Weight Loss Surgery: Types, Safety, And Benefits
Weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery is a physician-approved surgical procedure to remove excess fat. It is only recommended if you have a BMI of 35-40 or higher and are suffering from diseases related to obesity such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. Studies have shown that bariatric surgery reduces obesity-related complications and weight gain after surgery prevented. That sounds promising and effective, right? Read on to learn all about weight loss surgery if you should go for it, its safety, success rate and much more.
What is Weight Loss Surgery and how does it work?
The bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure performed by highly skilled healthcare professionals in the digestive system to help extremely obese patients lose weight. Unlike liposuction, which removes a piece of fatty tissue from the body, weight loss focuses on limiting the amount of food you consume and absorb.
This happens in two ways. First, by limiting the abdominal area so that it can not absorb too much food, avoiding overeating or feeling full sooner. And second, by shortening your small intestine, where the nutrients are absorbed, preventing the absorption of broken food molecules that are converted to fat when not used as an energy source.
The bariatric surgery is minimally invasive and is performed with a laparoscope. It is the most preferred method as it causes less pain and speeds up the healing process. However, some open bariatric surgeries are also performed depending on the condition of the patient and after his consent. But does it work? Find out in the next section.
Does Weight Loss Surgery Work?
Yes, weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery works for morbidly obese patients. Since it prevents you from eating too much and reducing the intake of nutrients, you will gradually lose weight. It will seem as though you lose weight naturally.
But you must also be careful after undergoing weight loss. Proper diet and lifestyle should be followed to regain weight. In addition, patients suffering from depression or eating disorders should be careful because they tend to gain weight.
Well, yes, bariatric surgery helps you lose weight, but it also depends on how determined you are to change your lifestyle, follow a new and better routine, and not regain weight. But instead of predicting the future now, we focus on the present – do you really need a bariatric surgery? Find it out next.
Criteria for weight loss surgery
Weight loss surgery is not for everyone. Sometimes you may feel overweight while you are not. Or you need to lose a little weight, which can be achieved by choosing a better lifestyle. So how do you know if weight loss surgery remains the only option for you? Well, experts have developed a checklist to examine patients who are fit for bariatric surgery. Here are the criteria for weight loss:
- You have a BMI (body mass index, calculated here) of 35-40 or more.
- They have a BMI of 35-40 or more and suffer from diseases related to obesity.
- They have a BMI of 30-35 and suffer from diseases related to obesity.
Apart from that, the hospital questionnaire will also determine if you are the right candidate for bariatric surgery or not. The doctors make the decision based on a number of factors, so the surgery is successful and will help you in the long run.
Now let’s take a look at the types of weight loss surgery.
Types of weight loss surgery
Bariatric surgery is of four types. Your doctor will decide what type of surgery is best for you, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Look here.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
Also referred to as gastric bypass, it is the “gold standard” of bariatric surgery.
First, the surgeon punches the upper part of the stomach and creates a small pouch. Next, he/she cuts the small intestine and attaches the lower part of the small intestine to the newly created small gastric pouch. Now the upper part of the small intestine is attached to the lower part. The stomach gets smaller and therefore you cannot eat much and will soon feel full.
The attachment of the lower part of the small intestine to the small pouch limits the absorption of calories. The attachment of the upper part of the small intestine to the lower part promotes digestion by supplying the digestive juices produced by the glands in the gastric mucosa.
- Suppresses the appetite.
- Supports long-term weight loss.
- Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Increases satiety.
- Complex procedure.
- Longer recovery time.
- May cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Patients should take vitamin and mineral supplements as long as they live.
- The patient should stick to a good lifestyle
- Requires follow-up.
Gastric sleeve surgery
Also referred to as sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Here’s how it’s done.
The surgeon removes 80% of the stomach. The remaining stomach, which now looks like a banana, is too small to overeat. That’s why you eat less and lose weight.
- Leads to weight loss.
- Helps with weight loss.
- Reduces the risk of diseases related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes.
Most of the stomach is permanently removed and is therefore not reversible.
Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery
Also known as laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery. Here’s how it’s done.
The surgeon places a ring with an inner inflatable band on the upper side of the stomach, creating a small pouch. It’s much like tying a knot with a ribbon. The remaining part of the stomach stays under the band. Now the inflatable band is filled by the surgeon with salt water to adjust the opening of the gastric pouch. So, if the stomach is small, you will eat less and prevent weight gain.
- Leads to weight loss.
- Reduces the amount of food your stomach can absorb.
- Does not include a knife procedure.
- Short hospital stay.
- Reversible operation.
- Lowest postoperative complication rate.
- Lowest risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- Lower success rate.
- Slow weight loss.
- The band could slip.
- A foreign body stays in your body.
- May lead to dilatation of the esophagus.
- The tape can have mechanical problems.
- Requires renewed operation.
- The patient must follow a strict diet.
- Intestinal bacteria and hormones are attacked, which in turn affects the metabolism.
Duodenal Switch Surgery
Also known as biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD / DS), it is the most complex weight loss surgery. Here’s how it’s done.
First, a gastric tube operation is performed. Next, the duodenum and the last part of the small intestine are split, and both are joined together. About three-quarters of the small intestine bypassed. The upper part of the small intestine, which contains pancreatic enzymes and bile (important for the digestion and absorption of fats and proteins), is connected to the last serving. The little stomach bag cannot absorb too much food, so you eat less. And as the pancreatic enzymes and bile merge at the end of the small intestine, fewer calories are absorbed.
- Increases weight loss.
- Reduces calorie intake by 70%.
- Increases satiety.
- Best surgery to treat type 2 diabetes.
- Requires longer hospital stays.
- Causes vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- Complicated process and can be risky.
- You have to follow a strict diet.
- Requires follow-up compliance.
- These were the four weight loss surgery procedures that can help you lose the fat and lead a disease-free life. But the main question is, how much weight will you lose? We found that.
How much weight will you lose?
Bariatric or weight loss surgery is very effective. The weight loss can be between 12-39% of the original body weight or 40-71% above the weight loss. This is a big number, and it has changed the lives of many overweight patients.
It is clear that bariatric or weight loss surgery is a life-changing experience. But you should know what to expect before proceeding with it. Look at the next section.
What to expect before the weight loss surgery
Before you make a weight loss, you will meet with your doctor, psychiatrist, and nutritionist. You will also know what to expect from this operation. You should know the following:
- Your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam, review your blood report, and review your medical history.
- If you smoke, you must stop six weeks before surgery.
- The dietician will tell you what and how much you eat and what kind of lifestyle you should follow after the operation.
- The psychiatrist will conduct an investigation to know if a bariatric surgery will help you.
- Bariatric or weight loss surgery will help you to lose weight over a period of 12-15 months. You will not lose the weight overnight.
- Most weight loss surgeries are safe and the results are good. But you can regain the weight if you do not lead a good lifestyle.
- You may need to go to follow-up appointments after the operation.
- Talk to your doctor if you are phobic about needles, a foreign body in your body or something that you are worried about.
Let me now answer the most important question – is the surgery for weight loss safe? Here is your answer.
Is Weight Loss Surgery Safe?
Bariatric or weight loss surgery is safe. But researchers and physicians are working to make surgeries better and less risky, and to make weight loss more sustainable in the long run. You need to have a detailed discussion with your doctor to know if weight loss surgery is what you want and whether it will work for you.
Weight Loss Surgery Benefits
There are many benefits of weight loss surgery. Here is what you should know.
- Bariatric surgery helps with long-term weight loss.
- It prevents overweight.
- Reduces the risk of diseases caused by obesity.
- Increases life.
- Improves the quality of life.
- Improves mental health.
Weight Loss Surgery Side Effects
Here are a few side effects of bariatric surgery.
- It can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- You may need to be supplied with vitamins and minerals all your life.
- You could be sick.
- Leads to low blood sugar.
- May cause inflammation, ulcers, and hernias.
- You need to see the doctor.
- Must be on a strict and specific weight loss surgery diet.
- It may be necessary to perform the operation again.
Weight loss surgery is the best option available if you are overweight and/or suffering from life-threatening comorbidities. Talk to your doctor and do your research on the surgery and the hospital you choose to do your surgery before you go one step ahead. Remember, this surgery is not for people who can reduce their weight through healthy eating and exercise.