Who Should Consider Obesity Surgery?
Obesity surgery is suitable for adults who have:
- BMI of 40 or greater
- BMI of 35 or greater when it is combined with a significant health condition that could be improved with weight loss (diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea, arthritis, etc.)
- BMI of 30-35 with poorly controlled diabetes
What are the situations where obesity surgery should not be done?
- Lung disease requiring oxygen therapy
- Extremely limited mobility
- Untreated psychiatric disorders and substance abuse or narcotic dependency
- Endocrine disorders such as Cushing’s Syndrome
- Not able to comply with long term vitamin supplements and follow-up.
- Psychological instability
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Inability to cope with changes in diet and life modification after surgery
Obesity Surgery as a tool
It is important to view obesity surgery as a tool among many other tools to help maintain weight loss. People do best when combine obesity surgery with diet vigilance, regular exercise, support from family and friends and regular follow-up with the obesity surgery team. Focusing on short term goals is not ideal as people can get back into bad eating habits once the desired weight is reached.
Effects of Obesity Surgery on Comorbidities
Obesity surgery has been shown to provide effective long term weight loss in the majority of obese patients. The anatomical and physiological changes created by surgery lead to a sustained and significant weight loss. Cosmetic operations such as liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are not weight loss operations and have no effect on long term weight. Obesity surgery is not a cosmetic surgery.
Proven Effects of obesity surgery on obesity-related medical conditions
- Type 2 diabetes
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Heart failure
- Back strain and disk disease
- Weight-bearing osteoarthritis (hips, knees, ankles feet)
- Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (acid reflux)
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cirrhosis
- Stress incontinence
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Intertriginous dermatitis
- Pseuodtumor cerebri
Condtions that are expected to improve by obesity surgery
In addition to these proven effects, weight loss surgery is expected to reverse or improve other conditions such as;
- Risk of developing cancer of the breast, colon, liver, ovaries, pancreas, prostate, and uterus
- Cardiac and peripheral vascular disease
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Incidence of cerebrovascular accident
- Incidence of gallstones
- Incidence of thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism (blood clots)
- Obstetric and fetal complications