New Hope for Senior Patients

During our virtual information sessions, we meet with many potential patients who tell us that they think they’re too old to undergo bariatric surgery. We are happy to report that it IS possible for people aged 60 years and older to undergo successful bariatric surgery and experience tremendous health benefits. 

According to a November 2015 study published by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), life expectancy may increase after bariatric surgery.

Increased lifespan is a result of major weight loss and the resolution of comorbidities associated with obesity later in life, such as hypertension, heart disease, and the development of certain types of cancer.

Losing excessive weight can help obese and morbidly obese people at any age. In general, older patients may not lose as much weight as younger patients, but the health benefits and reduction of comorbidities will still improve their quality of life.

Obesity Is On The Rise

In 2019, the obesity rate surpassed 40% for the first time in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with 42.4% of adults classified as obese. The national obesity rate has increased by 26% since 2008, creating a strong need for viable and affordable weight loss solutions.

Rates of childhood obesity are also increasing, with the latest data showing that 19.3% of American youth aged 2 to 19 are obese. Being overweight or obese at a young age puts a person at higher risk for severe health-related issues previously only seen in much older patients.

When it comes to patients 60 and older, 41.5% suffer from obesity in the United States. Comorbidities are rampant, including diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, asthma, high cholesterol, liver disease, heart disease, and others. During what should be the Golden Years, these patients endure an especially low quality of life. However, many may wonder if weight loss procedures are actually safe and viable for the elderly. 

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery for Senior Patients

  • Decreased comorbidities
  • Minimized risk of chronic disease
  • Reduced need for medications
  • Improved mobility
  • Enhanced self-esteem
  • Higher quality of life
  • Greater peace of mind

Risk Factors to Consider

While age alone may not significantly increase your chance of complications, other conditions that are common among senior patients can. Risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • BMI (body mass index) over 55

Senior patients also may require a longer hospital stay following bariatric surgery.

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Safety of Weight Loss Surgery After the Age of 60

Many people are concerned that the risks associated with bariatric surgery increase with age. However, Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, chief of the New York University Langone Weight-Management Program, notes that over the last decade, bariatric surgery has become one of the safest operations patients can undergo, regardless of their age. Dr. Ren-Fielding's oldest bariatric patient was 83 when she underwent weight loss surgery, and eight years later, at age 91, had managed to keep off 80 pounds while also reducing her diabetes medication.

Research has begun to back up the safety of bariatric surgery in elderly patients. In November 2018, JAMA Surgery published research from Brown University that examined the outcomes of surgery in older adults. The research discovered that patients who had bariatric procedures, such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), adjustable gastric banding (AGB), as well as minimally invasive, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (SG), showed improved weight loss one year after their procedure and lowered morbidity and mortality 30 days after it. The only difference in outcome is that some older patients may experience a longer recovery period.

Amazing medical staff. You are paying for a safe medical procedure and you will get that with caring and attentive staff. I used CER Hospital because of the cafeteria, which was reasonably priced and my husband liked their food. Overall I would use them again. I felt safe and cared for. I appreciate them and I feel great!

— Jessica Moter

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Potential Side Effects

Patients of any age need to consider the side effects of bariatric surgery. For elderly patients, in particular, common side effects may include surgical failure as well as changes in your physical or mental health. However, your doctor can help you plan ahead by recommending support groups or help from a mental health professional. While these considerations should be taken seriously, several studies show that the health benefits far outweigh the risks and that treatment can drastically improve your lifespan.

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Carefully Screening Senior Patients for Bariatric Surgery

While the overall risk of complications may not be greater in elderly patients, we acknowledge that health situations vary from patient to patient. No matter your age, we will carefully screen you and conduct a thorough medical history review to determine if bariatric surgery can be safely performed. Your consultation is among the most important components of developing a successful surgical weight loss plan.

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Why Choose Tijuana Bariatric Center?

  • Access to a team of medical experts – Led by prestigious surgeons like Dr. Fernando Garcia, Dr. Marcela Ramirez, and general physician Dr. Paola Velazco, the team at Tijuana Bariatric Center brings years of experience and expertise to the table, ensuring our patients receive top-notch care. 
  • A patient-centric approach – We understand that every patient's journey is unique, regardless of age. Our dedicated team crafts individualized treatment plans to cater to each patient's specific needs and goals. 
  • Cutting-edge facilities – Our state-of-the-art weight loss center is equipped with the latest medical technology, ensuring that patients receive the most advanced treatments available. 
  • Continuity of care – Our care goes far beyond your surgical procedure. We offer extensive pre-operative education and postoperative support. Our commitment is to the patient's overall well-being and long-term success. 
  • Patient testimonials – Newcomers can connect with previous patients to learn about their struggles and successes, gaining insight through shared experience.
  • A holistic philosophy – We believe that no weight loss program is complete without the emotional support required to ensure patient success. We provide access to online chat groups as well as long-term follow-up with our practitioners. Additionally, we focus on providing dietary counseling so that patients can learn to keep the weight off for good.
  • Laparoscopic procedures – Each procedure coordinated by the Tijuana Bariatric Center is performed laparoscopically. Compared to traditional methods, laparoscopic surgeries require much smaller incisions. This minimally invasive technique is considered to be especially safe for elderly patients.
  • Transparency – We pride ourselves on providing clear, upfront pricing, eliminating any surprises. We also assist with financing options, ensuring our services are accessible. Patients are never pressured; on the contrary, we provide the space and time for each client to make the ideal decisions for themselves whether they choose us or not.
  • Cultural competency – Located in Tijuana, we cater to an international clientele. Our staff is multilingual and understands the unique concerns of patients traveling from abroad. 
  • A deep commitment to safety – Patient safety is our top priority. We adhere to the strictest international medical standards and protocols to ensure our patients' well-being at every stage of their weight loss journey. 
  • Continuous learning – Our medical team is dedicated to ongoing education. We stay updated with the latest research, techniques, and advancements in bariatric medicine, attending industry seminars, networking events, and symposiums.
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Schedule a Virtual Consultation Today!

For more information about weight loss surgery and which option is best for those over 60, contact our caring team at Tijuana Bariatric Center for a free virtual consultation. We will work closely with you to explore your options and help you make the best possible decision for your health and well-being. Contact us by calling 800-970-0577.

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