The Stitch

Life-changing benefits of weight loss surgery

Kimberly Craig, a Baylor Medicine weight loss patient, knows firsthand the benefits of weight loss surgery. She attributes her increased energy, improved mental health and more to weight loss surgery. With the help of surgery, Craig went to a size 10 from a size 24.

“Something that I haven’t done in years that I can do now is country dancing,” Craig says. “I go a lot, and I am able to dance the whole night.”

Craig remembers that before surgery, it would take her four hours to edge and mow her yard because she was slow and needed breaks. After surgery, it takes her only one hour. Craig is so grateful for having more energy to live life and enjoy little things.

A before and after image of Kimberly Craig's weight loss.
Kimberly Craig, before and after weight loss surgery

Dr. Samer Mattar, Baylor Medicine weight loss surgeon and chief of the Division of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, says it is fulfilling to see patients live a better life after having weight loss surgery and losing significant weight.

“The field I am in is so rewarding because we can reverse many health issues, like diabetes or sleep apnea,” Mattar says. “We can help patients lose weight, improve their health and achieve [a] better quality of life too. It’s like we’re delivering happiness to these patients.”

Mattar details other benefits of weight loss surgery:

Weight loss: Bariatric surgery is renowned for its effectiveness in promoting substantial weight loss. Patients often lose about 70% of their excess weight.

Health improvements: From diabetes to hypertension, weight loss surgery has been shown to contribute to the remission or improvement of multiple health issues.

Enhanced quality of life: Beyond the numbers on the scale, bariatric surgery significantly enhances the overall quality of life. Patients report increased energy levels, improved mobility and newfound confidence. The surgery often catalyzes positive lifestyle changes, inspiring individuals to adopt healthier habits and embrace a more active lifestyle.

Craig agrees weight loss surgery changed her life. After losing weight, she increased her activity and started running in races, sailing with friends, mountain biking, country dancing and more.

Positive impact on mental health: The connection between obesity and mental health is well established. Recent research suggests that bariatric surgery not only transforms the body but also has a positive impact on mental well-being. Patients commonly report improvements in mood, reduced symptoms of depression and enhanced self-esteem. The psychological benefits of weight loss surgery extend beyond physical appearance, fostering a positive mindset and emotional resilience.

Craig says she smiles more and is happier overall because of losing weight and feeling better.

Reduced risk of obesity-related diseases: Obesity is a known risk factor for a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers and sleep apnea. Weight loss surgery significantly reduces the risk of these obesity-related health issues. Research findings underscore the surgery’s potential to not only address existing health conditions but also prevent the development of future complications.

“If you are on the fence about this, talk to somebody,” Craig says. “I want to be a grandmother who plays on the ground with her grandchildren, and now, thanks to weight loss surgery, I can.”

By Tiffany Harston, communications associate with the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery

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