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Bariatric Surgery: So Much More Than Just Weight Loss

December 03, 2023 Posted in: Blogs


If you’ve struggled to lose weight for years, you know there’s no quick fix. Diets, exercise and medication can help you lose pounds, but often those pounds come back months later. Meanwhile, excess weight could damage your joints, cause sleep problems or lead to major health conditions such as heart disease. But there’s one solution that has worked for many people, often leading to significant weight loss and improved health: bariatric surgery. If you think you could be a candidate for bariatric surgery at St. Luke’s Health (SLH), here’s what you need to know.

Research Shows Bariatric Surgery Works

Bariatric surgery has been available for decades, and research has repeatedly found that it’s both safe and effective. If you are overweight but not clinically obese and stick with additional lifestyle changes, you are likely to lose 15% to 30% of your starting weight, depending on the type of bariatric surgery you choose. Importantly, studies show that most patients lose between 50% to 70% of their excess body weight—that is, the weight that’s keeping them in the “obese” category. Excess weight of this type is directly correlated to health problems such as Type 2 diabetes.

Weight-Loss Surgery Improves Health Conditions

Losing weight may be the main goal for many people who qualify for bariatric surgery. After all, who doesn’t want to sit comfortably in an airplane seat or get more attention on dating apps? But the benefits of bariatric surgery go far beyond the number you see when you stand on a scale. Reducing your risk of obesity-related health conditions is significant. In fact, for most patients, bariatric surgery can improve health in multiple ways, such as:

  • Better sleep

  • Improved reproductive health

  • Improved mental health

  • Less joint pain and more potential to stay active

  • Reduced risk of many major diseases

  • Remission of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), liver disease, sleep apnea, Type 2 diabetes and other health conditions


Overall, most bariatric surgery patients report an improved quality of life after the procedure. Research has found the health benefits of surgery stay consistent for years. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the following high percentages of patients experience remission:

  • 96% from obstructive sleep apnea

  • 92% from Type 2 diabetes

  • 76% from high cholesterol

  • 75% from hypertension

 

In addition, patients experience 30%–50% reduction in risk of premature death.

SLH Provides Holistic Bariatric Care

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing process. That’s why SLH offers wraparound services to help you adjust to your new body.

  • Our bariatric support groups provide a safe space for education and discussion of issues you may face before, during and after weight-loss surgery. Groups can help you stay accountable for your weight-loss goals and provide a network of people who understand exactly what you’re going through.

  • Our dietary counseling programs help you adjust to changes in eating habits you’ll need to make before and after surgery. Experts provide guidance to make sure your body gets all the nutrients you need despite your smaller stomach.

  • Ongoing follow-up care with SLH specialists will help to ensure you receive early and prompt treatment for any postsurgical complications or ongoing health conditions. Our multidisciplinary care team works together to treat all aspects of your health, not just your weight.


If you’re ready to take the next step in your weight-loss journey, register for a free seminar to learn how SLH bariatric surgery could help.

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