9 interesting facts about weight loss surgery

Health benefits of the weight loss surgery exceed ordinary weight loss. According to the Cleveland Clinic,"bariatric surgery often improves high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain and type 2 diabetes."

Source: Pexels.

Weight loss surgery is a means of getting rid of the excess fat, and the trend is here to stay because of the overall benefits people experience after years of high consumption of processed food and a sedentary lifestyle.

Medical professionals introduced the weight loss surgery as an effective way to reduce weight gain and counter obesity.

As a result, the global bariatric surgery devices market is estimated at USD$879.7 million in 2017 with an expected growth of 9.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2018-2023.

Obesity Facts

Since 1975, the worldwide obesity level has nearly tripled.

Currently, most of the world’s population live in countries where obesity and overweight kill faster than many diseases, based on stats from the World Health Organization.

On August of 2017, stateofobesity.org published new data about the obesity rates in the United States.

“According to the most recent data, adult obesity rates now exceed 35 percent in five states, 30 percent in 25 states, and 25 percent in 46 states,” as noted on their website. (click here to see full map features)

Image of Adult Obesity Rate 2016 - State of Obesity in the United States.
Source: stateofobesity.org/adult-obesity

For adults, WHO defines overweight and obesity as follows:

  • overweight is a BMI higher than or equal to 25; and
  • obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

West Virginia has the highest adult obesity rate at 37.7 percent, and Colorado has the lowest at 22.3 percent.

In the United States, an approximate of 200,000 adults undergo weight loss surgery every year.

Health Benefits

Health benefits of the weight loss surgery exceed ordinary weight loss.

Bariatric surgery often improves high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain and type 2 diabetes,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Besides, there is a general improvement of the cardiovascular health even as weight loss surgery dramatically decreases or minimizes a person’s risk of contracting or developing coronary heart disease, stroke, and another peripheral heart disease.

Success Rates

The success rates of the weight loss surgeries are approximately 85% five years after surgery, having helped millions of people maintain their weight loss.

A major part of the weight loss happens within a calendar year.

Based on an article posted on Renew Bariatrics, the success rates of weight loss surgery are:

  • Bypass 85-90%
  • Sleeve 85%
  • Banding 50%
  • Duodenal switch 95%
Who Tops the List?

A WHO report from 2007 found 9 out of 10 adults in American Samoa were overweight or obese.

Mortality rates

The study “Quick fix or long-term cure? Pros and cons of bariatric surgery,”, states that the mortality rates are about 0.1% and serious early complication rates 5%.

Costs of Surgery

In a price survey conducted in 2015, the average cost of gastric bypass surgery is US$25,571.

The pricing range in the United States is US$15,000 to US$35,000. This price varies by state. (Obesity Coverage, 2017).

In the Dominican Republic, the cost for a gastric bypass Roux-en-Y is between US$12,200 and US$14,000.

The sleeve gastrectomy ranges US$11,200 and US$12,900. A lap band varies between US$9,200 and US$10,700.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

There are two types of weight-loss surgery: restrictive and malabsorptive.

For instance, the gastric sleeve surgery is a restrictive type of operation where the surgeon removes almost 80% of the patient’s stomach, with just a tube or sleeve remaining.

Image of a vertical sleeve gastrectomy
Source: https://www.bariatric-surgery-source.com/gastric-sleeve-vs-bypass.html

Operation time is about to two hours, and it results in losing 65% of excess body weight within the first 12 months after the surgery.

On the other hand, the gastric bypass is a combined restrictive and malabsorptive type of surgery, in which the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch to curb the intake of food by stapling a part of the stomach.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass image.
Source: https://www.bariatric-surgery-source.com/laparoscopic-gastric-bypass-surgery.html#procedure


According to Bariatric Surgery Source, “most surgeons and insurance companies follow the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)” which set two minimal requirements to qualify for gastric bypass surgery:

  • Body mass index of 40 or more and;
  • Have a BMI between 35 and 39.9 and have a serious obesity-related health problem
Improved Quality of Life

Quality of life and positive social changes arise as a result of weight loss surgery.

Science Daily researched that bariatric surgery patients reported better relationships with family and friends. After surgery, and a decrease in depression.

“This provides evidence that overcoming the stigma of being overweight, as reflected by negative reactions of others, can lead to greater satisfaction among relationships with family and friends, and in social life in general,” said Doris A. Palmer, co-author of the paper and a doctoral student in the School of Social and Family Dynamics sociology program at Arizona State University.

Up to 95% of patients see an overall improvement.