Weight-loss surgery, combined with commitment to your diet and exercise plan, can have a significant impact on your life. From the physical changes to the overall increase in quality of life, significant weight loss is transformative.
Benefits of Surgery
If you undergo bariatric surgery, you may lose 40 to 70 percent of excess weight in the 12 to 14 months after surgery. With a commitment to exercise and dietary changes, you may maintain that weight loss for a lifetime.
You may be able to cut your diabetes medicines in half, or stop taking them altogether in the first few months following surgery. This is because weight loss can make it easier to control blood sugar levels. The exception is insulin-dependent patients, who will most likely need to continue with medication.
More than 84 percent of patients who undergo weight-loss surgery and stick to their long-term plan reduce or completely eliminate the need for hypertension medicine.
Excess weight on joints like knees or ankles intensifies arthritis pain. Healthy weight loss reduces the pressure imposed on weight-bearing joints and helps alleviate the pain associated with arthritis.
Your neck, throat and upper body will likely be the first areas to show improvement during healthy weight loss. As a result, your airway opens up, breathing improves and you may sleep better. If you use a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea, you will need to continue with it initially. However, many patients experience reduced or eliminated need for the CPAP machine within the first months after surgery. Your pulmonologist will talk to you about if and when it is safe for you to discontinue your CPAP machine.
Bariatric surgery greatly reduces the amount of stomach acid that can reach the esophagus. This reduces and often eliminates occurrences of heartburn.
Infertility and menstrual cycle irregularities are often linked to excess weight. In some cases, menstruation stops altogether. With healthy weight loss, hormones can become balanced again, leading to a normal menstrual cycle and possibly increased fertility. It is recommended to avoid getting pregnant for 12 to 18 months after bariatric surgery.
If you are taking medicine for your depression, do not stop taking it. Review all of your medicines with your weight-loss team prior to your procedure, and while you’re in the hospital.
Weight loss reduces the stress on the urinary tract. As a result, incontinence can improve or stop entirely. Most see improvement within a few months following surgery.