If you are thinking about bariatric surgery and have doubts about whether it is right for you, you’re not alone. It’s a life-changing decision, so it’s normal and natural to fear and have hesitation. But before you let these fears prevent you from having bariatric surgery, you may want to take a few moments to consider the bigger picture.
Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual’s ideal body weight. And it greatly increases your risk of developing the following conditions:
-Heart disease and stroke
-High blood pressure
-Gallbladder disease and gallstones
-Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea (when you stop breathing for short periods during sleep)
Not only could obesity create a numerous amount of health issues, it can also diminish your quality of life. You may not be able to do things you used to do. You might not participate in activities you previously enjoyed. You may avoid public places. You may not actively participate in lives of your family as much as you would like. You may even encounter some discrimination. Other weight-related issues that may affect your quality of life include:
-Shame and guilt
-Lower work achievement
Several large population studies have shown that obese individuals that undergo bariatric surgery have a much lower risk of death, compared to individuals affected by obesity who do not have surgery. One of these studies found an 89% greater reduction in death (throughout a five year observation period) for the individuals who had the surgery compared to those who did not. Another study found that there was a 90% reduction in death due to diabetes and a more than 50% reduction in death from heart disease. The exceptionally high reductions in mortality rates with bariatric surgery are due to the significant improvement in (even cure of) health conditions caused by obesity.
If longevity of life is not reason enough, quality of life is greatly increased. Mobility, self-esteem, work, social interactions and sexual function are all positively affected by bariatric surgery. Singlehood is also reduced, as is unemployment and disability. Depression and anxiety are significantly reduced as well.
Surgery is only a tool to accelerate weight loss. Patients who follow physician-recommended dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes will have the best chance for life-long success.
You only have one life to live. Don’t live it in fear.
“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” — William Jennings Bryan