One of the most common kinds of surgical treatment for weight loss is gastric bypass surgery or bariatric surgery. This surgery involves making changes to your stomach and digestive system surgically. These changes limit how much food you can eat and how much nutrition you can absorb. This helps in weight loss. Bariatric surgery is especially helpful for those who couldn’t lose weight through exercise or older adults who have issues that make them unable to undertake exercising.
Bariatric surgery may seem like an attractive option for those seeking to lose weight quickly. However, it comes with its own set of problems and side effects. If you are willing to bring some permanent lifestyle changes in your life, bariatric surgery can prove to be a blessing to older adults looking to lose weight. In fact, bariatric surgery is considered safe for people of and above the age of 60.
When should you consider bariatric surgery?
A person with a BMI of 40 or higher (morbidly obese) can opt for bariatric surgery. If you have a BMI of 35 or more and other weight-related health issues like high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes mellitus, you can consider undergoing surgery.
A doctor who specializes in bariatric surgery then assesses you for the following aspects:
- Previous weight loss programs: Your doctor attempts to gain knowledge of your previous exercise and diet attempts. Your stress levels and motivation to make permanent life changes are also evaluated.
- Psychological status: Obesity can be a result of some underlying psychological issue. Disorders like schizophrenia and depression in older adults can be a cause of obesity.
- Medical condition: The doctor tests you for any medical issues you may have and evaluate the medication you take. Bariatric surgery without knowledge of medications may result in conditions like blood clots, heart problems, liver diseases, and nutritional deficiencies.
Should You Opt for Bariatric Surgery?
Obesity is on the rise in India. In fact, India is the third most obese country in the world after the USA and China.
Obesity is a silent killer. It often brings along other problems like high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and diabetes with it. It decreases the quality of life and also decreases longevity. If you are suffering from obesity-related problems and you see no significant relief from exercise or diet, consult your doctor regarding bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery offers a lot of advantages other than weight reduction:
- Remission of type 2 diabetes
- Improved heart health
- Relief from depression and isolation (that happens due to age and weight)
- Elimination of sleep apnea
- Relief from joint pain
However, only those who have the willpower to stay committed to the new changes in lifestyle after surgery should opt for this procedure. This is because weight loss reversal after some years of surgery is possible. In fact, doctors encounter many patients who have started putting on weight again three to five years after undergoing bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery also causes issues like excessive sweating, flushing, dizziness, palpitations, fatigue, nausea, diarrhoea and cramping. Issues like internal hernia, hair loss, and gall stones may also occur.
A bariatric surgeon evaluates all these factors before proceeding with the surgery that can be life-changing.
Ask a question regarding Bariatric Surgery for Weight Loss in Older Adults