What is weight-loss surgery?
Surgery for weight loss involves changing your digestive system to help you lose weight.
Surgical weight loss ("bariatric" refers to "related to weight loss") is also known as bariatric surgery.
Some weight-loss procedures reduce your stomach size and make you feel full faster. Other weight-loss strategies alter your small intestine, the portion of your digestive system responsible for absorbing energy and nutrients. The operation reduces the body's ability to absorb calories. The body can metabolize fat and use insulin more efficiently with weight-loss surgery when hormones or bacteria in the gut are affected.
Finding the right surgical weight loss option for you can seem overwhelming, with many options available today.
Here is a primer on the procedures available today to help start a conversation about weight loss surgery with your healthcare provider.
In the United States, three primary weight loss (or bariatric) surgeries are currently being performed. The pros and cons of all weight loss surgeries are numerous, and they are not a quick, simple solution to losing weight. Diet and exercise remain essential for good results after surgery - it is the only tool to assist with weight loss.
Surgery for weight loss is only appropriate for people whose body mass index (BMI) is over 40 or who have co-morbid conditions such as heart disease and a high BMI.
3 types of weight loss surgeries:
More than 20 years have passed since gastric bypass surgery was first performed. It involves creating a walnut-sized pouch in the stomach by cutting across the top.
Following the attachment of the pouch to the small intestine, food bypasses the stomach and goes directly into the gut. As a combined procedure, gastric bypass restricts portions and limits food absorption, known as malabsorption.
There is no simpler or safer bariatric surgery than this. In contrast to other surgeries, this one results in lower weight loss. Additionally, individuals who undergo gastric banding are more likely to gain weight over time. Nutrient deficiencies are less likely to occur since the surgery does not affect nutrient absorption.
The gastric banding procedure has been carried out in the United States for over a decade, involving the wrapping of a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach. By adjusting the band's tightness around the belly, an individual can change how much food their stomach can hold. Gastric banding is the only procedure that can be adjusted; the amount of food a person can have can be adjusted at an office visit.
As a result of this surgery, weight loss occurs quickly and lasts for up to two years. The treatment can improve the health of obese patients rapidly. As well as helping you lose weight, it keeps it off for an extended period. This approach has a few drawbacks, including hernias and nutritional deficiencies. Consequently, food may be emptied from the stomach and dumped into the intestines without being digested properly.
The FDA approves sleeve gastrectomy for less than four years, which removes 80 to 85 percent of the stomach. During this procedure, you can consume a limited amount of food.
Those who are morbidly obese and have other health complications can benefit from this relatively simple and safe procedure. Despite the significant weight loss, nutrient absorption is unaffected. Considering this is a newer procedure, long-term benefits and risks are yet to be determined.
Who are good candidates for weight-loss surgery?
When you have obesity as an adult and have tried other methods like diet plans, exercise, or medication but haven't been able to lose weight, you may be a good candidate for weight-loss surgery.
To decide whether you are a good candidate for weight loss surgery, you must determine your Body Mass Index (BMI). Weight about height determines BMI, which measures body fat. The effectiveness of diet and exercise alone may not be sufficient to treat obesity in people with a BMI of 35 or higher, so health care professionals may recommend weight-loss surgery instead. It may be necessary to undergo surgical weight loss if lifestyle changes and medication cannot control type 2 diabetes.
Weight-loss surgery may be one option for people with serious health problems related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea. Many medical conditions linked to obesity can be improved by weight-loss surgery, primarily type 2 diabetes.
Does weight-loss surgery always work?
Depending on the type of surgery, people who undergo weight-loss surgery typically lose 15 to 30 percent of their starting weight3. However, no method is guaranteed to produce and maintain weight loss. Many people who undergo weight-loss surgery do not achieve the results they expected. It is common for people to lose weight and then gain it back over time.
Weight-regain may vary from person to person. An individual's weight before surgery, the type of operation, and adherence to dietary and exercise changes may affect weight regain.
You can lose weight and become more active after weight-loss surgery. You may lose weight and keep it off over time if you choose healthy foods and beverages before and after the surgery. Maintaining a healthy weight after surgery is also possible through regular physical activity. Health care professionals advise that you follow healthy lifestyle habits for the rest of your life to improve your health.
Bariatric surgery has its benefits and drawbacks. The surgeon recommends the kind of surgery depending on the patient's health and needs. Surgeries always involve some risk, but restrictive surgeries are safer than restrictive/malabsorptive surgeries because the digestive system is not permanently disrupted.
After Weight Loss Surgery Tips
The hospital will keep you until your team deems it safe to leave (on average, one to three days).
When you take prescription pain medicine, do not drive. When you have healed, exercise as soon as possible; most weight loss centers can help you design an exercise program.
When you return home, it is essential to follow the recommendations of your doctor and dietitian. Doctors, nurses, and dietitians will monitor your weight loss, diet, and nutrition status after surgery. Manage Nutrition Postoperatively after Bariatric Surgery.
Slowly increase the amount of food you consume over time, but always remember:
Be aware that weight regain is always possible and that you should constantly reassess what you eat and maintain healthy habits.
When chewing your food, make sure you do so slowly and thoroughly.
Avoid being distracted (such as watching TV while eating) when eating.
It will help if you stop eating when you are full.
Before or after eating, drink liquids for at least 30 minutes.
Make sure you keep track of how many calories you consume each day.
Sugar and fat-containing foods should be avoided.
In addition to your regular diet, you should take vitamins and minerals prescribed by your doctor.
Don't forget to exercise every day.
Sleep at least eight hours a night.
The ability to recognize hunger and fullness may take several months to develop. There might be times when you dislike foods that you once loved, and there may be times when you begin to favor new foods. If you are having trouble with this process, speak to your dietitian.
After surgery, weight loss usually takes between one and two years. Many people have body contouring surgery after reaching their ideal weight to remove excess skin, especially from the abdominal area.
The purpose of weight loss surgery is to help you lose weight by modifying your digestive system. Developing new eating and exercise habits after weight loss surgery can be challenging, so you must work hard to stay on track. Surgical weight loss is only effective if it is done correctly.
Family and friends can be accommodating when recovering from surgery and losing weight. Support groups, social workers, and therapists can help you cope with tough times.
To learn more about weight loss surgery, you can read some articles here.