Would You Consider Weight Loss Surgery?

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Losing weight with diet and exercise is effective for many patients. However, some patients may fail diet and exercise and be at a high risk for disease-related complications due to obesity.

When other medically supervised methods of weight loss have failed, weight-loss surgery can be an effective way to lose weight and maintain that weight loss. Weight-loss surgery has been shown to be very effective at producing significant and sustained weight-loss. There are several different weight-loss operations that are currently available that can lead to this desired result.

Before considering surgery, it is essential that you have a full understanding of what it involves, including the risks and benefits. You should also be aware that you need to make long-term changes to your lifestyle and eating habits after your surgery.

So you want to shed excess pounds to look and feel better. Is weight loss surgery right for you?

Also known as Bariatric Surgery, it is a generic term for weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery is an option for people who have a body mass index (BMI) above 35.  The types of bariatric surgery you should consider depend on a number of factors, including how much weight you want to lose, which health problems you are looking to improve, risk level and cost.

There are two basic types of bariatric surgery; restrictive surgeries and malabsorptive surgeries.

Restrictive surgeries work by physically restricting the size of the stomach and slowing down digestion. This makes you feel full when eating much sooner than you did before surgery. This type of surgery includes a Gastric bypass surgery which reduces stomach size and diverts the passage of food through the small intestine to limit digestion, leaving patients feeling full after eating less. Since the stomach can’t store large amounts of food and the small intestine absorbs fewer calories, a person loses weight.

Another example of restrictive surgery is adjustable gastric banding also called lap band surgery. Stomach banding is the process of placing a synthetic band around the upper portion of the stomach so the patients will likely to feel full more quickly and, as a result, eat less.

Sleeve gastrectomies may be appropriate as an alternative to gastric banding in certain patients. A procedure in which up to 80 percent of the stomach is removed. The remaining, smaller stomach is reshaped into the form of a sleeve. The sleeve creates a feeling of being full faster and decreases appetite. Only small amounts of food can pass through the sleeve at one time. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach and is not reversible.

This restriction on food consumption means a patient will feel fuller sooner and ultimately lose weight because they eating less at each sitting.

A malabsorptive procedure is one in which the absorption of food is greatly affected. Biliopancreatic diversion surgery is one option. Malabsorptive surgery does not limit food intake, but instead bypasses a portion of the small intestine so fewer calories and nutrients are absorbed. During this surgical procedure, a lower part of the small intestine is attached to the stomach, to bypass the duodenum.

Surgical weight loss options typically result in quick and dramatic weight loss among patients, and significantly reduces obesity-related health issues, such as diabetes. However, post-operative complications may also happen, this includes leakage through staples or sutures, bowel obstruction, ulcers in the stomach or small intestine, blood clots in the lungs or legs, stretching of the pouch or esophagus, recurring vomiting and abdominal pain, inflammation of the gallbladder, and failure to lose weight

Weight loss surgery is not something to be undertaken without very careful consideration. For patients who meet the selection criteria, weight loss surgery has proven to be an effective treatment to lose weight and to improve or cure the diseases associated with obesity. Also, you need to be fully prepared for weight loss surgery and you need to be highly motivated.