Benefits of Surgery

Alan - Before and After

What are the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery?

With a commitment to lifelong changes in eating habits and exercise, surgical patients have a very good chance of achieving:

  • Substantial and long-lasting weight loss
  • Better quality of life
  • Improved health and longer life due to a reduction in health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and arthritis

Effect of Weight Loss on Health Problems

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Sleep apnea
Urinary stress incontinence
Arthritis of weight-bearing joints
Female hormone abnormalities

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure):

As you lose weight, blood pressure usually improves. Over half of patients will be able to stop their medications as time goes by. The rest may need to continue blood pressure medications but the dose may be reduced.



There often is a dramatic improvement in control of blood sugar. When you go home after surgery, you most likely will not be taking the same amount of diabetes medications you were on before surgery. You may be able to start at about half the dose of medications and will need to check your blood sugar at home to establish the correct doses as you continue to lose weight. Within several months, most people do not need to take diabetic medications. If you were insulin-dependent before surgery, you may need to continue some type of diabetes medication.


Sleep apnea:

If you used a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea, you should plan on using it after surgery as well. As you lose weight, the neck, throat and upper body tend to be the first areas to show improvement. This means that your airways tend to open up early as you lose weight. After the first month or so, you may not need the CPAP machine anymore as your sleep apnea improves.



After a gastric bypass, heartburn usually goes away. Most of the stomach acid does not reach the esophagus after surgery. The stomach pouch makes a small amount of acid, but not usually enough to produce heartburn.


Urinary stress incontinence:

As you lose weight, urinary leakage usually improves or goes away. The time course of improvement is different for each individual, but the first several months of weight loss often show marked improvement.


Arthritis of weight-bearing joints:

As the weight load on joints decreases, pain may also improve.



If you are taking medication for depression, do not abruptly stop taking it. Review this medication with your surgical team while you are in the hospital.


Female hormone abnormalities:

As you lose weight, irregular menstrual cycles may become more regular and absent menses may begin again.


To register for a free informational seminar or to make an appointment for a consultation with a bariatric surgeon at Jeanes, click here or call 215-728-CARE (2273).


Image: Courtesy ©2008 Allergan, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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