Have you ever noticed most weight-loss products are marketed to women? It’s almost as if being overweight or obese is strictly a female problem. But men are just as likely as women to have weight issues but may not be as likely to talk about them or express concern about their weight. But weight issues can affect anyone, and it’s important that men know and recognize their weight loss options.
To be considered overweight, a person must have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher. To be considered obese, it’s 30 or higher. Being overweight or obese can take a significant toll on your health, increasing your risk for health conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. It can also worsen arthritis symptoms, affect your quality of sleep and impact your mental health.
For some people, lifestyle changes like cleaning up your diet and getting more exercise may be enough to help you achieve a healthy weight. But if you have a significant amount of weight to lose, bariatric surgery may be an option. Candidates for bariatric surgery have a BMI of 40 or greater or a BMI of 30 or greater with obesity-related medical conditions.
Bariatric surgery is one of the most successful methods for taking off a significant amount of weight and keeping it off long term. Yet only about one percent of people who qualify for the surgery actually get it. And among men, that rate is even lower. However, the health benefits can’t be ignored. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), obstructive sleep apnea, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, urinary incontinence, infertility and bone fractures – to name a few – are all conditions that can be reversed or improved after undergoing bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re considering surgery, there are multiple different surgical options to choose from. A consultation with a bariatric surgeon can help you determine which one is right for you, but two of the most common options are:
- Laparoscopic roux-en-y gastric bypass – This is the surgery that most people are familiar with or think of when they consider weight loss surgery. It involves the creation of a newer, smaller stomach that is connected to part of the small intestine. With a bypass around the normal digestive process and a smaller stomach, you’ll end up eating less and absorbing fewer calories.
- Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy – This procedure involves the removal of about 75 percent of your stomach. You’ll be left with a small sleeve that will be directly attached to your small intestine. Due to having a smaller stomach, you’ll feel fuller after eating smaller amounts of food, leading to weight loss.
- Laparoscopic duodenal switch combines the best aspects of sleeve and gastric bypass for individuals who have greater health needs or more weight to lose. While not for everyone, it provides the greatest amount of success in resolving all obesity-related health conditions and has the greatest success in keeping off weight long term.
Of course, surgery isn’t a cure-all. Bariatric surgery also requires a long-term commitment to a healthier lifestyle, including changes to your diet and incorporating activity into your daily routine. A consultation with a bariatric surgeon and care team can help you understand what steps are necessary for long-term success and help you make a decision about surgery.
Main Line Health is close to home with comprehensive weight and wellness services designed to help people achieve a healthy weight. We offer both medical and minimally invasive surgical weight loss solutions along with a complete education-based program focusing on diet, exercise and mindfulness. With our help, people can successfully lose the extra pounds – and keep them off.
Join us for an upcoming virtual webinar to learn more about bariatric surgery options. Register online or call us at 484-476-6230 ext. 1.