Recently, a patient, whom I will call Sarah, told me about a trip to an amusement park she took with her family. After years of struggling with obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, Sarah had undergone weight loss surgery. After losing more than 100 pounds, Sarah told me that she could do things she never thought she’d do again, like ride a rollercoaster.
Unfortunately, nearly 30 percent of adults in Hampton Roads are facing obesity-related problems just like Sarah. Many of these people face a lifetime of costly medications to manage, but not cure, these conditions. Luckily, bariatric surgery now offers a realistic option for patients to not only lose weight, but find a cure for related conditions. Research is now showing that bariatric surgery can result in a cure of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea in nearly 90 percent of patients, as well an improvement of arthritis in weight bearing joints in nearly 80 percent of patients.
All patients who undergo bariatric surgery can see some relief from high blood pressure, diabetes or arthritis. However, the sooner after a diagnosis of diabetes, blood pressure or other conditions you undergo a bariatric procedure, the more likely you are to see conditions completely cured, allow you to stop taking costly medications.
That’s why it’s important to act quickly when looking to find a solution to obesity problems. You may be a candidate for bariatric surgery if you have a BMI of 35 to 40, with diabetes, hypertension or sleep apnea, or if you have a BMI of 40 or greater. Calculate your BMI.
You can get back to the things you used to enjoy, whether it is riding roller coasters, playing basketball or chasing your kids around the yard. Make 2014 the year of a healthier you, and start by attending one of our free bariatric surgery seminars.
By Elizabeth Z. Salzberg, MD, FACS
About Dr. Salzberg – Elizabeth Salzberg, MD, FACS, is a fellowship-trained, board certified surgeon specializing in bariatric and minimally invasive general surgery at the Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center in Hampton Roads.