Weight Loss Surgery: Cosmetic Benefits, Life-Saving Results
What do you think of when someone mentions weight loss surgery? Like many people, you might categorize it with cosmetic procedures like liposuction, tummy tucks, rhinoplasty (nose jobs), breast augmentation, etc. But what’s wrong with lumping it in with these procedures? What—or who—does that really hurt?
The obesity stigma
Unfortunately, many people who need bariatric surgery won’t consider it, for a few reasons. First, the fear of potential judgment and criticism. There is a widespread, yet misguided, belief that obesity is merely the price of laziness and poor lifestyle choices, and that those who pursue surgical solutions are taking the ‘easy way out’ rather than sticking with a healthy diet and exercise. And in addition to many other misconceptions about bariatric surgery, the question of insurance coverage is also a concern, as the topic of obesity as an illness is still hotly debated.
Why weight loss surgery is—and isn’t—a cosmetic procedure
Everyone wants to look good, and weight loss surgery can certainly be a step in the right direction. Beyond that, other benefits patients can expect post-surgery include:
- Improved mood and self-esteem
- More confidence
- Less stress and anxiety
But there’s much more to it than that. While weight loss surgery has similar benefits to cosmetic procedures, the real goal is to improve health and stave off potential obesity-related illnesses so patients can live a longer, better life.
Bariatric surgery saves lives
The strong link between obesity and other health problems means most people seeking surgical treatment likely have at least one of the obesity-related health issues (‘comorbidities’), which weight loss surgery could significantly reduce, if not eliminate, altogether. Not only does this lead to a longer, happier life, but it saves a lot of money long-term.
- 80 percent of diabetic patients, and 60 percent of patients with high blood-pressure, went into remission after surgery, and as a result, no longer needed insulin or blood-pressure medication
- 70 percent of patients suffering from sleep apnea were able to say “sayonara” to their CPAP machines
For some—those who are considered morbidly obese—simply NOT having the surgery can increase the risk of death from obesity-related illnesses like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. It’s statistics like these that have led the American Medical Association (AMA) to recognize obesity—BMI at or above 30—as a disease, and why having these related illnesses can increase chances of insurance covering surgery.
So really, weight loss surgery is better categorized with other life-changing, life-saving procedures like heart or kidney transplants, cancer treatments, joint replacements, and so on. If you or someone you care about is debating whether to go ahead with surgery or not, don’t let the any naysayers hold you back.
Weight Loss Center
The Weight Loss Center at Texas Health Flower Mound offers comprehensive weight loss programs complete with diagnostic, surgical and non-surgical options designed to promote a full and healthy life. Learn More