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Bariatric Surgery: Long-Term Benefits to Heart Health

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Coronary Artery Disease related image Photo: Getty Images

It’s long been accepted that obesity is one of the risk factors for developing heart disease. Despite the plentiful abundance of diets guaranteed to peel off the pounds, shrink that waist, and miraculously cause unwanted inches to be a long-forgotten reality of the past, many Americans remain overweight. Despite their best efforts, millions of Americans from all walks of life, ethnicities, education levels, income circle, and ages (just to name a few), remain overweight. When traditional diet and exercise fails to produce desired results many turn to some type of bariatric surgery for weight loss help.

Often referred to as weight loss surgeries, bariatric surgery changes your digestive system in such a way that you’re physically unable to eat as much food as before. Since gastric bypass is major surgery, it’s generally reserved for those who are severely overweight, can’t exercise for some reason, or have been unable to lose weight with traditional diet and exercise. (Generally, if you have a Body Mass Index - BMI - over 40 or a BMI between 35-39.9 and have other health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, then you might be a candidate for gastric bypass.) While there are various types of gastric bypass procedures (Roux-en-Y, Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, and lap-band adjustable gastric banding or LAGB, just to name a few), the changes to the digestive system are generally permanent and a real commitment to lifestyle changes is required for success. But, when success is achieved, the results can be spectacular as a new slimmer you emerges as the pounds melt off.

Obesity brings with it a myriad of health problems - high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease - as an example. For those who have had successful gastric bypass, the long-term benefits to their overall health can be significant, resolving such conditions as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Researchers now indicate that within the first year, gastric bypass weight loss also has a significant (and positive) effect on lipoprotein levels.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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