood Pressure

When you’re living with obesity, your heart works harder to pump blood through your body. This puts extra strain on your arteries, which causes your blood pressure to rise.

Losing weight decreases the pressure on your cardiovascular system, and in turn, your risk of having heart disease or stroke also decreases.

Type 2 Diabetes

Weight loss can help your body run more efficiently, making it easier to control blood sugar levels. In the months following bariatric surgery, you may be able to decrease your diabetes medication by half or stop taking it altogether. There are exceptions, such as those who are dependent on insulin.

Osteoarthritis

Excess weight puts pressure on your weight-bearing joints, causing pain, stiffness and swelling, as well as limited mobility. When you lose even just a little bit of weight, it lightens the load on your joints and helps ease painful symptoms.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes you to stop and start breathing repeatedly while you’re sleeping. Some people require a CPAP machine to help open up those airways while they sleep.

When you lose weight, the first place you usually notice is in your face and neck area. This helps the air flow more freely. You will probably still need your CPAP machine, but you may be able to discontinue using it in the months after your surgery.

Other Conditions

These aren’t all the co-existing conditions that may improve after bariatric surgery. Studies have shown improvements in:

  • Heartburn
  • Hormone balance
  • Depression
  • Incontinence

It even decreases your risk of certain cancers and early death.

Sign Up for Our Free Bariatric Surgery Seminar

Everyone’s experience is different, but the one thing they seem to have in common is noticeably improved health.

Consider attending a live or on-demand bariatric surgery seminar. It’s full of information about the surgery and helps you determine whether you’re a good candidate.

Rohit Soans, MD

Rohit Soans, MD, is Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at Temple University Hospital. He is also Assistant Professor of Surgery at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. His clinical interests include metabolic and bariatric surgery, minimally invasive and robotic general surgery, gastrointestinal disorders, and outcomes following bariatric surgery.

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