What are the benefits of weight loss surgery?

Sigi P. Joseph, MD
Bariatric Medicine
A benefit of weight loss surgery is that you will lose a significant amount of weight. Such weight loss procedures can also help some diseases go away or help you keep them under control. They include:
  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • acid reflux
  • sleep apnea
  • arthritis
Some of these conditions, if untreated, may lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, or other serious conditions. Weight loss surgery can serious reduce your cardiovascular risk, thus providing you with a longer life.
Weight loss surgery can also help reduce your risk of certain cancers. 
The health benefits of weight loss surgery go well beyond losing weight and having more energy. In this video, surgeon Richard Gordon, MD, of Largo Medical Center, explains how bariatric surgery improves diseases like diabetes, arthritis and more.
Weight loss surgery can help with diseases that you may have now, as well as prevent obesity-related diseases in the future. In this video, surgeon Robyn Ache, DO, of Largo Medical Center, explains the health advantages of weight loss surgery.
Weight loss surgery provides a valuable tool for success. In this video, surgeon Tiffany Jessee, DO, of Largo Medical Center, describes improvements patients can expect in their overall health following weight loss surgery.
Weight loss surgery helps improve the quality of your life, decreases certain health problems and medical costs, and helps you live longer. After the first 30 pounds come off, people are able to stop taking medications and feel energy that they have not had in years. My patients have also said that weight loss surgery has helped them be able to:
  • cross their legs
  • bend over to tie their shoes
  • shop for regular sizes in the store
  • sit on a roller coaster
  • play on the floor with their kids
  • walk without being winded
Losing weight with bariatric surgery is not just cosmestic -- it can help improve health conditions related to obesity. In this video, surgeon Dilendra Weerasinghe, MD, of Fawcett Memorial Hospital, outlines the benefits. 
Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

The number one benefit of weight loss surgery is weight loss.

  • Gastric bypass surgery causes an average loss of 61% of excess weight.
  • Gastric banding surgery causes slightly less -- an average of 47% of excess weight lost.

Improvements in general health are also common. Obesity-related medical conditions usually improve or even go away after weight loss surgery, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Severe arthritis
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
About 95% of people report improved quality of life after weight loss surgery. Some studies also suggest people live longer after weight loss surgery, compared to equally obese people who do not have surgery.
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
Weight loss surgery may reduce many of your serious medical conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, sleep apnea, and gastric reflux disease. Patients whom undergo bariatric surgery often have incredible weight loss and have a great reduction in systemic medical conditions. Some diabetics and hypertensive patients may eventually be taken off their specific medications.
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
When a patient undergoes weight loss surgery, the benefits can be immediate especially for those with diabetes. Blood pressure, blood sugar, and even cholesterol levels often become normalized. Sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux often improve or resolve. Weight loss is rapid and generally continues provided that the patient is compliant with his or her diet and exercise regimen.

Although in the past doctors thought that diabetes improved or was cured due to the dramatic weight loss, many patients have been able to stop their medications before they even leave the hospital so that cannot be the whole story. There is ongoing research to help explain this phenomenon, which may help doctors come up with potential cures for diabetes.

What we do know is that for some people weight loss surgery can be life saving. However, it is not without risk. Those who have surgery must adopt dietary changes and an exercise program for life. They also need to be faithful when it comes to taking their vitamins. That is why it is so important that prior to surgery patients undergo psychological evaluation, exercise and nutritional education and training and understand that this is a lifetime commitment.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
What's amazing about weight loss surgery is that changes in risk factors like hypertension, cholesterol, and especially diabetes start immediately in the days after surgery—before the significant weight loss even starts. (I know, this sounds like a tabloid headline: Drop Your Cholesterol in Half! By 3 P.M.!).

Why? Your body—the smart little devil that it is—senses that the trend of weight gain or loss is more important than your actual body weight; for these risk factors, it's not necessarily your waist size or how much you weigh that influences the risks, but which direction your body is heading. Again and again, I've seen patients discontinue their insulin and hypertension drugs one month or less after surgery.

Right after you undergo a bariatric procedure, your body starts behaving the way a normal body might behave, such as regulating the ghrelin (hungry hormone) and leptin (feel-full hormone) cycle to signal satiety and appetite. One patient told her surgeon that she was sure that he had operated on her brain, not her stomach, because the voice that continually told her she was hungry was turned off for the very first time in her life. Weight loss surgery may also work by decreasing markers of inflammation in your blood (like C-reactive protein) almost immediately. No matter the mechanisms, the effects are clear—and they happen quickly.
You, on a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

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You, on a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

Drs Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz, authors of the million-copy bestseller 'YOU: The Owner's Manual', have devised a diet that is so effective you'll notice changes in your body immediately....

Continue Learning about Weight Loss Procedures and Surgeries

Weight Loss Procedures and Surgeries

Weight Loss Procedures and Surgeries

Weight loss surgery procedures, including liposuction, gastric bypass, gastric botox and Lap Band surgery are viable options for those needing help with excessive weight loss. But they aren't without their risks. Weight loss surge...

ry procedures should only be performed on individuals for whom regular diet, exercise and medication didn't prove effective. Check out the answers below for more information on how weight loss surgery has advanced over time and which one might be best for you.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.