Bariatric surgery for elderly people

Bariatric Surgery For Elderly People

“BEAUTIFUL YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ACCIDENTS OF NATURE, BUT BEAUTIFUL OLD PEOPLE ARE WORKS OF ART “, so let us save them from obesity. Obesity has become one of the most common health problems worldwide, affecting almost more than one-third of the population. The elderly population is also being affected by this; consequently, uncontrolled increasing weight leads to increase of diabetic patients, hypertensive, atherosclerosis, heart disease, cancer besides a large number of different obesity-induced diseases.  Treatments for obesity, such as medicines and behavioural and physical activities, have failed in order to stop the increase in obesity;therefore, surgical options appear to be best and effective treatment for elderly people when their metabolic rate becomes low and helps them to shed their extra weight and also reduce their comorbidities.

Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure that induces weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold, and gives the feeling of fullness by eating less. The procedure has many health benefits, including long-term weight loss of about 60 to 80 percent of excess weight loss, changes in the gut hormones to decrease, and restricts the good that can be consumed.

How safe is bariatric surgery for people above 60?

Bariatric surgery has shown to be safe for patients over 60 years with good results as it helps in reducing the co morbidities. At age 60, when the average length of life is 85, there are a lot of meaningful years left why not they enjoy it to its fullest. Not only can older adults expect weight loss from the surgeries but they can also expect their diabetes, high blood pressure and other health issues to improve or resolve and they can enjoy a happy and healthy life there onwards.

To talk about how safe it is, Bariatric/ Weight loss surgery is a lifesaving procedure. It not only helps to lose weight but also helps to reduce your co-morbidities. Bariatric procedures include restrictive, malabsorptive and combination surgeries of both. The standard procedures recognized are laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), Mini Gastric bypass (MGB) Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), Laparoscopic Roux-En-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) and Biliopancreatic diversion (BPD).

Which weight loss procedure is safe for senior citizens?

Any procedure can be done on elderly people depending upon the behavioural conditions, physical fitness, required weight loss and the types of comorbidities to target. A doctor will only decide after the consult and carrying out the necessary clinical and radiological tests and consult with the nutritionist and psychologist which procedure to be offered. Studies has shown that senior citizens who suffer from HTN / Type 2 DM and GERD benefit more from Gastric bypass. Even LSG procedure is being considered the safest for the senior citizens. Both operations stand alone and their use need to be based on individual patient characteristics and needs.

What is the age limit for bariatric surgery?

Several recent studies have proven that weight loss surgery is safe and effective in older patients. Recent studies show that bariatric surgery may be safe for those in their 60s, 70s and that it may significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke for patients who already have type 2 diabetes. The age limit to carry out a bariatric surgery has been set at 65 years of age by international consensus. To perform a surgery for a patient >65 years a consultation with the doctor is must.

“In the last 10 years bariatric surgery has become one of the safest operations you can undergo regardless of what age you are,” says Christine Ren-Fielding, M.D., chief of the New York University Langdon weight-management program.

What are the risks involved?

Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) at the age of 60 and above is safe and effective. Studies evaluated that patients who underwent surgery have significantly lost weight and remission or improvement in their diabetic profile. Medications of hypertension reduced or remitted, gerd issue resolved and etc.. Obesity is rapidly growing issue amongst all the people of all ages weight loss surgery gives a new hope to the senior citizens who are suffering from obesity and other issues to live a fit and healthy life thereafter.

How fast is the Recovery in elderlies after bariatric surgery?

Any type of Weight loss surgery is done to treat obesity and to resolve or improve the comorbid conditions. Recovery at the age of 60 and above is totally depending upon the behavioral and psychological conditions of the patient. Recovery post-surgery is same as like any other general laparoscopic surgery. Considering the resolution of comorbidities and to achieve proper weight loss goals regular follow up with the doctor and nutritional team is required.

Effect of bariatric surgery in older patients (Benefits)

Various studies have shown the effect of bariatric surgery have improved diabetes, fatty liver, and sleep apnoea in more than 90% of patients. Hypertension and hyperlipidaemia by more than 80% and hyperuricemia and ischemic heart disease were improved or resolved.

Benefits of bariatric surgery in senior citizens

Longevity itself is often a lesser priority—“quality over quantity” often emerges as a principle and concept in routine geriatric decision-making.

Improvement in osteoarthritis has been seen in the elderly due to even mild weight loss which leads to improved range of motion, decreased pain, and reduction in disability.

Weight reduction by weight loss surgery reduces joint pain, improves musculoskeletal conditions and arthropathy, and leads to a 66% reduction in arthritis-specific medications.

It has been observed that Type 2 diabetes has been resolved as an outcome of surgical treatment of morbid obesity . Moreover; it has been shown that diabetes-related morbidity and mortality have declined significantly postoperatively, and this improvement in diabetes control is long-lasting. Bypass procedures, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) and the biliopancreatic diversion (BPD), are more effective treatments for diabetes than other procedures.

Life expectancy after bariatric surgery in senior citizens?

 Obesity is associated with life-threatening diseases and premature death and reduces life expectancy by 5 to 20 years. Bariatric surgery leads to durable weight loss and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. For most severely obese patient bariatric surgery increases life expectancy. It adds many more life to their lives and gives them the reason to live and enjoy life with decreased comorbidities.

Thus Bariatric surgery offers obese elderly patients an acceptable result, and it can be offered to improve the quality of life of these patients.

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