Weight Loss Surgery Aims To Improve Health And Overall Quality Of Life

BY: SANFORD HEALTH 

Though not discussed as often as it should be, our weight plays an important role in our overall health. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and, unfortunately, diet and exercise alone do not lead to long-term, sustained weight loss in people struggling with their weight.

In the last decade, tremendous strides have been made in the field of weight loss surgery. As surgical techniques and delivery of care have improved, much safer procedures are producing even better results.

A total of 70 to 80 percent of weight loss surgery patients are women. Although men and women benefit equally, men are considerably less likely to consider weight loss surgery as an option for diseases related to weight problems. Overall, women tend to be much more proactive than men when it comes to their health. Women are more likely to get yearly health screens, take their medications as prescribed and seek advice when they have a health concern. Men, on the other hand, typically see doctors only when there is an immediate health concern, which is not a proactive approach to their well-being. The frequent perception men have is that physicians treat disease — prescribing pills for high blood pressure and diabetes and performing surgery for hernia and gallstones. Physicians are in the business of improving and maintaining health, which means more than prescriptions and surgery. Physicians are focused on patients’ overall well-being, from illness and injury to mental and physical health.

Why do more men not consult with a bariatric surgeon despite the excellent safety record and proven results of the procedures they perform? It’s possible most men don’t see their extra pounds as an actual health problem. It’s important to know that weight loss surgery is not a cosmetic procedure. Surgery is a tool to help people lose weight and control the many diseases associated with being overweight.

Why not examine all that weight loss surgery has to offer? Please consider it instead of:

  • Being tired all day because of undiagnosed sleep apnea
  • Not exercising because your knees or back hurt so much
  • Taking pills for ailments like high blood pressure and diabetes

Weight loss surgery typically improves all of these issues and many more. Weight loss surgery is safe with a lower incidence of death than many common surgeries, including gallbladder removal. Although evaluation and training must be completed prior to surgery, the actual recovery from the procedure typically involves only a one to two night stay in the hospital, followed by a return to work in two weeks.

As a physician, every day I see so many men who I can help and most never even know bariatric surgery is an option. Unfortunately, many men think that weight loss surgery is for the vain and the weak-willed, so they never investigate surgery as a possibility. Please know that weight loss surgery is all about improving your health and overall quality of life so you can be there to love and support your family for the many years they will need you.

If you are interested in learning more about weight loss surgery, please go to sanfordhealth.org, keyword: weight loss surgery, or call (605) 328-3840 to arrange a consultation or speak with our insurance specialist. No referral is necessary.

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