13 Reasons Why Bariatric Surgeries Are on the Rise During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of stopping. And it seems the obese are the most affected. Hence, do not delay any more; go for bariatric surgery to come out of the trap of obesity.

According to the CDC, being obese is linked to impaired immune function. That means having a BMI between 35 and 40 and above increases your risk of severe illnesses following infection from COVID-19. Obesity also triples your risk of hospitalization.

With over 98 million obese adults in the U.S. and half the population predicted to be obese by 2030, many are taking matters into their own hands.

Or, rather, they are putting their fate into their surgeon’s hands – weight loss surgeon’s hands, to be more exact.

That’s right. Weight loss surgeries like the gastric sleeve are rising, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are 13 good reasons why.

1- Lockdown Weight Gain Can Become a Health Risk

Some call it quarantine 15, but this cute moniker describes a bodily change that could harm your health.

Between business lockdowns, quarantine mandates, and the need to work from home, we spend more time in isolation. Compound this loneliness with the stress caused by the pandemic, and you have a recipe for weight gain. You may be exercising less and consuming less healthy foods. Meanwhile, you may exert little control over what and how much you eat.

According to WebMD, those who struggle with obesity may find weight gain during the COVID-19 pandemic extra risky to one’s health. Many seek bariatrics, the best way to lose healthy weight fast.

2- Weight Loss Surgery Can Make for a Healthier Pregnancy

Obesity and pregnancy do not mix, making the pandemic the ideal time to consider bariatrics before conceiving.

Experts discovered that pregnancy in women with severe obesity increased the likelihood of pregnancy issues and fetal harm. Mothers risk developing gestational diabetes, hypertension, and complications during labor and delivery.

As for the baby, obesity can put the child at higher risk for congenital disabilities. Mothers are also more likely to experience preterm delivery and pregnancy loss (stillbirth).

Weight loss surgery before becoming pregnant can reduce the risk of complications in pregnant women and comes with a 30% lower risk of congenital disabilities, according to a study published in JAMA.

Experts recommend waiting 12 to 18 months before getting pregnant after bariatric surgery.

3- SMBS Recommends Bariatrics During the Pandemic

There is insufficient information about the link between weight loss surgery and COVID-19. Therefore, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery stated that weight loss surgery should not be considered an elective procedure during the pandemic. Weight loss surgery should instead be seen as medically necessary since bariatric surgery can improve obesity and the associated diseases that can increase the risk for more severe COVID-19 outcomes.

4- Being Overweight/Obese Places You at Risk for Severe Coronavirus Symptoms

An analysis of over 3,000 patients housed at a large academic hospital system in New York City found that COVID-19 patients age 60 or younger with BMIs between 30 and 34 were twice as likely to be admitted to the ICU than non-obese patients.

Obese patients were also more likely to require ventilation once presented with COVID-19 symptoms.

That means that, even if you get infected with COVID-19 after undergoing weight loss surgery, you may be able to breathe a little easier as you quarantine and recover from the virus.

5- Weight Loss Surgery Makes COVID-19 Symptoms Less Severe

The Bariatric and Metabolic Institute revealed that of patients who underwent weight loss surgery before becoming infected with COVID-19, only 18% of participants were hospitalized compared to 48% of non-surgery obese patients.

At the very least, having weight loss surgery can keep you out of the hospital following a novel coronavirus diagnosis.

6- Weight Loss Surgery Patients Have Less Risk of Early Death

A study out of Ontario, Canada, found that bariatric surgery is associated with a lower risk of dying over the long term. The study found that older patients aged 55 years or older had a whopping 48% lower risk of dying when compared with equally matched patients who did not have weight loss surgery.

7- Bariatrics Can Diminish or Eliminate Cardiovascular and Other Comorbidities

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) commonly has links with obesity. Not all obese individuals have diabetes. However, most people with T2D are considered obese.

Being obese means having high adiposity (excess body fat storage). This condition places you at higher risk for many chronic diseases beyond Type 2 Diabetes. These ailments include heart disease, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic).

Weight loss surgery is an excellent way to lose and keep excess weight off. For years, experts have known that weight loss surgery, such as the gastric sleeve, contributes to lower instances of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and abdominal obesity. Bariatric surgery is also the most successful treatment for remission of type 2 diabetes.

All of these ailments can make a COVID-19 infection far more dangerous. Having weight loss surgery can eliminate T2D and other obesity-related ailments, thus making you healthier and your immune system stronger.

8- More Focus Than Ever is on Safety

Masks, social distancing, PPE equipment, and constant sanitation of equipment and exam/operating rooms ensure your Safety when visiting your local bariatric surgery center. This is when everyone is being more vigilant than ever to keep safe. We are not only concerned with our Safety but also the Safety of our families. For that reason, you can guarantee that the center you choose will put your Safety first. You can be extra vigilant when seeking weight loss surgery during the pandemic by asking the bariatric center about their COVID-19 protocols, a list of steps the practice intends to take to enhance everyone’s Safety in the face of the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus.

9- Bariatric Patients Take Fewer Prescriptions

A recent landmark study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that patients with mild to moderate obesity who underwent weight loss surgery could control their blood pressure and required fewer or no medications than non-surgery patients.

The three-year study found that 73% of bariatric surgery patients could take 30% less or more of their antihypertensive medication while maintaining a blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg. Only 11% of non-surgery patients could do the same during the study.

53% of weight loss surgery patients achieved complete remission of their high blood pressure without the need for continued medications. Only 2% of non-surgery patients experienced the same type of remission.

10- Weight Loss Surgery Patients Pay Less for the Medicines They Need

We could all use more money during the closedowns. Saving on prescriptions is a great way to put more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Researchers followed a study of 210 adults with obesity and diabetes or hypertension for six months. The study found that weight loss surgery reduced spending on diabetes and high blood pressure medication.

The costs were substantially lowered, with diabetes medications going from $224.60 to $70.25. This reduced the hypertension medication costs from $71.02 to $47.07 following bariatrics. How’s that for health care savings?

11- Bariatric Surgeries Are Safer Than Ever

Bariatric surgery is one of the safest surgeries you could ever undergo. Surgeries like the sleeve gastrectomy come with low complication rates. Surgical intervention rates after the gastric sleeve are also lower when compared to other weight loss surgeries. That means you’re less likely to end up needing a surgical correction in the hospital when you opt for this popular bariatric procedure.

Choosing an experienced bariatric surgeon is also key to having a complication-free experience during the coronavirus pandemic.

12- Virtual Consultations & Follow-Ups Are Available

COVID-19 has changed the way many of us do business. Bariatric surgery centers are not immune to these changes. Many doctors have to adapt. Technology makes this possible and convenient for doctors and patients alike.

Top bariatric surgeon Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki (Dr. Moein to his patients) offers telehealth and virtual consultations when the situation warrants a safety-first approach. These simple phone or video chats with Dr. Moein help you become more familiar with the practice, in this case, Healthy Life Bariatrics in Los Angeles, California. You also get to determine if you are a good candidate for weight loss surgery before making the trip to the bariatric center.

13- Bariatric Centers Make Weight Loss Surgery Convenient

With bariatric surgical centers popping up in every state, there are more chances than ever to achieve a healthier weight during the pandemic. While weight loss surgery is no quick fix, it is a tool that can help you lose a significant amount of weight quickly. Many patients lose 40% to 60% of their excess weight within the first two years.

Healthy Life Bariatrics, for example, serves the greater Los Angeles area. The center provides the most popular bariatric surgeries, including the gastric sleeve, balloon, and bypass. These procedures can make COVID-19 less severe and less deadly if you become infected.

With these thirteen reasons, it’s easy to see why so many patients are opting for bariatrics at a time when being of sound health is paramount. You did not choose to be obese, but you can be healthy. Weight loss surgery can get you there. Call (310)807-1735.

Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki
January 11, 2021
Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki
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