More than three million Americans suffer from obesity. Obesity is defined by Body Mass Index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2. BMI is a ratio based on your height and weight (BMI = weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared). Obesity can be associated with many other medical conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Many people suffer from the consequences of extra weight without realizing it. If you have arthritis, you suffer from joint pain that is related to your weight. If you snore, you might have sleep apnea, which can lead to daytime fatigue and low energy. Physicians can prescribe medication for your high cholesterol and high blood pressure, but when was the last time you talked to them about your weight?
Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is an option that not many people consider seriously. Bariatric surgery includes operations like the sleeve gastrectomy and the gastric bypass. Unfortunately, surgery has always had a negative stigma associated with it. Recent advances in surgery and anesthesia have made bariatric surgery a bonafide tool that works. It can help improve diseases like heart disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Did you know that many leading healthcare societies are now recommending bariatric surgery? For example, the American Diabetes Association changed their guidelines to recommend bariatric surgery for adults with BMI 35 kg/m2 and Type 2 diabetes, especially if the diabetes or associated comorbidities are difficult to control with lifestyle and pharmacologic therapy.
You may not know that bariatric surgery is usually covered by your insurance and can save you thousands of dollars by decreasing costs of medications and special equipment.
Surgery is a tool, along with diet and exercise, that can help you achieve a healthy weight. You should discuss with your physician if bariatric surgery is right for you.
To learn more about bariatric surgery options at Pascack Valley Medical Center, visit pascackmedicalcenter.com/services/bariatric-and-metabolic-surgery.
Information provided by Dr. Sarah Wong, surgeon at Advanced Laparoscopic Associates.