Based upon the mountains of data, the short the answer is yes, weight-loss surgery is worth it. For nearly everyone considering it, long-term benefits are well worth the short-term costs in terms of time, effort, inconvenience, and dollars. But how do we more carefully decide if something like this is worth it? Let’s delve a little deeper.
From a Health Perspective
Health-wise, for nearly every individual considering it, weight-loss surgery is worth it. Weight loss surgery, or metabolic surgery as we generally call it, is among the safest routine procedures done in the United States, safer than an appendectomy, usually very simple and straightforward, something like a 45-minute procedure with four Band-Aids. And the health benefits are enormous. Studies demonstrate a nine-fold reduction in the chance of progressing to full-blown type two diabetes, that is if you don’t have it already. For people who do have it already, there’s a large reduction in the chances of developing worsened diabetes or complications of diabetes such as blindness, kidney failure, or losing a toe due to compromised circulation.
And the benefits extend to many other obesity-related health problems. High blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, joint disease, spine problems, and liver disease are among the long list of common obesity-related health problems that are significantly improved after metabolic surgery. The long-running Swedish Obese subjects study confirms a large improvement in lifespan for those undergoing weight-loss surgery compared to those who don’t.
From a Cost Perspective
From a cost perspective, it’s also totally worth it. For most people, the procedure is covered as a medically necessary health intervention, so the out-of-pocket costs are like other treatments or surgical procedures covered by insurance. In this day and age, that still could be a co-pay or deductible that is significant, but the health gains are tremendous. Statistically speaking, large studies show one lives a longer healthier life and experiences reduced costs from other obesity-related health problems that would have arisen.
What About Side Effects?
Side effects, as with any surgery or medication, are not zero. With the sleeve gastrectomy procedure today, there remains a fraction of people who experience new or worsened acid reflux, usually manageable with medication. More serious problems are rare.
The Bottom Line
Weight loss surgery is not perfect, certainly. There’s the potential for weight regain, as with the rest of the population. There is the possibility of needing some extra vitamins, and a very small chance of developing a complication that requires some treatment or surgery. But metabolic surgery does something that no diet plan or drug can do. It permanently changes the tissues that regulate body weight, metabolism, and blood sugar. And the long-term benefits of those changes are profound.
If you’d like to learn more about weight-loss surgery, contact the team at Sasse Surgical today.