Older Patients Make for Some of the Best Bariatric Patients!
Rather than using a person’s age as the sole deciding factor in whether a patient is a candidate for bariatric surgery, we look at the patient as a whole. Each patient, especially older individuals, is carefully evaluated for their “fitness” for surgery. We involve the aid of a patient’s doctors, including primary care doctors and cardiologists, to optimize patients for surgery and make sure that surgery can be safely performed. The new ASMBS, the governing body for bariatric surgery, guidelines on bariatric surgery explicitly state that “there is no upper patient age limit” to metabolic/bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery has been performed safely in older patients, including patients over 70 years old. And notably, older patients can see many of the awesome benefits from bariatric surgery that younger patients experience. Older patients may have co-morbidities that have become worse with age and more difficult to control, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. After surgery, these co-morbidities are all better controlled. Arthritis, a disease that impacts many older patients, is especially improved after bariatric surgery, as 10 lbs of weight loss equal 40 lbs of pressure off the knees! In fact, with bariatric surgery, older patients can live to be even older by extending their lifespan and living longer, more healthier lives!
With careful planning, older patients make for some of our best bariatric surgery patients!