I have discussed that for morbidly obese people, one of the solutions is gastric bypass surgery. Of course, your plastic surgeon is the best person to decide if this surgery is appropriate for you, but you should have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or higher to be considered morbidly obese. And it is also important to remember that just because you meet this criteria, you will be able to have gastric bypass surgery. It is not a procedure that can be taken lightly. There are far more chances of a complication developing with this procedure. The procedure poses about a 2 percent risk of mortality and requires lifelong changes in eating habits â€” but itâ€™s a life-saving operation for most morbidly obese individuals
There is some more good news, though, for those people considering gastric bypass surgery. A new study by Stanford University scientists has shown that gastric bypass surgery, the most common form of weight-loss surgery, reduces the risk of heart disease even more than previously thought. â€œMedication with statins â€” the most effective non-surgical treatment available â€” lowers C-reactive protein by about 16 percent. But we found that gastric bypass lowered it by 50 percent. Thatâ€™s a pretty significant improvement over whatâ€™s been considered state-of-the-art therapy,â€ says John Morton, MD, assistant professor of surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine and director of bariatric surgery at Stanford Hospital.
Brandon Williams, MD, a general surgery resident, presented the studyâ€™s findings at the annual scientific meeting of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. The number of gastric bypass surgeries has shot up in recent years, increasing from 29,000 procedures in 1999 to about 141,000 in 2004, according to the bariatric surgery society. â€œI think our findings show that this is not in any sense a cosmetic procedure â€” that it really does benefit the health of these patients,â€ Williams added.
So what does it mean for you?
You do have another stronger reason now to consider gastric bypass surgery, particularly if you have a heart disease or are at higher risk of heart disease because of other medical conditions. You must discuss this with your doctor prior to scheduling a consultation with your plastic surgeon. It is also important that your doctor and plastic surgeon coordinate their efforts.
While most plastic surgery procedures are not covered by health insurance, if you are morbidly obese and a gastric bypass procedure is being done for health reasons, you may be eligible for coverage from your health insurance provider. Make sure that you coordinate this well. In any case you may be able to finance your plastic surgery rather than pay everything up front. You may also consider having the surgery done overseas.