quality of lifeThese days bariatric surgery is seen as less of an easy way out and more of a helping hand; sometimes as a lifesaving procedure. Improved quality of life is a happy side-effect of weight loss surgery but a recent paper shows that weight loss surgery improves quality of life and an individual’s mental health.

People undergo weight loss surgery for a variety of reasons; for their health if they are at high risk of obesity-related diseases, for themselves if they suffer from low self-esteem or depression, for others, if their weight is affecting relationships with family and friends, or a combination of all three.

With more and more people opting for weight loss surgery (in 2009 220,000 Americans had weigh loss surgery, up from around 13,000 in 1998) the health benefits of weight loss surgery are becoming more and more clear, with improvements to overall health, reduction of existing obesity related diseases and reduced long term risks of obesity related diseases. The effects on the mental health and general happiness of weight loss patients is an area that is less well researched and until now it has not been known whether the dramatic lifestyle changes would have a positive or negative impact on a patient’s quality of life and overall happiness.

The research

Researchers studied 213 weight loss patients, ranging in age from 26 to 73 years old to assess their emotional wellbeing and the psychological impact of the procedure. They asked a variety of questions relating to overall health, social life, work life, self-esteem, family relationships, mobility and overall satisfaction with the results of the surgery. They expected to find some negative reactions to the surgery itself and the changes that took place in the patients’ lives following the operation, but they were pleasantly surprised.

Aside from health benefits, such as reduction or improvement in sleep apnea, heart disease, type II diabetes and cholesterol, people who had weight loss surgery in order to reduce negative reactions from other people reported improved relationships with others following their procedure. The people in the study also benefited from a reduction in depression and mood swings, as a result of improved hormone balance, self-esteem and relationships.

Overall, patients were more pleased with other benefits of weight loss surgery, such as improved mobility and health, than their appearance after weight loss, possibly because the other benefits were so life-changing in themselves. However, the study showed that the stigma of being obese and the way that the subjects thought they were being viewed by others had affected the confidence and relationships of most of the patients more than they had anticipated. As a result most of the people in the study enjoyed a better social life and greater satisfaction from relationships with their families and friends.

Whilst weight loss surgery is something that you must do for yourself, whether to improve your health, or so that you can kick a ball with your child or grandchild, walk to work or just so you feel better about the way you look, it was surprising how many of the weight loss patients in the study felt released from the burden of being overweight and the stigma that they felt went with their weight.

Weight loss surgery can change every aspect of your life, making you happier and healthier in body and mind. At Weight Loss Mexico we offer a range of weight loss surgery packages to suit each patient, helping them to improve their lives, to live longer and live happier.