All too often, people wait far too long to move forward with treating their health. This is especially true for weight loss surgery. I cannot tell you how many times I see people in the office who come to see me once something dreadful has already occurred. Common examples are that an individual has taken a fall, suffered a severe injury to a hip or ankle and has been told by the orthopedic surgeon that excess weight contributed to the severity of the injury and is also going to make it much more difficult to heal and get the best result.
Other examples that happen to good people every single week are that type 2 diabetes gets diagnosed or goes out of control and lands someone in the hospital. Sometimes people finally come to see me once they have had a scare with pneumonia or kidney failure or one of countless other health scares that are directly related to obesity.
In all the above examples, metabolic surgery performed earlier would generally prevent the problem from ever occurring. In addition, metabolic surgery often prevents a permanent injury or decline in health and quality of life.
So how do you know when the time is right? If you are reading this article, the time is probably right, right now. If you or someone you love is battling with significant excess weight, then it is time to consider treating the problem and reducing the health risks. This is precisely what metabolic surgery does.
Long gone are the days decades ago when metabolic surgery was viewed with skepticism as perhaps a vanity treatment, or something that involved a risky procedure. Nowadays it is well demonstrated in enormous studies of all varieties, including large countrywide studies, randomized controlled trials, large cohort studies, you name it, that the situation is “safer with surgery.” And it is far better to treat the condition of excess weight, obesity, elevated blood sugar, elevated blood pressure, developing sleep apnea, degenerative joint disease, and other conditions in their earlier phases, rather than waiting for a severe or catastrophic problem to be present.
An example would be the progression of elevated blood sugars to a formal diagnosis of prediabetes, and then the subsequent progression to full-blown type 2 diabetes. Ample evidence now shows that the simple 45-minute procedure of metabolic surgery holds the progression and reverses the organ deterioration that comes along with diabetes.
A person is seven times less likely to progress to full-blown diabetes if they have undergone metabolic surgery, according to published studies comparing individuals in medical weight loss programs. And those studies are not outliers, they exactly mirror what we see in the clinic day in and day out.
Surgery sounds scary and seems a little bit strange when it comes to treating metabolism, excess weight, obesity, and diabetes. But we now know that it is the safest, lowest risk path, and the one that demonstrably reduce his risks, improves health, quality of life, and longevity. The peer-reviewed published literature on multidisciplinary treatments of these same conditions with medications, diet, exercise, trainers, counselors, integrated plans, and good intentions tell us that such programs are not successful. Continuing with therapies that are proven unsuccessful is just wishful thinking. Meanwhile, as time passes, the progressive nature of obesity-related health deterioration means that avoidable bad things continue to happen.
So, if you or a loved one is struggling with excess weight and wondering what the next steps are, there is rarely any value in waiting or trying yet another non-surgical program. Surgery is the only treatment that gets at the root cause of hormonal milieu in the body that prevents long term weight loss. It is normally the safest and lowest risk path. It is best to at least get the facts and understand how a 45-minute procedure can reduce the trajectory of progressive risks while improving quality of life.