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Does Bariatric Surgery Increase Life Expectancy In Obese Patients?

The ever-increasing obesity rates in modern society have brought with them a range of health issues, from osteoarthritis, to hypertension, to diabetes.  Most people living with obesity report a lower quality of life due to the extra weight, but along with an increase in many serious health conditions, reduced life expectancy is also on the list.  One question many people ask is if obesity can reduce life expectancy, can bariatric surgery increase it?

Life Expectancy and Morbid Obesity

A copy of The Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, reported that morbid obesity is connected to decreased life expectancy.  The term “morbid obesity” is used when a person has a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40.  One statistic claims that a male in his 20s with a BMI higher than 45.82, will have a life expectancy that is 13 years shorter than someone with a normal BMI.

There is also the matter of comorbid conditions or “comorbidities” when it comes to obesity.  These refer to conditions that develop in addition to the initial diagnosis.  Comorbid conditions for obesity include serious and even life threatening conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and increased risk of stroke.  Any of these conditions has the potential to shorten life expectancy.

Results of an 11-Year Study

As reported in a copy of Renal & Urology News, one lengthy study led by David Arterburn, M.D., M.P.H., of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle seems to suggest that bariatric surgery can increase life expectancy in obese patients.  The study followed 2,500 obese patients that had bariatric surgery during the years 2000 to 2011.  The group was 74% male, with an average age of 52 and average BMI of 47.

They also kept tabs on 7,462 patients of similar age and size that didn’t have a bariatric procedure.  Over the next 14 years, deaths from both groups from any cause were recorded.  Of the 2,500 in the bariatric surgery group, 263 patients died from any cause.  This compares with 1,277 deaths in the group that had no procedure.

Digging a little deeper, the team estimated the five-year death rate for surgical patients was 6.4 percent and the 10-year death rate was 13.8 percent.  Among the non-surgical patients, the five-year death rate was 10.4 percent and 10-year death rate was 23.9 percent.  Dr. Arterburn has since stated, “patients with severe obesity can have greater confidence that bariatric surgical procedures are associated with better long-term survival than not having surgery.”

The “What-If” Factor

It’s important to mention the “what-ifs” you could have avoided by deciding to have bariatric surgery.  The information from the studies is there for all to see, but having a bariatric procedure could improve your life expectancy far more than the averages shown in a study.

What if you chose not to have surgery, developed corona artery disease, and had a heart attack in two years?  What if you ended up on your back for an extended period and developed pneumonia?  What if you lost your balance and fell down a flight of stairs?  Patients usually lose about 50 percent of their weight after bariatric surgery.  This reduces your chances of developing major health issues related to obesity, and encountering unforeseen events that may lead to an even earlier death.

If you’re serious about exploring the bariatric procedures offered at the New York Bariatric Group then contact us today at 800-633-8446. You can also register for a free informational seminar by visiting this page.



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What our patients are saying

“The staff and doctors at the New York Bariatric Group are amazing! They are always patient, helpful, and very understanding and pro-active with questions, problems, etc. After Lap Band surgery I feel fantastic. For the last 6 years I have not had to worry if my clothes would fit. I have been able to maintain my weight loss, and have so much more energy.”

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"Dr. Holover has a great personality, I love him, I consider him a good friend, and I recommend him to everyone. He and his staff are amazing. I thought my recovery would be worse, but it wasn’t. It was great. After a couple of days I was back on my feet and going, with three boys you don’t have time to be down. Now, my kids have to keep up with me!"

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"My results are incredible; I can go to any store and find clothes that fit, I don’t have to go to the big and tall store anymore. My family and friends say I look great, but more so are so happy about my health. Definitely go for it, it is well worth it."

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"My recovery was very easy, I started moving around pretty quick because the nurses had me up and about. Dr. Angstadt has a great bedside manner, a cheerful disposition and is very knowledgeable. He was genuinely concerned for me, he answered all of my questions and put me at ease. I couldn’t be happier, I think it is the best decision I ever made."

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"I was concerned about my health, my blood pressure, cholesterol, my mobility, my flexibility. A few friends told me about NYBG and I went to a seminar. I wanted to live a healthier life and live a long life. My recovery was great, after a week I was 100%. My doctor, Dr. Sekhar, has the best personality in the world."

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"I had a couple of friends who had bariatric surgery done by Dr. Garber a few years back and I decided to make the appointment. My favorite thing about the surgery is not being able to eat that much, eating whatever I want but in smaller portions. My results are amazing"

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*Individual results may vary.

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