Bariatric surgery is like other major abdominal surgery. You can best prepare by knowing the benefits and risks of surgery, and by closely following your doctor’s instructions.
It varies from person to person. Generally, the hospital stay (including the day of surgery) can be one to two days for a gastric band, two to three days for laparoscopic gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. There is no hospital stay for the gastric balloon procedure.
Medical problems, such as serious heart or lung problems, can increase the risk of any surgery. On the other hand, many serious medical conditions may improve or resolve after successful bariatric surgery.
Type 2 diabetes is a long-term metabolic disorder where the body produces insulin, but resists it. Insulin is necessary
Excess body weight is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure. These conditions can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and heart and kidney damage. Bariatric surgery reduces excess body weight.
High cholesterol is a disorder of lipids—the fat-like substances in the blood. A common form of dyslipidemia is hyperlipidemia (or high cholesterol), the condition that exists when someone has too much of certain lipids in the blood. As these lipids build up inside the artery walls, harmful scar tissue and other debris begin thickening and hardening the walls. Long-term, this can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure.
Obstructive sleep apnea is when breathing suddenly stops because soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. Morbid obesity can cause sleep apnea and other respiratory.
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is injury to the esophagus caused by chronic exposure to stomach acid. It is a serious disease that can cause esophagitis, ’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma).
Morbid obesity may put you at a higher risk for several types of cancer, such as colon, breast, and kidney cancer. In 2003, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that obesity could account for:
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats, sleeps, thinks, and feels. There are many reasons people with morbid obesity experience depression. Emotional health goes hand in hand with physical health. Lifestyle improvements and renewed health can help resolve depression. Weight loss, combined with counseling, can be very helpful in improving mental health.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. Known as the wear-and-tear kind of arthritis, osteoarthritis is a chronic condition in which there is a breakdown of joint cartilage.
For anyone who is living with morbid obesity, the excess body weight placed on joints, particularly knees and hips, results in rapid wear and tear, and pain caused by inflammation.
Bariatric surgery can reduce much of this weight over a long period of time and can be very effective in treating osteoarthritis.
Among women, morbid obesity is a risk factor for stress urinary incontinence, or uncontrollable urine loss. A large, heavy abdomen and relaxation of the pelvic muscles due to morbid obesity may cause the valve on the urinary bladder to weaken, leading to leakage of urine with coughing, sneezing, or laughing.
Bariatric surgery has been found to improve stress urinary incontinence. Less weight is placed on the bladder, and other physical changes take place to improve this condition.
Reproductive health can be a concern for women struggling with morbid obesity. Issues such as infertility (the inability or reduced ability to produce children) and menstrual irregularities may occur due to morbid obesity. Fertility issues include possible miscarriage, reduced success with fertility treatments, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Additionally, women living with morbid obesity are more likely to have children with certain birth defects. A recent study of women following gastric bypass surgery
The fear of surgery is not irrational or abnormal; in fact, it’s very common. Bariatric surgery creates a smaller stomach pouch and, depending on the procedure, may shorten the digestive tract—all while the patient is under general anesthesia.