How safe is weight loss surgery?

Excess weight can affect your daily activities and lower your self-esteem. However, what is worse is that it leads to complications that can prove even fatal in the long term. Overweight people who cannot join a gym right away often try various weight loss methods including slimming pills and surgery. Bariatric surgery is a procedure to help one lose weight. For Singaporeans, the minimum BMI for bariatric surgery is 32.5 with diabetes, and 37.5 without it. Before getting operated for weight loss, read this lowdown on the potential risks associated with it.

What is bariatric surgery?

Weight loss surgery is considered to be the only option only for those that are morbidly obese. In some patients, it has been found to improve the quality of life considerably. It could even mean an improved sex drive and less chance of cardiovascular diseases. The three kinds of bariatric surgery include gastric banding, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. However, for a major percentage of the overweight population, the benefits are not likely to outweigh the harms.

Risks associated with the procedure

Surgery is actually a complicated way to lose weight. There are major risks associated with the procedure. The first is excessive bleeding, which is possible in any major surgery. Infection is equally likely. As is the case with any surgery, bariatric surgery can also go wrong if there are problems with administering anesthesia. Always get second opinion from a reputed slimming centre before going ahead with the procedure.

Complications post weight loss surgery

Long-term complications are a part of any major surgery. After weight loss surgery, you might experience bowel obstruction and other gastrointestinal problems. Diarrhea and nausea were also reported. Depending on which procedure you undergo, the severity and frequency of complications will differ. In general, gastric banding is the safest. However, it also results in less weight loss than the other two procedures.

Onset of depression post-surgery

This may sound counterintuitive, but weight loss surgery can actually mean an increase in depression. According to a research from Yale University, volunteers reported a higher amount of depression on the Beck Depression Inventory. The parameters on which this was judged are self-esteem, eating patterns and social functioning. More importantly, feelings of depression continued for more than 12 months after the surgery.

Excess skin complications

The loss of weight after the surgery occurs gradually. The skin should give enough time to adjust. However, in some cases, you may have to undergo a corrective cosmetic surgery. This is expensive, especially because you have just broken the bank to get bariatric surgery itself. There are different opinions on whether this surgery is covered by insurance.

Safer alternatives

Surgery is often prescribed for those that have diabetes or are prone to it. For people who cannot exercise, alternative slimming treatment methods would be a safer and more effective option. Traditional Chinese Medicineworks by restoring bodily harmony and eliminating sleep and stress related problems. It is a holistic method that combines acupressure, massage, cupping, and other techniques. It also helps increase the body’s metabolism and helps keep lifestyle diseases at bay.


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