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For the last few decades, weight-loss surgery has been considered a last resort for treating overweight and obese individuals who have been unable to lose weight through conventional methods of diet and exercise. But now, considering how weight-loss surgery can help reverse type 2 diabetes, lower the risk for heart disease, and help improve a number of other comorbidities, the procedure is no longer being considered a last resort. Late last month, new guidelines were released that make a higher number of patients eligible for the procedure.
The new guidelines qualify patients who have a body mass index (BMI) as low as 30. Previously, the only individuals approved for bariatric surgery were those who had BMIs of 35 and higher. Currently, nearly 35 percent of all adults in the US have a BMI of at least 30.
Individuals who suffer from high BMIs often suffer from one or more health problems related to being overweight or obese, such as obstructive sleep apnea, infertility, joint pain, asthma, and an increased risk for cancer. Many qualifying individuals who have weight-loss surgery benefit from results that are both life-altering and life-saving. Most are able to reverse their comorbidities, and often go on to lose up to 70 percent of their excess weight within two years of undergoing weight-loss surgery.
The three different types of weight-loss surgery available are sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve), gastric bypass surgery, and gastric banding (REALIZE Band, LAP-BAND). All three procedures are now performed in a minimally-invasive manner, meaning patients can experience less post-op pain, less downtime, and faster healing. When combined with healthy diet and exercise, individuals can lose weight after having bariatric surgery, and keep it off long-term.