Local Surgeon Reports Benefits of Bariatric Surgery Reach Beyond Weight Loss

Local Surgeon Reports Benefits of Bariatric Surgery Reach Beyond Weight Loss

Obesity is one of the most common diseases in the US., affecting more than one-third of adults and causing 300,000 deaths annually. Significant excess weight affects quality of life and overall health, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, liver diseases, sleep apnea, and even some cancers.

For chronic obesity, bariatric surgery provides long-term weight loss while reducing the risk of weight-related conditions and in some cases can eliminate them completely.

Each year, more than 250,000 Americans undergo bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass and vertical sleeve gastrectomy to treat obesity and improve their quality of life. These surgeries can offer lifesaving benefits and reduce the risk of death from any cause by 40%. Additionally, bariatric surgery is associated with a 60% reduction in blood pressure and a 70% reduction in developing cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. Some patients have also eliminated sleep apnea and experienced long-term remission of type 2 diabetes. The surgery is also associated with an 88% lower risk of fatty liver progressing to cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver-related death according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"The majority of patients who have bariatric surgery permanently lose more than half of their excess weight while also eliminating or reducing the risk of other chronic conditions," says general and bariatric surgeon, Andrew Martin, M.D. "This is not a shortcut to weight loss, it's a potentially life-saving surgery that improves a patient's overall health and quality of life."

Bariatric surgery can help improve many areas of a patient's life. Without excess weight, patients reduce or eliminate the need for medication to treat many obesity-related conditions and often report feeling more confident, energetic, and healthy. Many patients also report relief from back and joint-related pain as they lose weight.

Patients eligible for bariatric surgery are typically more than 100 pounds overweight with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or have a BMI of at least 35 with one or more obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, fatty liver disease, or uncontrolled high blood pressure. Often, patients have tried other weight loss tactics like diet and exercise without long-term success.

The bariatric surgery program at Northwest Health guides patients through the entire process, providing both trusted medical guidance and compassionate emotional support. The weight loss team offers expertise, experience, and dedication to help patients succeed in freeing themselves from the physical and emotional stresses of obesity. The multidisciplinary team includes: a bariatric surgeon, obesity medicine physician, clinical psychologist, bariatric program director, wellness outreach manager, registered dietitian, clinical nurse specialist, diabetes educator, physical therapist, and the bariatric support group facilitator. 

"When it comes down to it, bariatric surgery is far more than just simply a weight loss procedure -- it's a chance for our patients to get healthier and have a fresh start," said Dr. Martin.

To find out if you are a candidate for bariatric weight loss surgery, take the assessment from Northwest Health by visiting nwhealthinbariatrics.com.

About Northwest Health

Northwest Health is a comprehensive healthcare system committed to providing communities in Northwest Indiana with high-quality, accessible healthcare—from highly specialized care and surgical services to more routine primary care. The system of more than 60 access points includes three hospitals, five emergency departments, urgent care centers, outpatient surgery centers, an ambulance service, and physician offices. A team of more than 3,000 employees work together with the more than 700 physicians on its medical staffs. Northwest Health is owned in part by physicians. For more information, visit NWHealthIN.com.