Gastric bypass surgery can be life-changing or even life-saving for those who need to lose weight. This surgery can produce significant and sustainable weight loss in obese people who have not achieved long-term success with other weight loss approaches. Gastric bypass surgery reduces the stomach’s storage capacity, which automatically limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full much sooner than normal. This in turn will cause a reduction in your weight.
This treatment is not for everyone as it is a serious surgical procedure. It is appropriate for people who are considered medically obese, meaning they have a body mass index (BMI) of over 35 and need to lose over 65 pounds. If you are a candidate for gastric bypass, you should be aware that there are several benefits of this procedure, as listed below.
Often, people who need to lose 65 or more pounds have tried over and over again to lose the weight with self help and non-invasive measures. While they may have some success at first, unfortunately less than 5% of them keep the weight off for five years or more. In fact, many gain the weight back in less than a year. Losing the weight and gaining it back does nothing to improve the potential health problems associated with obesity. You must keep the weight off for a minimum of five years to consider the loss a success and one that can result in a happier, healthier you.
With gastric bypass surgery, the weight comes off fast initially. After surgery, people can lose anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds in the first few weeks. After that initial period, patients can expect a weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds a week for roughly the first year. Plus, studies show a 52% to 68% weight loss in patients even over 10 years. While some may regain a little weight as time goes on because the natural tendency of the stomach is to stretch, this shouldn’t be a problem if you maintain healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
This is perhaps the single biggest health benefit resulting from gastric bypass and the subsequent weight loss. This surgery can help prevent the risk of death associated with stroke, hypertension and myocardial infarction. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels can return to normal, or near normal after surgery, reducing these risks and improving overall health.
Obesity usually goes hand-in-hand with type 2 diabetes, which is a very serious health condition. Studies have shown that gastric bypass is highly effective for obese patients with type 2 diabetes, allowing almost all patients to remain free of the need of insulin and other related medications for at least three years after surgery.
Excessive body weight puts a lot of stress on your weight-bearing joints, often causing chronic pain and joint damage and aggravating any arthritis conditions. The weight loss that occurs after this surgery relieves the stress on joints and often allows people to stop using pain medications and enjoy much more mobility.
An impressive 80 to 85% of patients experience remission of their sleep apnea one year after surgery.
Studies have shown that the risk of miscarriage may decline after gastric bypass surgery and can improve menstrual cycles in women who don’t ovulate properly.
Not surprisingly, most obese people feel depressed because of poor body image and social stigma. Studies have shown that between 17% – 33% of people with depression have reduced symptoms after gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery also helps those with reflux (the back up of acid and stomach contents in the throat). It does so because it redirects the flow of stomach acid and bile away from the esophagus, so reflux patients no longer have discomfort.