If you’re struggling with obesity, your doctor will recommend weight loss surgery if other options are not bringing about any progress. At this point, you might have tried dieting and exercising without success. It may have led you to ask for help managing your condition. And your doctor might have recommended weight loss surgery as a last resort. This article provides information on what weight loss surgery is, who it’s best for, how it works, and why it may be right for you?
What is Weight Loss Surgery?
Weight loss surgery is a way to restrict the amount of food you can eat and decrease your stomach size. There are several different types, and each has its benefits for certain people, depending on their weight-related problems or medical conditions. Weight loss surgeries can be restrictive (restricting how much you’re able to eat), malabsorptive (decreasing the number of nutrients your body absorbs), or a combination of both. The surgery can be a stand-alone procedure or be used along with other treatments, such as dieting and exercising.
Who is Weight Loss Surgery for?
The best candidates are adults with severe obesity who have tried all types of diets without success. Your doctor will determine whether you are a candidate for weight loss surgery. To be considered, you must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more and be unable to lose at least 15% of your excess weight through non-surgical methods like dieting and exercise.
The best weight-loss surgeries can help the people who need them; however, it is a major surgery and should be considered carefully. Finding the right surgeon such as Dr. Feiz is necessary for a successful procedure.
How does Weight Loss Surgery Work?
There are three main types of surgical procedures: gastric banding (laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding), vertical sleeve gastrectomy, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
The gastric bypass procedure reshapes your stomach and small intestine by dividing them into a smaller upper pouch and larger lower section. This procedure restricts how much you can eat at one time and decreases the calories your body absorbs. The surgeon will also bypass a portion of the small intestine so it doesn’t absorb as many calories and nutrients.
Gastric Banding Surgery
The surgeon creates an adjustable gastric band to reduce your stomach size. After surgery, you’ll be able to eat less food than before but will still feel full. That is because there’s a small, balloon-like stomach pouch that only holds a small amount of food. This procedure allows the doctor to control the size of the stomach by filling the band with sterile saltwater through a port that’s placed under your skin.
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
This procedure removes a large portion of your stomach and creates a much smaller upper area to reduce the amount you can comfortably eat at any given time (restriction). It also causes malabsorption because it removes part of the stomach.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y bypass involve removing approximately 85% of the stomach and creating a smaller stomach pouch for food to pass into before reaching the lower part of your digestive system, so you feel full after eating less.
Why Is This Procedure The Right Decision For You?
Weight loss surgeries are designed to help those who have tried other treatments without success and whose BMI falls into a medically defined category. If this describes your situation, it may be worth discussing whether such a procedure could benefit you with your doctor. But remember, this is a major procedure and should be carefully considered, but it can help you lose weight when other options have failed.
Weight loss surgery may also be right for you if your obesity causes health problems or medical conditions that won’t improve without treatment. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease risk factors such as cholesterol levels or sleep apnea, arthritis, and infertility.
Now that we have discussed some of the fundamentals let’s go over some frequently asked questions.
- What are the three weight loss surgery options?
There are many different kinds of weight loss surgery options. The most popular ones include:
- Sleeve Gastrectomy
- Gastric Bypass
- Lap Band Surgery
- Which is better: gastric sleeve or Roux-en-Y?
That depends entirely on your medical history and your pre-existing conditions. Generally, gastric sleeve is a comparatively easier procedure, but what’s best for you will ultimately depend on your weight loss surgeon.
- Does gastric sleeve shorten lifespan?
No, one study found that less invasive procedures have fewer complications and can improve life expectancy. Weight loss surgery is a decision to be made carefully by you in consultation with your doctor.