Beyond a Slimmer Body: The Many Health Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

There’s little doubt that losing excess pounds can positively impact the way you feel about your appearance. And bariatric surgery can be a very effective tool in helping you achieve your weight loss goals, so you can finally claim that slimmer body you crave.

Dr. St. Laurent is a gifted bariatric surgeon who has been helping individuals in the Houston area achieve their weight loss dreams for two decades. He enjoys celebrating their successes and seeing them appreciate the new bodies their hard work helped create.

As a physician, Dr. St. Laurent is also greatly appreciative of the many health benefits his patients experience with weight loss accomplished through bariatric surgery. He understands the dramatic change his patients note in the mirror often means a healthier, longer, more vibrant life for them overall.

The ways that weight loss after bariatric surgery can improve your health include:

1. Relief from depression.

One of the common side effects of obesity is depression that’s caused by poor body image and social isolation.

Your emotional self can suffer when your weight dampens your desire to join friends for a Saturday night out or an afternoon barbecue at the neighbor’s house.

When you’re significantly overweight, it’s also physically difficult to participate in activities you might enjoy. This leaves you sitting on the sidelines while friends participate in a spontaneous basketball game or spend an afternoon boating on the river.

Shedding those excess pounds can improve your self-confidence and self-esteem, make it possible for you to join in social activities, and help you overcome your sense of isolation.

2. Improved cardiovascular health.

Successful weight loss with bariatric surgery decreases your risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack.

Weight loss also reduces your chance of experiencing peripheral artery disease (PAD). This circulatory problem can cause pain and fatigue in the affected limbs, most often the legs, and make it hard to climb even a short flight of stairs.

3. Type 2 diabetes remission.

Weight loss often leads to much better blood sugar control. Many patients find they can stop their Type 2 diabetes medications altogether once they’ve reached their ideal weight after bariatric surgery. If you maintain the weight loss and otherwise follow a healthy diet, you may remain medication-free for years. Never stop a medication without checking with your doctor first, however.

4. Elimination of obstructive sleep apnea.

Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea, which can cause you to stop breathing for brief periods when you’re sleeping.  

Achieving a healthier weight can eliminate this disorder, and that means you won’t need to use a bulky CPAP machine to help keep your airways open as you sleep.

5. Improved musculoskeletal health.

Excessive weight stresses and strains your joints, muscles, and tendons, especially your knees, hips, ankles, and lower back. This can cause significant joint damage and lead to chronic pain disorders.

Losing a significant amount of weight with bariatric surgery relieves the pressure on your joints.

Weight loss also makes it easier to perform the physical activity your joints and muscles require to remain healthy, flexible, and strong.

6. Improve your blood pressure.

Some patients who take medications for high blood pressure can decrease the dose or even stop their meds after significant weight loss. Again, however, never stop a medication or change the dose without checking with your physician.

7. Improve fertility during childbearing years and reduce risks of complications during pregnancy.

For women, obesity can interfere with hormone levels that are essential for conception and maintaining a full-term, healthy pregnancy. Excessive weight can also lead to heart disease, diabetes, and other medical issues that can create serious physical issues during pregnancy. Men also experience drops in testosterone when they’re obese, which decreases fertility.  

Bariatric surgery is certainly not a magic wand that can wave away obesity. You’ll still have to follow a nutritious diet, control your portion sizes, and exercise regularly to achieve the results you desire.

But it will help you feel full faster, and the rapid weight loss that’s possible after surgery is often highly motivating. You’ll also find that our team of nutrition and exercise experts at Northwest EndoSurgical are willing to support you during your weight loss efforts after your surgery.

If you’d like to learn more about bariatric surgery and its health benefits, call our office or click the button to schedule an appointment with Dr. St. Laurent.

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