Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery is a treatment option for people who are very obese and are unable to lose weight by conventional methods like exercise and dietary modifications. This procedure is not for everyone and should not be confused with cosmetic surgeries for fat reduction. Bariatric surgery is meant for people who are diagnosed as morbidly obese on the basis of Body Mass Index (BMI).
Bariatric surgery is gaining popularity owing to the obvious and significant results in weight loss and also dramatic improvement in obesity related illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, sleeping disorders, infertility issues and joint pains.
So, What Is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure that involves changes in the gastrointestinal tract which may lead to restriction of the amount of food you take by reducing the size of your stomach or cause reduction in the amount of food you consume along with malabsorption.
Who Can Go For Bariatric Surgery?
There are clearly defined guidelines which state that bariatric surgery is recommended for those:
-Who have a BMI of more than 37.5 kg/m2
-Who have a BMI of more than 32.5 kg/m2 with obesity related health problems like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure.
What Are The Benefits Of Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery has emerged as a promising option for those struggling with weight issues even after trying everything possible to win over it.
-It gives a long term and sustained weight loss solution.
-The surgery has also shown to cause notable improvement in type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, joint pains and infertility issues in women.
-One needs to consult a bariatric surgeon who will explain the various surgery options in detail and suggest one of them according to the patient’s BMI and other relevant medical history.
What Are The Commonly Performed Bariatric Procedures?
The most commonly performed bariatric procedures include:
1 . Gastric Bypass
Medically known as Roux-en-Y Gastric bypass, it is one of the most common and successful weight loss procedures. It involves creation of a smallstomach pouch which restricts your food intake and thus results in lesser calories consumption. It also involves bypassing a segment of the small intestine where food absorption takes place which leads to lesser absorption of calories thus contributing to the weight loss.
2 . Sleeve Gastrectomy
This procedure entails leaving a small portion of the stomach inside the body(the shape of a sleeve) and removs the major portion of the stomach out of the body. With the major portion of stomach being eliminated, the hunger stimulating hormone Gherlin is also eliminated. This puts a tab on the portion sizes and one loses weight because of the less calories consumed.
3 . Gastric Banding
It involves placing a silicone band on top of the stomach portion which slows down the passage of food to the remaining stomach and gives an early feeling fullness .
All these bariatric procedures are done laparoscopically (a technique of surgery that does not involves large cuts but is done through small holes) and thus patients recover much faster and have excellent cosmetic results.
How Much Weight Loss Can Be Achieved With Bariatric Surgery?
After a bariatric surgery, the patient loses 6 to 8 kilograms monthly on an average (differs according to various procedures). The patient usually loses 70 % of his/ her excess body weight in case of a gastric bypass surgery. (This may vary for other surgeries)
What Precautions Do Patients Have To Take After The Surgery?
Bariatric surgical procedures require lifelong commitment and determination from the patient to ensure the procedure is a success and he/she does not develop any complications/deficiencies.
Here are few lifestyle changes the patients have to accustom to after the procedure:
-Small and frequent meals
Portion sizes decrease as patients feel full much earlier with small quantities of food so one needs to eat small and frequent meals. It is recommended to have a protein rich, low carb, low fat diet.
– Exercise regime
Undergoing the surgery does not mean that you do not need to put any effort from your end. Exercise regimes are of paramount importamce be it walking or aerobics or gyming.
the patients need to be regular with the nutritional supplements (multivitamins, iron and calcium) advised by your surgeon and follow up with your surgeon as scheduled.
– Alteration Of Medicine Dosage
For people who had diabetes, high blood pressure and other obesity related diseases, dose regulation is critical as after bariatric surgery there is a significant improvement in these parameters and the same doses as before the surgery are not required.
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So, if you have tried all other methods at weight loss and you qualify for a bariatric surgery, you must consult a bariatric team for evaluation. The surgery must be done by a competent surgeon with a multidisciplinary support team and the necessary facility and set up.