(WYTV) – Bariatric surgery — a stomach-shrinking surgery — is a drastic step to treat obesity. Doctors say we may not be using it enough.
Doctors at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say the criteria for bariatric surgery is outdated and arbitrary. Surgeons may approve someone with a body mass index of 35, but they might say no to the next patient with uncontrolled diabetes and a BMI of 34.
Dr. Stacy Brethauer said this surgery is life-saving.
“The patient who doesn’t get the operation, we know very well that their disease will progress. Their lifespan will be shortened if they don’t get effective treatment,” Brethauer said.
Brethauer said obesity progression can include diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The best method for prevention is to intervene early.
Many believe that obesity is only a problem of willpower and that patients can take it upon themselves to fix it.
Brethauer said allowing more people who are obese to have bariatric surgery will save lives and dollars.