A number of medical conditions improve with weight loss in general, regardless of the cause. They include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, heartburn, joint pain, and depression.
While surgery is not considered “necessary” and is an individual’s choice, it is an option for people with BMI 35 and above if they have a medical condition related to obesity and for people with BMI 40 and above whether or not they have a related medical condition, according to Dr. William S. Yancy from Duke University Diet and Fitness Center.
Serious complications don’t happen often. But life-threatening side effects are possible, as is the case with any medical operation. “The risk of dying as a result of the surgery is low, typically less than 1 percent but the risk is present,” he adds. And the risk is higher – over 4 percent – in patients who are male, have BMI 50 or above, hypertension, risk factors for blood clots, and age 45 or older.
“Risk of serious complications is higher than you might think, typically over 5 percent for most of the procedures and can be higher,” Dr. Yancy says. Also, repeat surgery is fairly common – up to 35 percent for the band procedure with up to 50 percent having the band removed, and more than 20 percent for other surgeries.
After weight loss surgery, calorie and carbs intake are substantially reduced. “Food intake after surgery emphasizes protein and fat intake over carbohydrate because there are essential amino acids and fatty acids that the body needs, but no essential carbohydrate,” Dr. Yancy says. Vitamins and minerals are also important, and certain supplements are needed after weight loss surgery because deficiencies are common.