According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 39.8 percent of the American population was obese in 2016, accounting for roughly 93.3 million adults. That explains why so many people come to our Tijuana, Mexico center for weight loss surgery. We offer different types of bariatric surgery procedures that can be used to promote weight loss that is both safe and rapid.
Sometimes we receive calls at the Tijuana Bariatric Center asking about weight loss procedures for elderly patients. We are asked if seniors can safely undergo bariatric surgery, and if there are increased health concerns for weight loss surgery patients over 65. Dr. Fernando Garcia and his team would like to discuss some of these topics below.
Middle-aged people who are obese can wind up living longer if they undergo bariatric surgery. According to a November 2015 study published by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), a 45-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes and a BMI of 45 could potentially increase her life expectancy by 6.7 years if she underwent bariatric surgery.
The increased lifespan reflected weight reduction as well as alleviation or minimization of comorbidities associated with obesity later in life, such as hypertension, heart disease, and development of certain types of cancer.
Yes, it is possible for people age 60 and older to under bariatric surgery and experience health benefits. Losing excessive weight can help obese people and morbidly obese people at any age. While certain health benefits will not be as pronounced in elderly patients, overall quality of life should improve in myriad ways.
According to 2015 data from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), weight loss surgery could be performed on people even over the age of 70.
In fact, MBSAQIP numbers found an increase in older patients undergoing bariatric procedures. From 1999-2005, patients 60 and older made up just 2.7 percent of bariatric surgery patients; that number increased to 10.1 percent from 2009-2013. This speaks to the scope of the obesity epidemic and the safety of surgical techniques performed today.
No, as research has it. According to a 2011 study presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011 in Chicago, a bariatric surgery patient aged 65 or older faced no greater risk of adverse complications following the procedure than patients in their 30s or 40s. Patients 60 and older would likely experience longer hospital stays to recuperate from their procedure, however.
While the overall risk of complications may not be greater in elderly patients, we acknowledge that health situations vary from patient to patient. No matter your age, we will carefully screen you and conduct a medical history review to determine if bariatric surgery can be safely performed. That’s why the consultation process is such an important part of developing a surgical weight loss plan.
For more information about weight loss surgery and whether or not it’s the right option for you, be sure to contact an experienced bariatric surgeon. Our team is here to help you make the best possible decisions for you and your needs. You can reach our Tijuana office by phone at (866) 786-6256 and our San Diego and Rancho Cucamonga locations at (877) 218-3516.