Weight loss surgery, in various forms, is quickly becoming one of the most common types of surgery. It has revolutionized the way people lose weight, but some are saying that it is a cop out and that people no longer understand their own responsibilities in staying healthy because they presume they will just get the surgery. But what exactly are the pros and cons of weight loss surgery in terms of health and weight loss?
The Advantages of Weight Loss Surgery
There are various clear benefits that can be obtained by going through weight loss surgery. For the medical community, the biggest benefit is the cost efficiency. Although the surgery and recovery are expensive, it is incredibly cheap when compared to the possible financial costs of being overweight. People who are overweight have a bigger chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and various other health problems, and these cost a lot of money. For those who go through the surgery, the greatest benefit is the speed with which they lose weight.
After weight loss surgery, most people lose weight for 18-24 months. Some conditions, such as diabetes, can improve quickly.
These are important advantages and for many people, these weigh heavier than the disadvantages of the surgery. After all, although it is painful and uncomfortable and not without it risks, it means that weight loss and better health is achieved very rapidly, particularly if people can then become committed to leading a healthy lifestyle after that.
The Disadvantages of Weight Loss Surgery
There are many disadvantages to this type of surgery, however. One big disadvantage is that, without the proper commitment from those who have gone through it to lead a healthy lifestyle after surgery, a lot of the lost weight will actually return. This means that the money spent will have been completely wasted. Additionally, a lot of people see it as a quick fix solution that doesn’t encourage people to lead healthy lifestyles before getting to a point where they need surgery in order to survive.
Patients with binge eating disorder may continue this disordered eating behavior postoperatively, resulting in surgical failure initially or eventual weight regain. Active depression or other significant psychological disorders may result in similarly poor outcomes.
There are various other concerns as well. Some believe that weight loss surgery has been a knee-jerk reaction to the current obesity epidemic. Indeed, the demand for this type of surgery is so great that there are currently not enough surgeons to meet this demand. A real danger is that the majority of people who go through this surgery are reasonably young and therefore still have a long life expectancy, but no data exists yet on how this type of surgery affects old age.
Health and Weight Loss – Surgery or Not?
There are a few importance facts to consider. Most people who are offered weight loss surgery have to lose a significant amount of weight before being considered for the procedure, often because they would otherwise not be able to go under the anesthetic. This means that they actually are capable of losing weight through their own efforts. Additionally, being thin – or at least losing weight – does not necessarily mean being healthy. Those who wish to be healthy have to commit to eating the right things, exercising regularly and changing their relationship with food and their sedentary lifestyles. Most people would agree that there are situations in which weight loss surgery is a life-saving necessity, but that it should not be seen as an easy way to lose weight quickly. This is sending out the wrong message to those who are working hard at doing it themselves.