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How Corrective Bariatric Surgery Could Save Millions of Lives

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The history of bariatric surgery is fascinating. It originated from the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery that was meant to cure stomach ulcers. The surgery involved cutting out most of the stomach, leaving out a small part that would then be joined with the small intestine. Dr. Edward Mason conducted the operation on an overweight lady in 1966, and this resulted in her losing weight. It was from this one case that bariatric surgery was born. The good doctor continued offering his services to other overweight people, but the wave of the weight loss surgery did not catch on until later in the 90s. At this time, doctors discovered that the procedure could be carried out laparoscopically, which meant that the surgery was safer. Today, it is possible to carry out this type of surgery, and if it does not work, corrective surgery can be done to improve what was initially done. In this article, we discuss how this type of surgery can save lives today.

Why do Patients Revise Bariatric Surgery

Sometimes, after bariatric surgery has been performed, you will find that a patient needs to have the surgery redone. This happens because there is a small percentage of these patients who relapse, usually after several years. One of the reasons that may lead to a revision includes weight regains. Over the years, some patients regain the weight as a result of personal and lifestyle changes. You may restore the weight as a result of having children, changes in eating habits, stress at home or work, or as a result of leading a more sedentary lifestyle. As a result of these changes, an individual may need to have the procedure carried out again. Also, some patients gain weight as a result of anatomical factors. For instance, the stomach may stretch out, causing the individual to eat more than he/she was before the surgery. This stretching of the stomach is expected over time, and this is a common reason why patients need a revision. Also, patients may have an enlarged gastric opening and a slipped gastric band that promote the gain of weight. Other anatomic changes that could result in the need for corrective bariatric surgery is the formation of a fistula between the stomach that has been bypassed by the pouch and leaking staple lines.

There are also medical complications and unresolved medical problems that could lead to the need for a revision of the gastric surgery that was already done. They include complications resulting from scar tissue that may prevent sufficient food passage into the digestive tract, inability to absorb iron, and the inability to improve on some or all comorbidities after gastric surgery.

How corrective gastric surgery could save lives

Studies have shown that bariatric surgery could be useful in the long-term in terms of cost as well as management of overweight and obesity. This surgery was successfully able to reduce lifetimes risks associated with overweight such as diabetes, heart disease. As a result, the operation results in an extended life expectancy and improved quality of life. For instance, patients would be expected to gain up to 3.7 more years of life if they had diabetes, and they gain up to 3.4 years of life if they have developed diabetes over 20 years.

Additionally, gastric surgery leads to cost savings at both a personal level and national levels. The UK national service estimates that weight loss surgery could lead to reduced average health costs compared with usual care. If a patient does not handle their overweight or obesity through surgery, they will likely be grappling with issues such as diabetes and heart disease that will require them to spend money. In the long term, these costs are higher than the price of a single bariatric surgery. A revision surgery happens after several years, which means that the initial surgery will have still served its purpose, and the latter one will continue to reduce these risks. Also, with this type of surgery, fewer patients will develop cancer. This type of surgery could also prevent up to 5,000 heart attacks, 80,000 high blood pressure cases, and 40,000 type-2 diabetes cases in 4 years.

What can be done?

Even though a significant demographic could benefit from this type of surgery, very few people take this option. To find out more about this gastric surgery and how you can benefit from the surgery, you can look through resources online and speak to your doctor. Also, understand that different countries are working to put in place policies that will allow more people to get this kind of surgery.

Corrective bariatric surgery can be done as a result of many factors. However, this type of surgery can help improve life expectancy, help deal with weight-related issues, and prevent the development of weight-related problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

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