Research shows that having a healthy weight can bring wonderful health benefits. At South Nassau, our patients average up to 80 percent loss of excess weight — and they keep the weight off for years after surgery. Those are encouraging results, but that’s just the beginning.
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Patients enjoy a broad range of health improvements after bariatric surgery:
- High blood pressure
At least 70 percent of patients who have high blood pressure, and who are taking medications to control it, are able to stop all medications and have a normal blood pressure, usually within two to three months after surgery. When medications are still required, their dosage can be lowered, with reduction of side effects.
- High blood cholesterol
Over 80 percent of patients will develop normal cholesterol levels within two to three months after weight loss surgery.
- Heart disease
Although we can't say definitively that risk for heart disease is reduced, the improvement in problems such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes certainly suggests that a reduction is very likely.
- Diabetes mellitus
There is no medical treatment for diabetes that can achieve as complete and profound an effect as weight loss surgery — which has led some physicians to suggest that surgery may be the best treatment for diabetes, in overweight patients. For example, usually within a few days after surgery, over 90 percent of type 2 diabetics obtain excellent results: normal blood sugar levels, normal hemoglobin A1C values, and freedom from all their medications, including insulin injections.
Most people with asthma find that they have fewer and less severe attacks, or sometimes none at all. When asthma is associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it improves particularly with bariatric surgeries such as sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass.
- Respiratory insufficiency, or difficulty breathing
Improvement of exercise tolerance and breathing ability usually occurs within the first few months after surgery. Often, patients who have barely been able to walk find that they are able to participate in family activities, even sports activities.
- Sleep apnea
Dramatic relief of sleep apnea occurs as our patients lose weight. Many report that within a year of surgery, their symptoms are completely gone and they have even stopped snoring completely. And their spouses agree.
- Gallbladder disease
For those who have gallbladder disease at the time of the surgery, this condition is "cured" by removing the gallbladder during the operation.
- Low back pain, degenerative disk disease and degenerative joint disease
Patients usually experience considerable relief of pain and disability from degenerative arthritis and disk disease, and from pain in the weight-bearing joints. This tends to occur early, with the first 25-30 pounds lost, usually within about a month after surgery. Of course, if there is nerve irritation or structural damage already present, it may not be reversed by weight loss, and some pain symptoms can persist.
- Stress urinary incontinence, or leakage of urine
This condition responds dramatically to weight loss, usually by becoming completely controlled. A person who is still troubled by incontinence can choose to have specific corrective surgery later, with much greater chance of a successful outcome with a reduced body weight.
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What to Expect
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Center of Excellence
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