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  • Writer's pictureProf.Dr. Abdulkadir Bedirli

Am I eligible for Bariatric Surgery? Prof.Dr.Abdulkadir Bedirli

Updated: May 9, 2023

Obesity, that is, being overweight, is one of the most important health problems in developed countries. More than 25% of adults in America are obese, more than 5% are morbidly obese, that is, obese to the extent of disease, and these rates have been increasing in recent years. While there are approximately 95,000 deaths due to colon and breast cancer annually in the United States, 300,000 deaths occur due to diseases caused by morbid obesity, that is, obesity in the size of the disease. When we look at our country, it has been observed that according to the 2012 reports of the Turkish Statistical Institute, 5% of the population aged 15 and over in Turkey is obese.


Obesity rates by gender are 21% in women and 1 in men.Morbid obesity, that is, obesity to a degree that causes disease, is the condition of having a body mass index of over 40. Morbid obesity is a chronic disease. Over the years, it causes a decrease in the quality of life, deterioration in psychological functions, and morbidity-mortality.


The main health problems related to morbid obesity are: cardiac diseases, diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea, hypertension, lipid disorders, reflux disease, urinary incontinence, joint disease and infertility. Apart from these, cancers that have been scientifically proven to have a role in the etiology of morbid obesity are colon, rectum and prostate in men, and breast, uterus and ovaries in women.


The ideal treatment of morbid obesity is conservative approaches. These are diet and exercise. Diet and exercise programs may be effective in some patients, but the main problem in conservative approaches is continuity. Unfortunately, only 5% to 10% of morbidly obese people continue to lose weight with conservative approaches.


For this reason, for the first time in 1991, the National Institutes of Health in the USA defined patients who failed to lose weight with diet and exercise methods and whose body mass index was more than 40 as high risk. Surgery is recommended for these patients.



Many scientific studies have proven that surgery is the most effective approach in the long-term treatment of morbid obesity. Surgical procedures performed in patients with morbid obesity lead to an increase in the life span of the patient and an improvement in metabolic diseases such as diabetes associated with obesity.


There are many studies showing that surgical methods are much more effective and sustainable in the treatment of obese type 2 diabetes patients. As a result of the positive effects of surgery, bariatric surgery, also called bariatric surgery, has become increasingly common. While the rate of bariatric surgery in adult obese patients was 3.3 per 100,000 in 1996 in the United States, this rate increased to 22.4 in 2007. Today, bariatric surgery is performed on more than 200,000 patients annually in the United States.


You are eligible for bariatric surgery if your body mass index is over 40 or your body mass index is over 35, but you have obesity-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, respiratory apnea, osteoarthritis in the knee. The most effective and sustainable treatment of obesity known today is surgery. With the applied surgical techniques, patients can get rid of 65-70% of their total body weight. Patients lose the most intense weight in the first six months after surgery.


During this period, if patients follow the diet and exercise, they can lose their excess weight to a large extent for the remaining 24 months. Performing surgery for cosmetic purposes is a serious decision. Every patient considering this surgery should know that the anatomical and physiological effects of the surgical procedure will decrease, most importantly, the total amount of calories they will consume. In order to get the maximum benefit from surgery, it is important for patients to maintain their recommended lifestyle and diet after surgery.

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