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How Does Bariatric Surgery Affect Overall Health?
How Does Bariatric Surgery Affect Overall Health?

Having bariatric surgery can have a significant effect on various health conditions. Not all of these conditions are dependent on the weight loss that results from the surgery.
Many people do not realize that not all the health issues associated with being overweight are actually the result of obesity. By altering the way that your body digests food, bariatric weight loss surgery may have an impact on digestive function, the absorption of nutrients, and hormone levels.

In fact, after having bariatric surgery, you could experience an assortment of resultant health benefits, even before you begin to lose much weight. The additional health benefits are among the top reasons that numerous people opt to have the surgery performed.

What You Should Know About Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is one of the most effective medical procedures that address the growing risks of obesity. However, an obese patient cannot simply undergo bariatric surgery without careful tests and evaluation. Before considering surgery, a full understanding of this procedure is necessary, enough preparation, and a strong motivation to fully recover from all the negative effects of the present condition.

To start, bariatric surgery is any type of surgical procedures that obese patients undergo to significantly lose weight and treat the various health issues accompanied by being obese.

Bariatric surgery is beneficial to obese patients for the following reasons:

  • This procedure reduces the size of the stomach, thereby making the patient eat too lesser amount of food. The patient will feel satiated quickly when eating even with less food.
  • It changes how patients absorb the food that they eat. After bariatric surgery, the food that the patient consumes skips the intestine. This event lessens that calorie amount that is absorbed by the body.

Many obese individuals have benefited from bariatric surgery and this medical method has helped many patients in targeting a number of health issues brought about by being overweight. Compared to other traditional treatment (for example, diet and tablet), bariatric surgery produces higher success rate in reducing the patient’s weight. Most importantly, this medical procedure is the recommended treatment for morbidly obese patients.

Weight Loss: One of the Many Benefits

We have hinted previously that not only can bariatric surgery help patients lose weight but it is beneficial in many ways. With proper post-surgery practices that will sustain weight loss, other benefits of bariatric surgery include the following:

  1. Boosts cardiovascular health – Clinical studies documented that after successful bariatric surgery, cholesterol levels and blood pressure are normalized, thereby decreasing chances of developing heart disease or stroke.
  2. Relieves depression – Obese patient generally become victims of bullying because of their physical appearance. These events eventually lead to low self-degradation and depression. Losing weight after bariatric surgery, improves the emotional state of these individuals.
  3. Eliminates sleeping disorders – Maintaining a healthy weight range after surgery helps patients with sleep apnea to be independent from using a machine when sleeping.
  4. Improves fertility – Bariatric surgery can help improve the patient’s fertility
  5. Helps in the long-term remission of type 2 diabetes – Recent studies have confirmed that bariatric surgery is effective for obese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Other health issues that could be impacted by bariatric surgery:

High Blood Pressure

When the way that you digest food changes, it could help to rid the body of excess fluid and salt. This makes it easier for the heart to pump as it is meant to do. Thus, gastric bypass surgery can have an effect that is similar to that caused by diuretic blood pressure medications. Additionally, other benefits related to blood pressure have been linked to weight loss. Ultimately, this means that undergoing bariatric surgery could benefit your blood pressure in multiple ways.

Another benefit is that with time, bariatric surgery aids in decreasing excess body weight. This reduces the degree of work required of your heart in order to circulate blood throughout the body.

High Cholesterol

Gastric bypass alters the flow of nutrients that pass through the digestive system. This can affect cholesterol levels, regardless of the fact that weight loss may take place.

Bariatric surgery can improve cholesterol synthesis, even as it decreases LDL cholesterol levels.


Gastric bypass is recognized as a powerful treatment for diabetes, and often, the positive results are immediate. In fact, the effects can be so powerful that some patients are able to stop taking their diabetes medicine before returning home from the hospital.

By altering the anatomy of your gastrointestinal system, a gastric bypass procedure may have an effect on the production of intestinal hormones. The body can become insulin resistant, and the hemoglobin levels in the body may normalize.

In some cases, long-term remission of type 2 diabetes may be possible. This type of surgery can be highly effective for patients who are obese and who have type 2 diabetes. Having the surgery may allow patients to remain free of insulin for a minimum of three years after the surgery.

Sleep Apnea

Obesity is one of the top factors associated with obstructive sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, the soft tissues that are in your throat will collapse periodically. This leads to periodic lapses in your breathing.

Individuals who are considerably overweight generally have excess fatty tissue in the upper airways. This excess tissue can make such people more susceptible to developing sleep apnea. When you drop weight, the fatty tissue in the upper airways is reduced. This decrease in fatty tissue can make it easier for the airways stay open.

People who have bariatric surgery performed may experience such a decrease in sleep apnea that they are able to stop using their continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. This lessening of the condition may not only improve the quality of sleep – it could actually benefit overall health.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is the result of a backflow of stomach acid that makes its way into the esophagus, which is the tube that transports food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach. The gastric bypass procedure strengthens the valve that is located between the stomach and the esophagus. This action serves to block the acidic backflow, consequently enabling the esophagus to heal. The surgery is so effective at combating the problem of acid reflux that numerous patients experience relief within only a few days after having surgery.

Joint Tissues and Osteoarthritis

Too much weight can lead to joint damage. This damage may result in swelling of certain parts of the body, including the ankles, knees, back, and hips. When you start losing weight, pressure is taken off of the joints. Subsequently, swelling and pain may decrease significantly.

Urinary Incontinence

When patients begin to lose weight after bariatric surgery, urinary stress incontinence can often be greatly controlled. This may be due to less pressure from weight pushing at the sides and the top of the bladder.


Being overweight may cause depression for a variety of reasons. The social stigma associated with obesity can have an impact on the way that you feel about yourself. You may find it difficult to participate in some of the activities that would otherwise make you happy. Many people who are overweight suffer from feelings of isolation and hopelessness, and they may seek treatment for depression. Losing excess weight can have a noticeably positive impact on the emotional health of such patients.

Experience the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery and Weight Loss

By electing to have bariatric surgery, you could experience a wide range of health benefits. Weight loss is just one of the effects of having this surgery performed. If you are considering bariatric weight loss surgery, you should only use a reputable bariatric surgeon. Dr. Arif Ahmad is an accomplished surgeon with a long history of success. He has been named a Surgeon of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and he is known for being one of the best surgeons in the Long Island area. Contact Dr. Ahmad’s office at 631-689-0220, or reach us via our easy online contact form.