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The Truth About Weight Loss Surgery

Updated on March 19, 2012

Know The Facts

Modern weight loss surgery options include bariatric surgeries, are specifically for people who are severely overweight and can help reduce the risk of medical problems associated with obesity. Bariatric surgeries surgically alter the digestive system, often limiting the amount of food the stomach can hold and in turn limiting the appetite, which leads to significant weight loss. It is sometimes considered a last resort option for people battling medical illnesses related to their obesity or who exhausted more traditional weight loss methods. Stomach weight loss surgery is expensive, risky, and somewhat controversial, though it is a popular weight loss option because of its effectiveness when combined with a nutritious diet and a regular low-impact exercise program. Because the success of bariatric surgeries depends largely on the lifestyle of the patient post-surgery, it is important to consider all risks of gastric bypass surgery before deciding to undergo this major process.

Weight Loss Side Affects

The most popular stomach weight loss surgery is gastric bypass surgery, which is the most frequently performed form of bariatric surgery in the United States due to the lower risk for surgery-related complications. Gastric bypass surgery involves decreasing the stomach’s size and surgically rerouting your intestines to force food to bypass the small intestines. The most common risks of gastric bypass surgery include dehydration, propensity for stomach ulcers, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, kidney stones, gallstones, and risk of hernia. Other gastic bypass complications include bleeding, leaking, risk for pneumonia, blood clots in the legs, and diarrhea and other digestive problems (known as dumping syndrome). Another obvious major risk is surgery failure – meaning the patient will gain weight back -- because the success of the surgery depends primarily on the patient’s commitment to diet and exercise.

Your BMI

Gastric bypass surgery, the most popular stomach weight loss surgery, is generally an option for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher – which is medically considered extreme obesity. People with a BMI of 35 or above who also suffer from weight-related complications like cardiovascular disease or diabetes can also be considered for gastric bypass surgery. The preferred method of performing gastric bypass surgery is Roux-en-Y where the stomach is stapled to create a small pouch and a passage for food to go around (bypass) a section of your small intestine. Another form of gastric bypass surgery is biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, where 80 percent of the stomach is removed. This weight-loss surgery is effective but has many more gastric bypass complications associated with it, including malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.

healthy cooking
healthy cooking

Weight Loss Option Lap-Band

Other weight loss surgery options include lap-band adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), a weight loss surgery during which the surgeon divide the stomach into two parts by using an inflatable band wrapped around the upper part of the stomach and pulled tightly. This creates a small area between the two pouches for food to collect, thereby limiting the appetite. Compared with other bariatric surgeries, this one also has a somewhat low risk of complications. A similar procedure is the vertical banded gastroplasty, otherwise known as stomach stapling, which also divides the stomach into two parts and achieves a similar result. There is no bypass. Using a surgical stapler, the surgeon divides your stomach into upper and lower sections. This weight-loss surgery isn't as popular as LAGB or gastric bypass surgery, mostly due to its lower rate of effectiveness for long-term weight loss.


Submit a Comment

  • BMG profile image


    8 years ago from timor laste

    This is new surgery method I've seen so far...good to share...thanks

  • creativeone59 profile image

    benny Faye Douglass 

    8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

    Thank you Adirenne, for a great hubs on the different weight loss surgeries.Thank you so much for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

  • adrienne2 profile imageAUTHOR

    Adrienne F Manson 

    8 years ago from Atlanta

    Hi Money Glitch,

    It is true these problems and side effect do occur with these surgeries. It is sad to hear of someone passing so young although as you said it cant be certain the surgery was the cause.

  • Money Glitch profile image

    Money Glitch 

    8 years ago from Texas

    I definitely agree that bariatric surgery can cause side effects. I knew of one lady that had this surgery when it first became popular years ago. And yes she was able to keep most of the weight she lost off, however, she had all kinds of problems, including gall stones, kidney stones, and a hernia.

    It seems that about a year after overcoming one problem she would have another. Unfortunately, she died last year at the early age of about 45. I'm not sure of what she died of, however, I can't help but wonder how much the bariatric surgery was a contributing factor.

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 

    8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    Thanks for describing the types of surgery. It all seems so drastic.

  • adrienne2 profile imageAUTHOR

    Adrienne F Manson 

    8 years ago from Atlanta

    Thank you Fastfreta I appreciate your taking the time to read and leaving a comment.

  • fastfreta profile image

    Alfreta Sailor 

    8 years ago from Southern California

    Very good coverage of this subject. I am going to pass this on to my friend that has considered one of these types of weight reduction. Also very good hub adrienne2.


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