Weight Loss Surgery: A
by Jamie Clark
weight loss surgery? You're not alone. Over two-thirds of
Americans are overweight or obese. Many are looking for ways to
lower their bodyweight and enjoy a healthier, more active
lifestyle. A fast surgical procedure seems like a great option.
But, for the vast majority of people, weight loss surgery should
be a last resort.
Jamie Clark is
editor of fitFAQ.com, one of the Web's top fitness information
sites. Learn more about healthy weight loss option by visiting
One of the most common types of weight loss surgery is
liposuction, a procedure that removes excess fat from the
waistline. Thousands of people - mostly women - undergo
liposuction surgery every year. For many, it appears to be a
much easier alternative to diet and exercise. Yet recent studies
show that removing abdominal fat with liposuction provides
almost none of the health benefits of "normal" weight loss:
lowered levels of blood sugar, insulin and inflammation-related
biomarkers, not to mention increased cardiovascular fitness,
improved muscle tone, stronger bones, etc.
Another little-known problem with liposuction weight loss
surgery: over 40% of patients regain the weight they lose from
the procedure. Why? Simply because they make no healthy
lifestyle changes. Some even believe that they can exercise less
and eat more now that they have fewer abdominal fat cells.
Obviously this isn't true and thousands of people find that out
the hard way.
Other types of weight loss surgery are designed for the severely
obese - generally those people with a body mass index (BMI) of
40 or higher. These surgeries, which include gastric bypass and
various "banding" and "stapling" procedures, have helped many
formerly-obese people enjoy a higher-quality of life. However,
all of these operations involve a considerable amount of risk.
Some of the risks associated with weight loss surgery include:
Death - According to the Mayo Clinic, about one in 200 to 300
people who has gastric bypass surgery dies from the procedure.
Post-surgery complications - Some weight loss surgery patients
experience severe complications such as internal bleeding,
infections, and blood clots. Others have to undergo follow-up
procedures to correct complications such as abdominal hernias.
Gallstones - More than a third of patients develop gallstones as
a result of losing large amounts of bodyweight following a
weight loss surgery procedure.
Nutrient deficiencies - Some weight loss surgeries disrupt the
digestion process. Without careful dietary supplementation this
can lead to deficiencies in many important nutrients, especially
vitamins B12 and D, iron, calcium, and folate.
Anyone considering weight loss surgery needs to weigh the risks
against the benefits. They also need to realize that these
extreme procedures are not cosmetic. Most patients only end up
losing about 30% of their bodyweight and remain overweight for
life. Simply put, weight loss surgery alone will not make you
thin and beautiful. Yes, if you are extremely overweight, it may
provide tremendous health benefits. But if you're just looking
for a way to get thin without the "hassles" of healthy diet and
regular exercise you better think again.
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