obesity america
A man walks along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, April 6, 2005. Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

As more than one-third or 36.5 percent of the adults in the United States have obesity, many think of getting a weight loss surgery. But, is the procedure safe?

Weight loss surgery has a 99.9 percent survival rate and the long-term risks of remaining obese is much greater than the risks of weight loss surgery. One in 10 patients usually experience minor to serious complications as a result of weigh loss surgery.

After comparing obesity statistics in the country from 1999 to 2000 – in which adult obesity only accounted for 30.5 percent – to those from 2013 to 2014, the Centers for Disease Control determined obesity rates had increased significantly.

Read: How To Control Obesity? More Homecooked Meals

Before delving deeper into the facts and myths of weight loss surgery, below are the risks and complications that obese adults usually face.

While being overweight refers to an excess amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat, and water, obesity refers to an excess amount of body fat. According to World Health Organisation's fact sheet, worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. Nearly 44 percent of the diabetes burden, 23 percent of ischaemic heart diseases and between seven and 41 percent of certain cancer burdens are attributable to overweight and obesity.

Obesity can cause the following conditions:

1. Heart Disease and Stroke: Extra weight can make you more vulnerable to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which can cause heart disease or stroke. According to several studies, losing a small amount of the extra weight could lower the chance of developing heart disease.

2. Type 2 Diabetes: This is mostly caused due to being overweight or obese and can be controlled by losing weight, a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and exercising more.

3. Cancer: Several studies have found links between obesity and cancer in the colon, breasts (after menopause), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), kidneys, and esophagus. There are also links between obesity and cancers to the gallbladder, ovaries, and pancreas.

4. Gallbladder Disease: You are more prone to gallbladder disease and gallstones if you are overweight.

5. Osteoarthritis: You can develop this joint condition that most often affects the knee, hip, or back, if you are overweight or obese.

6. Gout: Another disease related to joints is linked to obesity as it is most commonly seen in overweight people.

7. Sleep Apnea: A breathing condition, which can cause a person to snore heavily and to briefly stop breathing during sleep, has been linked to being overweight. Weight loss often improves sleep apnea.

While there are several ways to tackle obesity, such as physical activities and consumption of fruits and vegitables, the fastest way of reducing extra fat is believed to be weight loss surgery.

There are four types of weight loss surgery typically used by surgeons.

1. Gastric Bypass: Also known as the "Roux-en-Y" gastric bypass, or RYGB, this method will require a surgeon to leave only a very small part of the stomach (called the pouch) where the food you consume gets stored after bypassing the rest of the stomach. This surgery can often be done through several small incisions using a camera to see inside (laparoscope).

2. Adjustable Gastric Band: During this procedure, the surgeon puts a small band around the top of the stomach. The band limits how much food can go into your stomach. This surgery is done using a laparoscope. Gastric banding is also less likely to cause nutritional problems.

3. Gastric Sleeve: This surgery removes most of the stomach and leaves only a narrow section of the upper part of the stomach, called a gastric sleeve. Following this surgery, the hunger hormone ghrelin is released in less amount, so you eat less.

4. Duodenal Switch: This is a complicated surgery that removes most of the stomach and uses a gastric sleeve to bypass most of your small intestine. It limits how much you can eat.

The most common surgery practice is the gastric bypass surgery. Following this surgery, people typically stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days and return to normal activity within 2 to 3 weeks. Minor complications that affect about 10 percent of people include, wound infections, digestive problems, ulcers, bleeding etc.

Upto 5 percent of people face serious or life-threatening complications, such as blood clot (pulmonary embolism), heart attack, leak in the surgical connections with the intestines, and serious infection or bleeding.

Deaths in the month following gastric bypass surgery are very rare when the procedure is done by a highly experienced surgeon.