Don’t wait until your BMI is over 40 to have bariatric surgery. That is a theme of a study published this past fall in the Journal of the American Medical Association Surgery. According to the study, patients who had bariatric surgery after their BMIs were above 40 were less likely to achieve a BMI under 30 after their first year post surgery.
A common goal of bariatric surgery patients is to no longer be classified as obese (BMI > 30). This goal is important not just for aesthetic purposes, but it has medical reasons as well. People with BMIs under 30 are less likely to have weight related morbidity and mortality issues, including lower risk of sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
According to the study, the two factors that made achieving a BMI of less than 30 within one year post bariatric surgery more possible were: beginning with a preoperative BMI of less than 40 and having either gastric bypass or gastric band surgery. In the study, 9,713 (36%) of the 27,320 patients were able to achieve this goal. That isn’t to say those with a BMI over 40 didn’t achieve the goal of a BMI less than 30 after one year, or even after the one year benchmark. In fact, 8.5% of those study participants with a BMI over 50 were able to achieve a BMI < 30. It is possible, but the study found the odds are better when your preoperative BMI is less than 40.
The good news is that those who were able to reach BMI <30 and no longer be classified as obese had major medical benefits: significantly higher rates of medication discontinuation for hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and hypertension and higher rates of sleep apnea remission. What’s more is they also reported higher rates of satisfaction.
The big takeaways from this study are:
- Bariatric surgery can significantly reduce BMI
- Bariatric surgery has more medical benefits than just weight loss
- Having bariatric surgery before your BMI is over 40 can induce more health benefits
If your BMI is over 35 and you have comorbidities (like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and vascular or mobility issues), you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s office can help you find out if you qualify for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery and which surgery is right for you. Call (561) 483-8840 to schedule a free informational session with Dr. Shillingford today. Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, is a board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic, robotic, and weight loss surgery. His weight loss surgery patients come from all over Florida, including Boca Raton, Parkland, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville.