Life After Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric weight-loss surgery is one of the most transformative interventions in modern medicine with a profound impact on health and well-being. While most other medical and surgical interventions aim at correcting a single disorder, bariatric surgery is able to correct a plethora of physical, medical, and psychological disorders by addressing their common underlying cause: excess weight. The result is nothing short of magical. With sustainable loss of over 80-100 lbs., a tremendous load is lifted from the musculoskeletal system, resulting in decreased joint and back pain. As the need for energy consumption is decreased, the sense of chronic fatigue is reduced. With decreased pain and fatigue, there is increased tolerance of physical activities including ability to exercise, travel, work, and perform activities of daily life.
Positive impact of bariatric surgery on psychological health is well documented. There is a reduction in prevalence of depression and anxiety following surgery. There is improvement in psychological well-being, self-esteem, and body image. With resolution of obstruction sleep apnea, quality of sleep improves, further augmenting the sense well - being during the awake state. As a result of an improved state of mind, quality of social and work-related interactions also improves. Patients report greater prospects at enjoying social engagements, making friends, or receiving promotions at work. An individual suffering from a lifetime of inhibitions may find limitless opportunities to advance boundaries of personal fulfillment.
Positive impact of bariatric surgery on medical health is extra-ordinary. Procedures such as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy completely resolve or significantly improve high blood, Diabetes Mellitus, obstructive sleep apnea, hypercholesterolemia, and other related conditions in over 80% of the time. With decrease in blood pressure, there is decreased risk of stroke and heart attack. With resolution of Diabetes and insulin resistance, there is improvement in kidney function, neuropathy, eyesight, and immune function. Weight loss reduces respiratory effort and improves oxygenation and ventilation capacities of the lungs. With decreased accumulation of fat within the liver, there is resolution of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. With resolution of sleep apnea, there is decreased risk of pulmonary hypertension. With the loss of adipose tissue, there is improvement in hormonal imbalance associated with polycystic ovarian disease. Together, these and many other health benefits result in increased longevity.
In order to achieve complete success with bariatric surgery, individuals will need to lead an active lifestyle that includes frequent aerobic activities. They also need to adopt and maintain a healthy eating style. This includes consuming a diet composed of wholesome ingredients from natural sources, reducing portion size, avoiding processed foods, minimizing added sugar and refined carbohydrates, reducing foods with high saturated fat including fast foods, and controlling compulsive and emotional eating.
If needed, professionals such as registered dietitians or behavioral therapists can help devise a plan that leads to long-term success. Many longitudinal studies have shown that majority of patients are successful at losing 60-80% of their excess weight, and maintaining their weight years after the procedure.