Weight-loss surgery for low BMI individuals

Posted on: 18th Aug, 2014

weight-loss surgery. Low BMI is, for the purpose of obesity treatment, generally considered to be a body mass index under 35. Many people choose to assign the term low BMI when a person’s body mass index falls between 30 and 34. Others would extend the term downward to include people with a BMI in the range of 27-34. The normal BMI is considered to 18-25. The subject of low BMI gained more attention in 2012, when the FDA extended its approval of the Lap-Band for persons with a BMI of 30 to 34 when an obesity-related health condition was present. These conditions included diabetes, high blood pressure, and obstructive sleep apnea, for example. Opinions among medical and public health professionals vary when it comes to recommending weight-loss surgery for individuals in this low BMI category. On the one hand, we generally favor fewer interventions, natural solutions, and a ‘do no harm’ philosophy whenever possible with respect to this and many other treatments. On the other hand, the case favoring weight-loss surgery for people with a low BMI has been made more convincingly in recent years with the development of less invasive surgical technique offering safer, simpler, and seemingly more reliable weight loss with lower risk and lower invasiveness. In fact several large studies show that the risks involved are significantly less than the risks of remaining overweight or obese. Increasing appreciation for the seriousness of obesity as a health condition favors earlier intervention with minimally invasive weight-loss surgery. The argument goes, why wait until a person has developed full-blown diabetes requiring insulin injections, when they could have a minimally invasive sleeve procedure? Or worse, why wait until neuropathy has set in before intervening to reverse obesity and diabetes? Most of the adverse health conditions that stem from obesity are progressive. They worsen with time, and each year of carrying extra weight that goes by generally means greater and greater adverse effects on the body and its organ systems. Waiting until a person has attained a higher BMI also means waiting until that person is in a higher risk category for surgery and anesthesia. Reversing obesity at an earlier stage and at a lower BMI makes sense because it has the potential to halt the progression of any health conditions. Think of a knee joint that is developing arthritis and cartilage deterioration as a result of obesity and daily wear and tear. Reversing the obesity, and lightening the load on those joint, results in less deterioration of the joint in the subsequent years. It has the potential to stave off a knee replacement surgery by many years or perhaps a lifetime. A similar case can be made with respect to high blood pressure and cardiac strain that result from obesity. Reversing the obesity at an earlier stage likely reduces the cumulative effect on the heart and may reduce the risk of heart attack or arrhythmia and other consequences that may arise over the years. Ultimately, less years of obesity equals less strain on the body. Most adults gain weight every year of adulthood, around 1 pound per year on average according to some studies. Weight-loss surgery programs involve a good deal of education and counseling, which can further serve to help an individual learn and maintain healthy habits of eating and exercise. Support groups, and regular medical check-ups offer further potential benefit when one has undergone weight-loss surgery. In sum, the case for earlier weight-loss surgery is made by those who point out that individuals are even lower risk of surgery when they have a lower BMI and can more safely tolerate surgery and anesthesia. The minimally invasive sleeve and emerging weight-loss procedures have improved the field and have become demonstrably safer and less invasive. The effects of quality-of-life and health status on individuals can be markedly improved after weight-loss surgery, and having the procedure at a lower BMI means averting many of the health problems before they reach a crisis stage. If you are thinking about making the life changing decision of long term weight loss, please schedule an informational consultation with Bariatric expert, Dr. Kent Sasse at his facility in Reno and learn more about weight loss solutions.]]>

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