The Bariatric Juggernaut

By Steve Barrett
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Few single procedures or treatments can boast bariatric surgery’s track record for improving or resolving multiple medical conditions. Overwhelming clinical data point to the effectiveness of weight-loss surgery in treating not only obesity but a host of comorbidities.

Lifesaving Outcomes

Bariatric surgery is associated with reduced mortality from a range of conditions linked to obesity. Those reductions include:

  • Type 2 diabetes: 92%
  • Cancer: 60%
  • Coronary artery disease: 56%

Staving off Comorbidities

Bariatric surgery resolves a number of comorbidities for significant percentages of patients.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea 83.6%
  • Type 2 diabetes 76.8%
  • Hypertension 61.7%

An Emphasis on Safety

Laparoscopic approaches, enhanced surgical techniques and accreditation programs by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the American College of Surgeons are considered key reasons for the improved safety of bariatric procedures.

Comparative mortality risk:

  • 0.1% Bariatric surgery
  • 0.7% Gallbladder surgery
  • 0.93% Hip replacement

The Waiting Game

In 2006, the average bariatric surgery patient waited 86 days after his or her first clinic visit to undergo the procedure. The wait had risen to 159 days by 2016.