For the grossly obese, weight-loss surgery may be the only option for achieving a healthy weight and living a healthier life. Like any surgery, this form of surgery comes with certain risks. Patients benefit from educating themselves before having the surgery because of the inherent risks of surgery. Recently, gastric bypass surgery was shown to have a link to problems with alcohol.

Fact vs. fiction: weight-loss surgery

The International Business Times reported that currently, 36.5 percent of Americans are obese. Because of the high rate of obesity, many patients are considering getting surgery.

With a 99 percent survival rate, weight-loss surgery may be appealing because it is better than the health risks of remaining obese. Obesity worldwide accounts for 44 percent of diabetes, 23 percent of ischaemic heart disease, and up to 41 percent of all cancers. For those who choose from among the four types of weight-loss surgery available, about five percent will suffer some type of complication, including blood clots, heart attack, leaking of the surgical connections, bleeding, or infection.

AZCentral reported that weight-loss centers can sometimes be risky. The reason is that the quality of these centers may not be readily apparent. Patients may not know that the center has been cited for multiple health violations like expired drugs, expired supplies, and bad infection control procedures.

Although facilities may be cited for these failures, as long as the deficiencies are corrected, the facilities don't have to shut down. Patients are encouraged to seek out inspection and licensing records prior to using a particular center and before having the surgery.

Bariatric surgery benefit for cancer patients

Medscape reported that bariatric surgery was shown to reduce the number of cancers in obese women.

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The biggest gain was seen in endometrial cancer. Obesity was cited as a major risk factor in cancer, and bariatric surgery was shown to reduce the risk of cancer in women. The findings for the study that began in 2009 were published in Gynecologic Oncology in May. The study also showed that the decrease in the risk of cancer was shown in obese women but not in obese men.

While one group of 1,447 women received standard weight-loss treatment through their healthcare center, the other group of 1,420 women in the study received bariatric surgery. The mean age of study participants was 37-years-old, while the median body mass index was 38. Patients who are not eligible for weight-loss surgery may want to consider nonsurgical alternatives, as they are considered safer and improve the chances of weight-loss.