The first bariatric surgery for weight loss was performed in 1954, but the technique really became popular after several high-profile recipients went public in the early 2000s. Recently, however, the growth has slowed, and the operation’s popularity now seems to have reached a plateau.
The procedure isn’t about vanity. A surgeon in New Zealand is looking into the possibility of bariatric surgery on diabetic patients who are not obese in the hopes of fighting the disease directly. The surgeon said he hopes the operation will “switch off” type 2 diabetes.
It is still an elective procedure, however, and often a last resort. This is believed to be one reason for the leveling off, as the economy discourages people from spending money on elective surgery. Another reason often seen is a growing awareness of the limitations of the surgery.
Gastric bypass patients need to observe lifestyle changes after the surgery to maintain their new weight. More would-be patients are aware of the changes required, and apparently do not feel this is something they are able to do. Some of the same celebrities who discussed having the surgery later discussed the struggles they went through properly caring for themselves afterward.