If you are looking to lose a significant amount of weight and to keep it off for good, then you may be considering weight loss surgery. Research has found that as many as 65% of people who have lost weight using the conventional methods of diet and exercise will return to their heavier weight within three years. Some even surpass this and actually become even heavier than they were original.
Weight loss surgery has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of helping patients to not only lose weight but to maintain their weight loss for years to come.
About weight loss surgery
Weight loss surgery, also sometimes known as bariatric or metabolic surgery, is a common treatment for patients who are severely or morbidly obese and who are struggling to lose weight through conventional diet and exercise. There are several different types of weight loss surgery, but each is designed to reduce the amount of food that can be consumed and/or to make you feel fuller more quickly. As a result, the patient consumes fewer calories and this makes it possible for them to lose weight.
Nearly all weight loss surgeries are performed under general anesthetic, but advances in the techniques used mean that they can be performed laparoscopically. This means that they are carried out through a number of small cuts into the abdomen, through which a flexible viewing tube is inserted, enabling your surgeon to see inside you while the procedure is in process.
Some of the most common types of weight loss surgery include the following:
Gastric band. This is a temporary measure that involves a tight band being placed around the stomach, creating a small pouch near the top. Since it takes less food to fill the pouch, the patient feels fuller faster. Once you have reached your goal weight, the band can be removed.
Gastric bypass. This surgery involves surgical staples being used to create a pouch at the top of the stomach. This is then connected to your small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach. Again, patients will feel fuller more quickly.
Sleeve gastrectomy. A sleeve gastrectomy is where a large part of the stomach is removed so that the entire organ is much smaller than it was before. This reduces the amount you can eat and will make you feel full sooner.
Candidacy for weight loss surgery
Precisely which type of weight loss surgery will be best for you will depend on your individual circumstances, and as such, you’ll be asked to attend a consultation appointment with your laparoscopic surgeon to discuss your options. Some things to bear in mind include:
Weight loss is typically faster following a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy than with using a gastric band.
Overall weight loss tends to be lower with a gastric band.
Gastric bands can be removed if necessary, whereas other gastric surgeries are permanent and will affect the way that you eat for the rest of your life.
The risk of complications is generally higher with permanent surgeries such as bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.
Before you can be approved for weight loss surgery, your surgeon will also want to make sure that you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. This may involve a series of tests and assessments, including blood tests, x-rays, and other diagnostic tests.
Unsurprisingly, weight loss surgery can have a significant impact on a patient’s mental health and wellbeing. Not only will you need to have realistic expectations for the outcome of your surgery and how it will affect your life, but you should also be fully prepared for the long-term lifestyle changes that you will need to adopt for your surgery to be successful. These will involve sticking to a specific diet immediately after your procedure and taking certain medications and supplements for the rest of your life. Your surgeon will be able to talk you through what to expect.
If you are considering weight loss surgery and you would like more information on candidacy for these transformative treatments for obesity, please contact our laparoscopic surgery team today.