Most forms of bariatric surgery are considered minimally invasive procedures. They are specially designed for obese individuals, and although all surgeries have risks, this type of surgery is known to be considered safe and efficient for high-risk patients.
But that key phrase – high risk – is necessary. Obesity has long been known to increase the risk for surgical complications. That is because obesity:
- Weakens the Immune System – This increases your risk for infection and trouble with healing.
- Increases Clotting Risk – Clotting after surgery is very common in obese patients.
- Can Trigger Other Conditions – Those with other conditions, like heart disease, may trigger events and other issues as a result of those complications.
Surgeries are also more involved with obese patients, as finding the right areas to target can be difficult (with fat cells, liver issues, and greater space in between organs). Studies have shown that surgical complications can be as much as 12x more common in obese patients.
Weight Loss Surgery for Future Healthy Outcomes
Bariatric surgery was designed for those with obesity, but other surgeries are not. As you get older, there is always a risk that you may need surgery someday in the future – in a few days, months, years, or even decades. Indeed, even after bariatric surgery, you may want to consider a procedure known as a “body lift” to remove excess skin. According to research, the average person will require roughly ten surgeries in their lifetime.
You want to make sure that you have the best outcome in all of them.
There are currently no studies that have looked specifically at future surgical outcomes after weight loss surgery, but there are correlations based on similar work. Some surgeries have pre-operative weight loss requirements that must be met before surgery can take place because complications among obese patients are well known.
Also, studies that have looked at the link between surgical outcome and BMI have almost exclusively found that lower BMIs reduced operational risk.
- Studies on the surgical outcomes of patients that underwent elective spinal surgery found that those with a higher BMI were more likely to require further hospitalization, require readmission, and had more complications than those with a healthy BMI.
- Studies on those with endometrial cancer surgery found the same. During open surgery, patients with a higher BMI were more likely to have mild, moderate, and severe complications than patients within the healthy range.
- Studies on those with end-stage renal disease found that complications were far more common in obese patients and that it may not be ideal for those with obesity to undergo surgery until they have been able to lose weight.
Time and time again, studies that look at the link between surgical outcomes and BMI have found that lower BMIs reduce complications, and while surgical outcomes and risk are very involved and not only based on BMI alone, there is a lot of evidence that losing weight will, overall, make it easier for surgery to be successful.
Losing Weight for a Healthier Life
Bariatric surgery is designed to improve a person’s lifespan. Those improvements are not just in the reduction of obesity-related diseases. Your ability to stay safe during other medical procedures is yet another benefit that bariatric surgery can have to your life. Weight loss surgery has numerous advantages, and some of the least well known may someday be the most necessary.
Back to the Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery.