Dr. Carlos A. Barba Shares How Weight Loss Surgery Can Help Patients Win Their Lives Back

In the United States, obesity is a health crisis that has become an epidemic. Dr. Carlos A. Barba says that, In recent years, the number of obese people has increased dramatically and continues to rise. In 2013, about 36% of adults aged 20 or older were obese. If this trend continues, by 2030, more than 42% of U.S. adults will be obese, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity increases a person's risk for many conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer, as well as other chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and arthritis.

For those severely overweight with comorbidities such as sleep apnea or significant joint pain due to excess weight bearing on their joints, weight loss surgery may be for you. Weight loss surgery can be an effective treatment for morbidly obese and looking to take back control of their lives. Studies show that bariatric surgery patients lose about 60% more weight than those who don't undergo the procedure and improve other health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

There are several types of weight loss surgery that may be an option for you. The most common is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The stomach is separated into a small upper pouch and a larger lower section. The digestive system is rerouted through the small intestine, so food bypasses most of the stomach, reducing hunger by making you feel full faster when eating.

Another common type of weight loss surgery is the endoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. In this procedure, a “sleeve” is created from the upper stomach by removing a large portion and leaving only a narrow, banana-shaped section. The digestive system is rerouted through this small intestine so that most food bypasses the smaller stomach entirely.

Weight loss surgery and weight-related conditions

After weight loss surgery, most people lose an average of 60% more weight than those who don't have the procedure. The risk for some major diseases also improves dramatically. Risks for conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers are dramatically reduced with weight loss. Dr. Carlos A. Barba notes that weight loss can also alleviate certain chronic conditions like high blood pressure and arthritis by maintaining a healthy weight. Patients who follow lifestyle guidelines before and after weight loss surgery can expect even greater benefits.

Heart Disease

Obesity and related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, can cause coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is when plaque builds up in the arteries around the heart, preventing blood from properly flowing to the heart muscle, leading to a heart attack. When you lose weight through bariatric surgery and maintain that weight loss long-term, this will reduce your risk for developing coronary artery disease significantly.

Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance; their cells don't normally respond to insulin. The pancreas produces insulin, but eventually, it cannot keep up with demand, and glucose levels remain elevated, leading to complications such as vision issues or damage to nerves in the feet or legs. Weight loss surgery can improve insulin resistance in people who are obese by reducing the amount of body fat.

Research has shown that weight loss surgery can reduce blood glucose levels to near normal in most patients with type 2 diabetes. This is only achievable in the long term, usually after two years.

Cancer

Some obesity-related cancers include breast cancer, uterine cancer, colon cancer, and gall bladder cancer. Regarding breast cancer risk, studies have found that this risk increases for post-menopausal women with a history of bariatric surgery compared with similar women without a history of weight loss surgery. Some studies show no increase in risk, while others indicate the risk may be influenced by other factors such as age at the time of bariatric surgery or duration of obesity.

Dr. Carlos A. Barba says that people who undergo weight loss surgery are taught how to make healthier eating choices to continue with this type of lifestyle change once they've recovered from surgery. Bariatric surgery patients are usually more physically active after their procedure because the excess weight has been removed, making exercise easier, which helps them maintain their optimal body weight long-term.

You'll feel better about yourself and be able to do more things that you enjoy.

As you continue to lose weight after bariatric surgery, research has shown that patients who follow lifestyle guidelines before and after surgery can expect even greater benefits than those who don't.

Being overweight is a risk factor for many chronic conditions like arthritis and high blood pressure. Dr. Carlos A. Barba feels it difficult to maintain a regular exercise routine. When you have obesity-related conditions, it puts a strain on your body, especially your cardiovascular system. Losing just a small amount of excess weight can help reduce or alleviate symptoms from these conditions, so losing weight is beneficial.

Weight loss surgery can be a tool to help people take control of their lives.

When you lose weight through bariatric surgery and maintain that weight loss long-term, this will reduce your risk for developing coronary artery disease significantly.

People who undergo weight loss surgery are taught how to make healthier eating choices to continue with this lifestyle change once they've recovered from surgery. Bariatric surgery patients are usually more physically active after their procedure because the excess weight has been removed, making exercise easier, which helps them maintain their optimal body weight long-term. You'll feel better about yourself and be able to do more things that you enjoy, like going out with friends or taking up a new hobby without being embarrassed due to your size.

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