Significantly better quality of life after bariatric surgery

With or without bariatric surgery, there are a lot of social factors affected by weight loss. They can be simple things such as being able to buy clothes off the rack or more profound quality-of-life scores.

In addition to substantial weight loss, studies have shown patients who undergo bariatric surgery experience a long-lasting and significantly better quality of life.

With or without bariatric surgery, there are a lot of social factors affected by weight loss. They can be simple things such as being able to buy clothes off the rack or more profound quality-of-life scores.

In questionnaires given before and after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomies and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgeries, patients have reported significantly higher scores for quality of life, body image and general self-efficacy after their procedures.

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Both weight loss and amelioration of comorbidities contribute to the postsurgical improvement in quality of life, according to one study. One common comorbidity is Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A review of research found that diabetes remission is achieved at a much higher rate through bariatric surgery than any nonsurgical intervention.

“In other words, while bariatric surgery is not the sole existing therapy for T2DM, it is by far the most effective available ‘curative’ option for T2DM,” the study concluded. Other comorbidities potentially resolved by bariatric surgery include hypertension and sleep apnea. Lung function and functional capacity also are increased.

Bariatric surgery also can improve a patient’s sex life. In one study, women who underwent either a sleeve gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass reported an increase in desire and improved sexual activity after surgery. They also experienced a decrease in urinary incontinence and an overall improvement in quality of life.

Dr. Allen is director, bariatric surgery, Norton Weight Management Services; general, bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon, Norton Surgical Specialists


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