Can Bariatric Surgery Reduce the Need for Hip Replacement?
By Fernando Garcia on June 09, 2017
Can bariatric surgery reduce the need for hip replacement? This question and others are often considered before patients choose to undergo bariatric surgery at Tijuana Bariatrics in Tijuana, Mexico. If you are severely overweight with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 and struggling with arthritic knees and poor functioning hips, by losing weight you can often minimize your need for additional surgeries to improve your health.
Even after losing weight, some patients still require hip or knee replacement surgery due to the damage already done. In such cases, research has proven that going into surgery with a lower BMI can help patients achieve a faster recovery with reduced risk for post-operative complications.
How Weight Affects Your Joints
Although obesity can cause a host of medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, it can also lead to osteoarthritis. Being overweight places increased pressure on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. Over time, the added pressure and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines causes wear and tear on the cushioning cartilage between the joints.
When there is no longer an adequate amount of cartilage, your bones will begin to rub together, which leads to arthritis and a variety of symptoms, such as stiffness, chronic pain, and impaired mobility. The added pressure and inability to exercise can also lead to brittle bones and an increased risk for fractures. Once osteoarthritis and fractures begin, it is harder to maintain good mobility and physical health.
Weight Loss Surgery Can Improve Your Health
Hip replacement surgery is much more invasive than bariatric surgery and requires an extensive recovery time. By losing weight in advance, you can restore some mobility and the ability to exercise, as well as alleviate the pressure on your joints. Losing weight and exercising both play an important role in minimizing the affects of osteoarthritis. By developing healthy muscles and improving your flexibility, you can reduce pain, improve your balance, and eliminate added joint pressure.
Because each patient is different, there is no guarantee that undergoing weight loss surgery will help you avoid hip replacement surgery. However, it can certainly reduce your risk for developing further issues and improve your overall recovery time from joint replacement surgery.
Patients who undergo bariatric surgery can lose weight at a rapid pace, reverse the symptoms of arthritis, and achieve successful replacement surgery outcomes. If you choose to proceed with hip replacement surgery before losing weight, your newly replaced joints have a greater chance of wearing down faster, requiring the need for additional surgeries in the future.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are overweight and have been told that you may require a hip replacement surgery in the future, we recommend visiting with a weight loss surgeon about the benefits of bariatric surgery. Losing weight will not only improve your appearance and emotional wellbeing, but it can significantly improve your health and prevent other serious medical conditions and surgeries.
Contact our practice today online or by calling (800) 308-3607 to schedule your consultation with one of our trusted surgeons. To help make care more affordable, medical tourism insurance is included in every surgery package. Talk to our team today about taking control of your health.