No matter your age, obesity is a heavy burden to carry. It affects personality, social interaction, and the ability to lead a healthy, prolonged life. But, thanks to various bariatric surgical options available today, thousands of people are leading better lives. Now that the new year is here, the time to consider a change—a healthy change—is now.
One of the most common procedures performed by bariatric specialists is gastric sleeve surgery. It has produced significant results, not the least of which is weight loss, and a healthier appearance. That combination results in a more positive self-image. There are other reasons why this procedure can be beneficial, however, that may not be so obvious.
Increased energy, better sleeping habits, reduced joint pain, easier traveling, and even a better sex life are all possible through bariatric weight loss surgery. Depending on a patient’s individual needs, there are arrays of surgical options offered by specialists at UHealth–University of Miami Health System.
Routinely after bariatric surgery, patients experience a surge of increased energy brought about by the ability to be more active. When this occurs, a domino effect takes place. The more active a person becomes, the more calories he or she burns, which leads to enhanced body toning that can help maintain weight loss. The bottom line is that patients feel better, and that is what bariatric surgery strives to achieve.
Better sleep is also a byproduct of bariatric surgery. People that are obese often experience increased obstruction of their windpipe that produces prolonged snoring. When the windpipe becomes excessively constricted, sleep apnea may occur. Bariatric surgery can help to reverse sleep apnea as a result.
Joint pain is another chronic issue related to obesity—especially in the knees where much of the burden of our weight falls. For every pound of weight lost, four pounds of pressure is taken off the knees, so walking stairs, or general overall movement becomes easier. If a person eliminates excessive weight, he or she experiences less pain and can participate in more physical activities.
Traveling is enjoyable, but for someone that is overweight and/or obese, it becomes a real difficulty. People who struggle with weight issues are often uncomfortable on small plane seats or embarrassed to be in a bathing suit that can make a vacation less enjoyable than it should be.
One’s sex life may also be improved through weight-loss surgery. Many people report increased sex drive because of more energy, stamina and an overall young feeling. The biggest benefit of weight-loss surgery is improved health, which means you and your partner can enjoy each other’s company more.
It is important to keep in mind that bariatric surgery is not only for the middle-aged or older population alone—it can be applied to adolescents. Within the last couple of decades, an alarming number of adolescents have fallen into the danger zone of becoming overweight. If unchecked they can develop health complications that can have life-long effects if not addressed early on. The University of Miami Health System has successfully performed weight loss surgical techniques on many adolescents.
Surgical options available to patients, in addition to gastric sleeve, include gastric lap band and gastric bypass, each designed to achieve the best possible medical outcome. As part of a group of 1,200 specialists, UHealth has successfully performed in excess of 6,000 bariatric weight loss operations.
There is no reason to wait until tomorrow, as one phone call today can literally be a life-changing event. Bariatric surgery has enjoyed great success, not only because it enhances one’s appearance, but more importantly, it improves overall health. Additional benefits include the reversal of health issues such as Type 2 diabetes, and the improvement (or elimination) of hypertension.
If a healthier and happier life is something you want and believe in, don’t wait until tomorrow to do what can be done today.
To learn more about weight loss options from the University of Miami Health System, call 305-243-4400 or visit UHealthMedicalWeightLoss.com.
ABOUT THE DOCTOR: Dr. Nestor F. de la Cruz-Muñoz, M.D. is the chief of the Division of Laparoendoscopic and Bariatric Surgery Department; co-director of the Center of Excellence for Laparoendoscopic and Minimally Invasive Surgery; and associate professor in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In addition, he is the medical director for Bariatric Surgery at University of Miami Hospital, part of UHealth—University of Miami Health System. He is the founder and surgical director of Miami’s Surgical Weight Loss Institute, and his practice focuses on general, bariatric, and advanced laparoscopic surgery.
Dr. de la Cruz-Muñoz earned his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He completed his residency in general surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, and became chief resident in 1999.
Renowned nationally and internationally, as a bariatric and general surgeon, Dr. de la Cruz-Muñoz has received numerous awards, and been the keynote speaker at many presentations. He was recently appointed to the Bariatric Surgical Review Committee, where he will work closely with other practicing bariatric surgeons to identify hospitals that meet the requirements to become Centers of Excellence.