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According to recent research, bariatric surgery could help those with chronic discomfort and physical limitations in addition to proven benefits, including improving blood sugar, reducing blood pressure, and minimizing cardiovascular risk.

Bariatric surgery alleviates pain and improves physical function 

The study followed around 1,500 people aged 35-55 for around seven years following sleek gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. These are the two most popular forms of bariatric surgery. The majority of the study participants were white (82%) and female (80%), with Blacks (11%) and Hispanics (4%) the least presented. The participants had severe obesity with BMI above 35.

Participants completed surveys about their physical capabilities, discomfort, quality of life, and health before surgery. For example, the capacity to walk 400m in 7 minutes or less was one of several physical function and movement tests many people underwent. Osteoarthritis symptoms such as severe or even incapacitating hip or knee pain were among the reported symptoms.

Findings indicate that 41% to 64% of the participants witnessed improvement in physical function and body pain and managed to objectively measure walking ability. In addition, 65%-72% of the participants with osteoarthritis saw their hip and knee pain improve. 

However, not all measures improved with medication for back pain before bariatric surgery remained the same. Surprisingly not everybody experienced improvements in body function and pain alleviation. Additionally, since there was no control group, it was challenging to know whether the positive changes resulted from surgery or whether one surgery was better than the other.

Improvement witnessed in the first two years after bariatric surgery 

It is evident that bodily function and health following bariatric surgery were significant during the first two years. After three to seven years, the positive effects on cardiovascular, weight, and diabetes health metrics and health-associated quality of life declined even though the net effect remained positive. 

The average follow-up period for research on joint pain, physiology, and productivity levels following weight loss surgery is two years. As a result, it is uncertain how long patients can maintain their gains after surgery.