Weight-loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, is the treatment option today that may effectively treat morbid obesity in people for whom more conservative measures such as diet, exercise and medication have failed.
A variety of approaches to bariatric surgery is available, but all procedures are either malabsorptive, restrictive or a combination of the two. Malabsorptive procedures change the way the digestive system works. Restrictive procedures are those that severely reduce the size of the stomach to hold less food, but the digestive functions remain intact.
The benefits of bariatric surgery go beyond what the eye can see. If you are morbidly obese then bariatric surgery may be safer than carrying around those extra pounds. If you're dealing with diabetes, bariatric surgery may improve or resolve the disease. Your doctor can help you decide if the benefits of bariatric surgery are right for you.
Bariatric surgery may improve or resolve diabetes. Bariatric surgery may also lower your risk for other serious conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, arthritis and certain malignancies.
Researchers have found bariatric surgery to be an effective and safe treatment for select patients with severe obesity. Bariatric surgery carries its own risks and benefits depending on your underlying health problems.
Bariatric surgery is typically recommended for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater. If you have other serious health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, bariatric surgery may be beneficial if your BMI is between 35 and no less than 40.
It's important to consider how ready you are to make a significant change in your life. Bariatric surgery requires you to commit to a healthy lifestyle for a lifetime. Ask your doctor for his or her opinion on morbid obesity treatment options.