Bariatric Surgery (Weight Loss Surgery)

Weight loss surgery helps people with extreme obesity to lose weight. Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) includes a variety of procedures performed on people who are obese. There are different types of weight loss surgery. They often limit the amount of food one can take and surgical procedures that affect digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. Thus the weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band (adjustable gastric band) or through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery). These procedures need careful evaluation to be performed by trained Bariatric surgeons. All Bariatric surgical procedures carry potential risks and complications, such as infections, hernias, and blood clots.

Steps taken:

The restrictive surgeries and malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries are two types of surgeries that help in weight loss. In the Restrictive surgeries the aim is to shrink the size of the stomach and slowing down digestion. The idea is smaller the stomach, less one eats leading the weight loss. Malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries make the stomach smaller and also make bypass part of the digestive tract leading to malabsorption leading to weight loss.

The approach in the restrictive surgeries include the following:

Adjustable Gastric Banding in which the stomach is squeezed to a smaller size by an inflatable band and patient will eat less. Sometimes this can lead to vomiting if the food is gulped very fast.

Sleeve Gastrectomy is another form of restrictive weight loss surgery. In the operation, the surgeon removes about 75% of the stomach. What remains of the stomach is a narrow tube or sleeve, which connects to the intestines.

Gastric Bypass Surgery is the most common type of weight loss surgery. It combines both restrictive and malabsorptive approaches. In the operation, the surgeon divides the stomach into two parts, sealing off the upper section from the lower. A shortcut for the food, bypassing part of the stomach and the small intestine is made; end result the body absorbs fewer calories.

Biliopancreatic Diversio is a more drastic version of a gastric bypass. The surgeon removes as much as 70% of your stomach and bypasses even more of the small intestine.

Endoscopic Intragastric Balloon (EIB) where in a balloon consisting of soft, well-tolerated silicone filled with a sterile saline solution (salt water) is placed in the stomach with an endoscopic technique. The balloon partially fills the stomach and limits food intake. The procedure does not require surgery and is done in a day-care setting.

There is nothing called as the best surgery that suits all personalities. The ideal weight loss surgery depends on one’s health and body type.

Advantages:

This procedure is an option for patients who cannot lose weight through diet and exercise or have serious health problems caused by obesity

Precautions:

The patient should discuss openly the concerns and expectations of the surgery and should take into account the opinion of the surgeon in the possibilities of meeting these expectations. The medical history, details of the concomitant medications must be shared with the surgeon so that he can appropriately take into account any additional precautions that might be necessary. Patient must remember that bariatric surgeries do not guarantee permanent weight loss solution. One must follow dietary advice, exercise and healthy life style.

FAQs

What is BMI?

BMI is BODY MASS INDEX; it is ratio of weight to height of an individual and gives an idea if one is having body weight proportionality to the one’s age.

Is weight loss surgery right for everyone?

No. Surgery is not a solution for everyone and its need must only be evaluated by the doctor.

How soon will I be able to walk?

Almost immediately after surgery doctors will require you to get up and move about. Patients are asked to walk or stand at the bedside on the night of surgery, take several walks the next day and thereafter.

Can bariatric surgery help other physical conditions?

According to current research, bariatric surgery can improve or resolve associated health conditions such as diabetes.

How long can one keep the Endoscopic Intragastric Balloon in the stomach?

It can be kept for maximum 6 months. It is not a permanent solution and is recommended only for patients who do not wish to undergo a surgery.

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