Weightloss Surgery

No need to diet.

Is Weight Loss Surgery An Option For You?

Diet (used to mean "appropriate nutrition") and regular exercise are the preferred partner methods for losing weight and excess body fat. A proper diet, when combined with age-appropriate, regular exercise, will help almost anyone stay fit and in the correct weight range.

Lower body mass index with African Mango PlusUnfortunately for some, however, other methods are sometimes necessary. Whether through long-term poor development of willpower, genetic predisposition, disease or other factors, maintaining a proper weight for the obese sometimes requires outside assistance.

Fad diets rarely work, and, if they do, almost never work for very long. Some nutritional supplements and other compounds can possibly help to a degree, but for many in this situation, weight loss surgery is the only hope.

There are many forms of this type of surgery these days and all have pros and cons. The most important criteria, of course, are effectiveness, risk, and side effects.

The Techniques

Surgical techniques have evolved over the past few decades, and most are effective, at least in the sense that they will typically lead to substantial weight loss. That loss comes about usually as the result of restricted caloric intake by eating less or by absorbing less of the food that is eaten.

One of the earliest forms in this field was gastric bypass surgery. All or part of the stomach was removed and then the digestive system was reconnected. Originally considered extremely dangerous, it has evolved into a much safer procedure, but still carries substantial risks. It is no longer the preferred method. Patients who undergo the procedure have to take supplements forever after and the risk of disease and nutritional deficiencies stillremains high.

Stomach stapling is another technique and it has been around for many years now. Initially considered highly dangerous, it has become much safer in the past 10 years. As with any major surgery, however, there are still substantial risks.

The procedure itself consists of opening the patient and clamping portions of the stomach with specialized surgical staples. Newer methods have made possible the use of laparoscopy in some cases, in which a small hole is created through which the surgeon works, but the patient's body cavity isn't opened up.

There are risks of bleeding, though small. Patients can become ill if they attempt to eat more than the recommended amounts, particularly at first. They may also suffer from nutritional deficiencies that can be lifelong, requiring supplements.

The net effect is to create a smaller stomach. This leads to a more rapid feeling of fullness. The patient simply eats less and therefore takes in fewer calories. The body turns to stored fat for energy and the result over time is less fat and lower weight.

A newer form involves installing an adjustable Lap Band or sleeve around the stomach. This eliminates the need to puncture the stomach and makes it possible for the physician to adjust the effect as the patient loses weight or even reverse the procedure.

Generally considered to be safe, this procedure can be done on an outpatient basis. Most consider it a minor inconvenience, though like any medical procedure it's expensive and more and more insurance companies are refusing to cover it or any of the other procedures. The band itself is not painful.

Patients typically experience rapid weight loss, but, at the same time (since fat comes out of adipose tissue), many hormonal changes will take place. Close, regular medical observation is important for the success of the procedure and the health of the patient.

There are several names for the various procedures, Biliopancreatic Diversion, Vertical Banded Gastroplasty, Adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy (with or without Duodenal Switch), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and others. All come under the generic term of bariatric surgery.

Whichever procedure an individual considers, careful thought should be given to the risks vs. the benefits. For many, a commitment to long-term dietary and lifestyle changes may be a better option. For those who believe surgery is the best option, consulting with an experienced physician is essential. Because of the demands of the new lifestyle and the changes in the individual, prospective patients often undergo a psychiatric evaluation as part of the process.

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weightloss surgery, bariatric surgery, vertical banded gastroplasty, Roux-en-Y, gastric bypass
Page Updated 4:42 PM Wednesday 9/2/2015