The Chicago Journal

At What Point Should I Consider Weight Loss Surgery?

Obesity causes serious health problems that severely damage your body and prevent you from living life to the fullest. If you are committed to a long-term transformation in both your mind and your body, bariatric surgery is proven to be a life-changing and even life-saving intervention. As a matter of fact, a recent PubMed study following severely obese patients for 14 years documents significantly lower mortality rates in those who opted for bariatric surgery than in those who did not. Our mission at Blossom Bariatrics is to help you blossom into the truest version of yourself, but we can’t do it alone. Before considering weight-loss surgery, first take time to decide if you are ready for your role in the transformation.

Who should consider bariatric surgery? 

You may have heard bariatric surgery is only an option for people who are morbidly obese or hundreds of pounds overweight. In fact, more and more research shows the procedure is a highly effective early intervention. A recent study by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery follows two patient groups undergoing weight-loss surgery—one group composed of obese patients while the other of severely obese patients. The obese patients had body mass indexes (BMIs) over 30, while the severely obese patients had BMIs over 35. One year after the surgery, 36.3% of the obese patients attained their target BMI of 25 or less. Only six percent of the severely obese group achieved healthy BMIs. This study demonstrates that patients with BMIs between 30 and 35 are more likely to attain a healthy weight, improved quality of life, and remission of type 2 diabetes after weight-loss surgery.

Our qualifying criteria for weight-loss surgery at Blossom Bariatrics is a BMI between 30 and 55. Our clients tend to be between 50 to 100 pounds overweight. We believe it is essential to address obesity early before health issues like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea cause your body permanent damage.

Serious health problems caused by obesity

While considering the pros and cons of bariatric surgery, you have most likely wondered how serious obesity really is. After all, according to  Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, half of US adults will be categorized as obese, and a quarter will be severely obese by 2030. Obesity is becoming the norm, but that does not make it healthy. 

If you have spent years carrying excess weight but feeling generally healthy, it is possible you are unaware of several serious health risks ahead. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), obesity is directly linked to these health issues:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure 
  • High LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol
  • Many types of cancer
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Osteoarthritis (joint pain)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Clinical depression and anxiety

The value of early intervention when addressing obesity

Extra weight on the waist, stomach, or hips is not a welcome sight, but the fat we cannot see is actually the most alarming. When this unseen fat builds up inside artery walls and around the heart, it accelerates the development of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea. These conditions put you in a race against the clock. If you fail to lose weight quickly, they cause irreversible damage to your body.

At Blossom Bariatrics, we try to intervene before major issues arise. Many serious health problems resolve after weight loss surgery if we catch them early. For this reason, we encourage our clients to consider the procedure sooner rather than later.

Lifestyle commitments to consider before weight-loss surgery

Bariatric surgery can be more effective for weight loss than exercise, diet, or medication alone, but it is a tool—not a magic bullet. Before you decide to undergo weight-loss surgery, carefully consider the lifestyle changes you need to make if you hope to lose weight and keep it off permanently.

After bariatric surgery, your stomach won’t contain as much as it did before. To obtain the nutrients you need, you’ll have to prioritize high-protein foods, decrease your intake of refined carbohydrates, and take a daily multivitamin.

Long-term weight loss after your surgery also requires a commitment to physical activity. Rapid weight loss is exciting, but it can cause you to lose muscle mass. Maintaining lean muscle through physical exercise enables you to increase your metabolism and burn calories even while resting.

If you have failed to achieve permanent weight loss through diet and exercise alone and want to address obesity before serious health issues arise, weight-loss surgery may be your solution. For more information on the lifestyle changes that promote long-term success, contact Blossom Bariatrics.

Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.