I've found a few figures, and I wanted to share them with the people on this site, especially anyone who is considering weight loss surgery. The numbers I quote come from the website of Sandy Szwarc, BSN, RN, CCP, and have sources from reputable scientific studies.
Obese people are often told that they risk dying from their excess kilos. Many are told that bariatric surgery is their only option to live to an old age.
According to Szwarc, "In the more than forty years that bariatric surgeries have been performed, there have been no randomized, controlled clinical trials that have shown any long-term improvements to actual health or that lives are saved or extended by these surgeries — not any of the dozens of types and variations being performed, and certainly none of the new procedures claiming to be better and safer." There is NO evidence that bariatric surgery improves health or longevity.
Bariatric surgery is dangerous. When compared to other surgeries, the risk of dying from bariatric surgery is unacceptably high. A coronary artery bypass, usually thought of as one of the most dangerous surgeries, and usually performed on people over 75 after a heart attack, comes with a death risk of 1.3%. A hysterectomy, usually performed on young women, has a death risk of 0.19%. Bariatric surgery, also usually performed on young women, has a death risk of 4.6%. That is, 4.6% of people who undergo bariatric surgery will die. That's 3 1/2 times the death risk for a coronary artery bypass.
These figures become even more astounding when the risk of dying without surgery is considered. A 25 year old woman at a normal body weight has about a 0.05% chance of dying in a given year. A 25 year old woman who is at the very fattest 0.2% of women has about a 0.1% chance of dying. As astute reader may note that this is twice the death risk of her normal-weight counterpart. An even more astute reader may note that if this very fat woman undergoes bariatric surgery, her risk of dying increases to 4.6%. The very fattest woman is 46 times more likely to die from bariatric surgery than from other causes. For women 35 years old, the chance of dying in a given year is 0.13% for a normal weight woman and 0.18% for a very, very fat woman. That is, by the age of 35, a very fat woman is only 1.3 times more likely to die than her normal weight counterpart. A 35 year old woman who undergoes bariatric surgey is, however, 35 times more likely to die than her normal weight counterpart.
Also consider the following quotes from Szwarc's website:
"The majority of body-weight and mortality studies published over the last half century have found weight to be irrelevant to health or mortality, except at the most extremes."
"“Certainly there is no steady increase in mortality with increasing overweight,” according to Dr. Ernsberger and Paul Haskew in a comprehensive review of more than 400 papers in the Journal of Obesity and Weight Regulation. In fact, most show fatness especially as we age, to be particularly favorable for longevity."
"According to research by Dr. Edward Harry Livingston, M.D, at the University of Texas Southwestern, “based on obesity alone, a woman was no more likely to die at a body mass index of 50 (approximately 310 pounds) than at 35.”"
If you're considering bariatric surgery, or know someone who is, please think about these facts. Bariatric surgery kills. It is far more deadly than a few excess kilos, even a few hundred excess kilos.