April 7, 2011

Diabetes Bariatric Surgery – Is It Effective?

Why are bariatric surgeons becoming so active in the diabetes field? Quite simply, primary care physicians and endocrinologists have abdicated their position. Sound a little dire? It might, but considering that these doctors are not rising to the challenge of taking care of and getting people out of the moderate to mildly obese categories. The bariatric surgeons are stepping in to the void to increase the thickness of their wallets and retirement plans.

As long as no one is explaining the side-effects and hyping the benefits, these surgeons will be happy to fatten their wallets and retirement accounts at the expense of other doctors, patients, and medical insurance companies. Is there a need for this surgery? While I don't like to say so, yes, there is a need. For those individuals that have tried and failed, e.g., exhausted with honest efforts other ways to reduce weight, and are among the morbidly obese, then the surgery is probably the only route available to them for weight reduction and possible management of diabetes.

Am I opposed to bariatric surgery. YES, except for the case above, I think the bariatric surgeons are into the vanity game for many people. I am thankful that the American Heart Association has taken a position in this and I can agree with their position. Read the article about this here.

The fees for bariatric surgery are steep and unless you have exceptional medical insurance, you may need to pay a healthy part of the bill. A discussion of medical insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid can be found here. Be sure to study this carefully.

An article by the Mayo Clinic is here. This is one of the better discussions about the different types of bariatric surgery and does list most of the risks involved with the surgery and even some risks by type of surgery. If you are seriously considering bariatric surgery, please read this article in its entirety. The consequences of not following exactly the plan and lifestyle changes can be very costly and even deadly. Most medical insurance companies require that you complete a training period and know each and every risk in detail. Some vary in length, but six weeks seems to be a minimum.

Some surgeons may try to get you past the insurance requirements fearing that you will want to back out of the surgery. So even with this, I strongly urge you to do your homework and know what you will be facing beforehand. Bariatric surgery is not for everyone so don't feel that you can slide past the requirements for lifestyle changes as they are mandatory and you will have problems if you ignore them. These lifestyle changes are permanent for the rest of your life which many people cannot accept and this gets them into serious problems.

If you think I am being overly dramatic, use your search engine and do some checking on your own. Also read my blog here about bariatric surgery possibly masking diabetes. Do not think it is the absolute cure the bariatric surgeons want you to believe. There are news articles almost weekly now hyping bariatric surgery and all refuse to discuss the serious risks. Even though I have an agenda against this surgery, I hope that I have pointed you in the right direction to arrive at an informed decision.

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