Surgery for Weight Loss
You’ve gone over this whole discussion in your head more times than you can possibly remember: to opt for weight loss surgery or not? While there are some success stories attached to weight loss surgery, it is important to recognize the side effects and risks associated with this surgery. It is after all, not a minor procedure, and has its fair share of possible risks, some of which can be very unpleasant, painful and in some cases, even fatal. Always consult your health practitioner before taking such a decision and discuss the pros and cons of weight loss surgery with regards to how your body might react to it.
Is Weight Loss Surgery For You?
Weight loss surgery is recommended to obese individuals for whom dieting and exercise routines have proven to be ineffective at best. Individuals with a BMI of 40 or more should consider surgery as an option. A BMI of 35 to 40 can also lead to grave obesity related problems such as sleep apnea, heart disease and diabetes which have the potential to be fatal. For such individuals, the risks associated with weight loss surgery are less potent than the suffering inflicted by obesity related diseases.
Types of Weight Loss Surgery
Two surgical techniques can be performed during surgery, namely malabsorptive surgery and restrictive surgery. Malabsorptive surgery shortens the length of the small intestine to limit the amount of food that is digested and absorbed by the body. In restrictive surgery, a part of the stomach is removed to make it smaller. This prevents excessive eating, since the stomach is unable to hold too much food.
There are two most widely performed types of weight loss surgery which include the following:
Roux-en-Y Bypass Surgery
This procedure is relatively common and involves a combination of the malabsorptive and restrictive techniques.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
This procedure can be reversed as and when the patient feels like it. It is the least invasive surgical procedure out of both the procedures. It involves the use of an adjustable silicon band around the upper stomach, which can be tightened or loosened.
Weight Loss Surgery- Benefits
Of course, the two major benefits of this surgery include rapid weight loss which can continue up to 2 years after the procedure. Even after this time, a large majority of the patients do not regain their lost weight at all. Secondly, there is a visible decrease in the intensity and chances of occurrence of obesity related problems such as diabetes and heart diseases.
Weight Loss Surgery- Risks
Every major surgical procedure comes with its share of risks and side effects, and weight loss surgery is no exception. Side effects range from vomiting, nausea, weakness, sweating, fainting and sometimes diarrhea after eating, to infections, abdominal hernias, breakdown of the stomach staple line, gallstones, possible nutritional deficiencies and constant monitoring of the diet. The risks of undergoing surgery increase depending upon the age of the patient: the older the patient, the riskier the surgery.
Weight loss surgery should always be your last resort. If your weight problem can be solved through healthy eating and regular exercise routines then this natural route is the optimal option for you. Opting for weight loss surgery is not a decision that that should be taken lightly. Consult your health practitioner and discuss the benefits and risks of the surgery before you take the final decision.