- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
The Truth About Weight Loss Surgery
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.
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.
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.
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