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Is obesity surgery suitable for older people?

The age range for weight reduction surgery is 18-60 years. However, this is simply a guideline, and there are, in fact, many people over the age of 60 who've had an obesity operation.

The age of a patient should be considered as one of many factors when assessing suitability for obesity surgery. For example, if a 65 women is in very good health, there is no reason why she shouldn't be offered obesity treatment.

Despite our obesity problems, the human race is getting healthier. Life expectancy rates in developed countries continue to rise. Many people in their sixties live and look like they're in their fifties. With people regularly living to a hundred, an obesity operation at 65 could still have several decades worth of benefit.

You would expect the risk factor of weight reduction in the elderly to be significantly higher than that of younger patients. Older people are more prone to serious health conditions and a lack of mobility.

However, there is very little research to suggest this to be the case. In many of the small studies carried out, there was no increased risk from weight loss surgery in the elderly.

The key point is that each case should be consider on its own merits. Every patient is different. One sixty year old women may be much healthier than most forty year old women. Whereas, another sixty year old patient may actually be every bit as old as her age suggests.

Obesity surgery is a life changing procedure. Life doesn't end at sixty. So why should the older generation be excluded from having such treatment?

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Diet & Weight Loss