Everything You Need to Know About Gastric Bypass
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Many people think losing weight is a numbers game, that you need to count calories to lose weight. However, even if you’re counting calories and limiting what you eat, you might not lose weight.
If you can’t lose weight no matter how hard you try, have weight-related health problems, or meet certain guidelines, you might qualify for gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass could be your answer to weight loss and better health – here’s why it might be a great choice for you.
Gastric Bypass Can Help You Lose Weight
You’re practically guaranteed to lose weight when you undergo a successful bariatric surgery procedure. Gastric bypass surgery physically reduces the size of your stomach. After the surgery, you won’t need to eat much to feel full. In fact, if you eat too much, you risk vomiting. WebMD reports most people are close to their goal weight within 12 to 18 months.
There’s significant evidence that gastric bypass surgery can help people keep the weight off for good. It’s a great tool, but it’s no magic pill. Patients who have the treatment must take steps to continue to eat healthy and exercise to manage their weight for the rest of their lives.
Your Insurance Plan Might Cover the Surgery
Obesity Coverage explains that the average cost of gastric bypass surgery is $23,000. Paying that fee out of pocket is impossible for many people. Fortunately, most insurance companies are starting to cover this type of surgery. In some states, insurance carriers are legally required to cover the procedure if an individual qualifies.
If you wonder whether your insurance covers gastric bypass surgery, check your policy. Most often, the inclusion occurs at the policy, not the company, level. For example, a PPO is more likely to cover bariatric surgery than an HMO.
Medicaid also usually covers weight loss surgery. It might be worth it to switch to a different insurance carrier if yours won’t pay for the procedure.
Remission of Type 2 Diabetes
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, gastric bypass can improve many health problems associated with obesity. A Cleveland Clinic study found the procedure can bring about the remission of type 2 diabetes even in people who’ve had trouble managing the disease.
Almost every patient who has type 2 diabetes and undergoes bariatric surgery is able to stop administering insulin for at least three years after the procedure.
Reduce the Amount of Medication You Take
Many people who struggle with obesity have health problems other than type 2 diabetes, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hormonal imbalances
- Sleep apnea
Weight loss surgery reduces your risk of heart problems. It can improve your cholesterol levels, according to a study published in Diabete Care, even if you’ve had trouble regulating them in the past. People who are at unhealthy weights can improve their quality of life by undergoing the procedure. They can even extend their longevity.
One of the most significant findings may be that people who were reliant on medications for their health conditions before the surgery no longer need to take drugs to maintain their health. Research published in the International Journal of General Medicine shows gastric bypass can reduce the need for medications that treat:
- Type 2 Diabetes
Improved Fertility for Women
After bariatric surgery, many women experience an increase in fertility and sexual function. Hormone imbalances that inhibit fertility are modified after the surgery, and pregnancy rates tend to increase. One factor to note is that because absorption through the intestinal tract is reduced after surgery, oral contraceptives may not be effective in preventing pregnancy in patients who have undergone gastric bypass.
Consider Gastric Bypass for Yourself
If you think you might be a good candidate for gastric bypass, consider discussing the benefits and dangers with your doctor. The surgery is known to be relatively safe, but any type of medical procedure has inherent risks. There’s no reason to rush into the decision; ensuring that the advantages outweigh the hazards is vital before undergoing a major type of treatment like this.
Like anything, it's always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.