Bariatric Surgery Can Lead to Better Quality of Life

Dr. Keith Kreitz, Medical Director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program

November 28, 2018 - 9:41 am

Bariatric surgery is now quite common as so many Americans are considered morbidly obese. Dr. Keith Kreitz, Medical Director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, says the procedures can greatly improve a patient's quality of life. When a person is one-hundred pounds over his ideal weight and has life-threatening conditions caused by the weight, and diet and exercise have failed, it may be time to consider bariatric surgery.

He says diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea are often caused by packing on the pounds. He says after the surgery and significant weight loss, it's often possible to reduce medications for those issues or get off medication altogether.  He suggests patients try diet and exercise first, but obesity does run in families, so some people may not be able to lose weight without a surgical solution.

Dr. Kreitz says weight has also become a risk factor for surgeons performing other procedures. He gets a number of referrals from doctors who perform hip and knee replacements. Obesity makes those operations more difficult and problematic, so many patients undergo bariatric surgery before receiving new joints. Losing the weight relieves the pressure on those aching hips and knees while making the surgery safer.