Reasons For Weight Loss Surgery: Feeling Better, Looking Better
Historically, bariatric surgeons and weight loss surgical centers have focused on the purely medical aspects of losing weight with bariatric surgery. Fairly quickly, in the history of gastric bypass surgery and Lap-Band surgery, it became clear that major medical benefits were occurring: namely the resolution of serious obesity related diseases of diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia, hepatic steatosis and more. Despite this very compelling health data and medical studies showing increased life expectancy and health measures, only a very small percentage of people suffering with these health conditions and morbid obesity currently avail themselves to bariatic surgery as a treatment.
Today, however, we may be seeing the beginnings of a new rationale being articulated by people seeking weight loss surgery at an earlier stage of this process, before they have developed some of the serious health consequences of weight gain. The reasons articulated, especially among people seeking out-patient laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding with the Realize Band or Lap-Band, have to do with feeling better, becoming more energetic, preventing health problems, and, yes, looking better.
Certainly, the numbers of people who might consider out-patient weight loss surgery for these types of reasons is expected to vastly exceed those whose motivation is purely medical. Does out-patient weight loss surgery in-fact deliver on these goals? We will explore this a bit further in future pieces, but the answer is by-and-large, yes. The vast majority of people do indeed experience all of the above and report a higher quality of life, greater energy level and improved satisfaction with their own appearance. As physicians, we have historically viewed these goals or achievements with less importance than the purely medical ones that revolve around disease processes, but our patients may see it otherwise.