The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of stopping. And it seems the obese are the most affected.
According to the CDC, being obese is linked to impaired immune function. That means that having a BMI between 35 to 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 with 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 on the rise, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are 13 good reasons why.
1- Lockdown Weight Gain Can Become a Health Risk
Some call it the quarantine 15, but this cute moniker describes a bodily change that could be detrimental to your health.
Between business lockdowns, quarantine mandates, and the need to work from home, many of us are spending 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 be exerting 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. This is why many are seeking out 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, which makes the pandemic the ideal time to consider bariatrics prior to conceiving.
Experts discovered that pregnancy in women with severe obesity increased the likelihood of pregnancy issues and harm to the fetus. Mothers are at risk of developing gestational diabetes, hypertension, and complications during labor and delivery.
As for the baby, obesity can make the child at higher risk for birth defects. Mothers are also more likely to experience preterm delivery and pregnancy loss (stillbirth).
Weight loss surgery prior to becoming pregnant can reduce the risk of complications in pregnant women and comes with a 30% lower risk of birth defects, according to a study published in JAMA.
Experts recommend waiting 12 to 18 months after having bariatric surgery before getting pregnant.
3- SMBS Recommends Bariatrics During the Pandemic
There is not enough 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. The 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 conducted on 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 patients who underwent weight loss surgery prior to becoming infected with COVID-19 found that 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 that you have high adiposity (excess body fat storage). This condition places you at higher risk for many chronic diseases beyond Type 2 Diabetes. These ailments can include heart disease, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic).
Weight loss surgery is an excellent way to lose excess weight and keep it off. For years now, experts have known that weight loss surgery, such as the gastric sleeve, contribute to lower instances of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and abdominal obesity. Bariatric surgery is also the most successful treatment for the 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 ensures your safety when visiting your local bariatric surgery center. This is a time 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, which is 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 Annals of Internal Medicine found that patients with mild to moderate obesity who underwent weight loss surgery were able to control their blood pressure and required fewer or no medications compared to non-surgery patients.
The three-year study found that 73% of bariatric surgery patients were able to take 30% less or more of their antihypertensive medication while still maintaining a blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg. Only 11% of non-surgery patients were able to do the same during the study’s duration.
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 led to less 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 types of 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 in the hospital needing a surgical correction 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 and 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 prior to 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 end up losing 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, gastric balloon, and gastric bypass. These procedures can make COVID-19 less severe and less deadly if you happen to 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 choose to be healthy. Weight loss surgery can get you there. Call (310)807-1735.