Is Weight-Loss Surgery Right for You? What to Know About the Benefits

For people who are severely obese and have diabetes, bariatric surgery decreases the overall risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 68%

A doctor is shown working at the computer.

Former NFL coach Rex Ryan, writer Ann Rice and comedian Roseanne Barr have thrived after having weight-loss surgery. In 2019, around 256,000 fellow Americans did the same, with 61% opting for what's called sleeve gastrectomy. (About 18 percent had the more complex gastric bypass, once the most common form of bariatric surgery.) Sleeve gastrectomy removes 75-80% of the stomach, and most folks lose around 60–70% of their excess weight within a year.

After Rosie O'Donnell had that procedure, she declared: "This has really, really helped [me]." That's putting it mildly. A new study in JAMA Network Open has found that, for folks who are severely obese (Adults with body mass index above 30 are considered obese, according to the CDC) and have diabetes, bariatric surgery (of various kinds) decreases the overall risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 68%, the risk of nonfatal kidney problems by 42% and overall the risk of death from all causes by 47% over a stretch of four to 10 years. The risk of everything from sleep apnea to depression and cancer is also reduced.

Today, knowledge about how to support the physical and emotional challenges post-surgery has increased enormously as complications have been slashed. The surgery does require you to also change your habits, but if you're obese and struggling to achieve a healthy weight and control your diabetes, take time to watch the videos below about weight-loss surgery. Then, talk to your doctor about how this might help you reclaim your health and happiness.

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