For severely overweight Patients, surgery may be the only option for losing the weight and keeping it off for good. With any surgery though, there are risks. Patients also want to make sure they have surgery at the right time too because waiting too long may lead to them not reaching their weight loss goals. Bariatric surgery has also been linked to problems with alcohol, so patients need to discuss health risks and chronic conditions, or they may want to consider non-surgical procedures to achieve their goals.

The problem with delaying surgery

Newsweek reported that a new study that was released said that delaying Bariatric surgery harmed patients.

Although this surgery has become more sophisticated, safer, and effective, a study published in JAMA Surgery suggested that patients are having the surgery far too late, and it is leading to problems. Patients don't achieve optimal results because BMI doesn't go below 30, and chronic obesity diseases like diabetes haven't been dealt with effectively. Bariatric surgery offers patients a way to reduce their food intake by reducing the size of the stomach. This makes it easier for the patient to lose weight because of reduced food intake. Doctors use different methods for making this possible that include removing a portion of the stomach, putting a band around the stomach, or rerouting the intestine to a smaller food pouch.

Because these procedures are fairly new, the delay results from trying to decide when to offer these options to patients.

Best time to get bariatric surgery

CBS News reported that currently one-third of all Americans are considered obese. Many patients are heading to see a surgeon to find out about Bariatric surgery. To achieve the best results, the study in JAMA Surgery said that those who succeeded in achieving their weight loss goals started with a BMI of 40, which is considered the threshold for morbid obesity.

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They were compared to those who waited until they had a much higher BMI of 50. Less than nine percent of those who were in the higher BMI group had achieved their weight loss goals at the end of a year.

Patients who reached a BMI of 30 reported that they often didn't need medication anymore to treat chronic conditions caused as a result of their obesity.

Oliver Varban, M.D., the lead author of the study, said that both patients and doctors needed to consider the surgery as a primary form of treatment instead of a last resort. Patients who waited to have the surgery when their BMI reached 50 were less likely to achieve their weight loss goals. Patients in the study who had a BMI of 48 on average reached a BMI of 33 by the end of the year.