We know that obesity is associated with several health-related risks and consequences. This can ultimately result in a reduced quality of life and an earlier death. Several studies have now shown that patients who have lost weight following bariatric surgery have an improved life expectancy by up to 10 years particularly if they also suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, obesity doesn’t just affect the visible fat on the outside that we all can see, but also the within the organs of the body. Fat accumulation within the liver results in impaired liver function and damage. If the damage is severe enough, over time, liver failure and cancer can develop. However, studies have shown that patient who lose weight following bariatric surgery can significantly reduce their risk of developing liver cancer.
Obesity affects the immune system and has been identified as a significant risk factor for more severe COVID-19 infection, including requiring intensive care and ventilation support. However, evidence has shown that weight loss following bariatric surgery is linked with reduced severity of COVID-19 infection.
Diabetes is devastating chronic disease that can result in permanent damage to many different organs in the body. Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes eye disease caused by damage to the blood vessels. Over time this can result in blindness. Diabetic patients who have had bariatric surgery have been found to be at lower risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world including malignant melanoma. An unexpected recent finding revealed that obese people who underwent bariatric surgery benefited from a significant fall in the risk of malignant melanoma. Further research is under way to find out what the link might be.
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