Weight Loss Surgery, A Last Resort?
Putting on weight is easy. Losing weight is hard. A healthy diet regime and regular exercise are always the best ways to healthily decrease your weight and start you on your way to better living, but what about those who have reached a size that inhibits regular exercise and find little change to their overall size after dieting? For those who have a BMI of over 40 and whose weight has contributed to health conditions such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, weight becomes an all-encompassing problem, affecting every aspect of their lives.
If this is the case and you have tried all other avenues of weight loss to no avail, weight loss surgery may be your last option. However, you must understand that such surgery still requires a drastic change in your diet and other health implications are inherent with the procedure, as with any invasive surgery.
Below are explanations of the most common types of weight loss surgery, how they work, the lifestyle changes required and possible side-effects.
1. Adjustable Gastric Banding
A silicone hollow band is tied around the upper part of the stomach, dividing the stomach in two, with the upper part being the smallest division. The band decreases the size of the stomach, making you feel full after eating only small amounts. This decreases the volume of food intake, leading to weight loss, which will be monitored and maintained by your doctor. The tightness of the hollow band can be adjusted accordingly after the surgery, with a tighter band meaning you become fuller quicker and a bigger band allowing for an increase in appetite. As with all weight loss a gradual decrease in size is the best, so your doctor will monitor and maintain the best level of weight loss for you, to ensure that you stay in the best of health.
The surgery is relatively safe with a low complication rate and it also has a short recovery period, with no need to remove any body mass or tissue. The procedure is also reversible and the ability to adjust the band means your weight loss can be healthily maintained.
In rare cases the band around the stomach has been known to leak, erode or change position, which could result in infection. Also the person will still have to follow a low calorie diet after surgery, which means a liquid only diet for 2 weeks after the surgery and small meals for the rest of their life.
2. Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
This surgery decreases the size of the stomach by removing a vertical portion of the stomach tissue. The stomach is then divided down the middle with staples. This method limits the amount of food eaten by decreasing the volume of the stomach by 85 percent, leading to high levels of weight loss.
As the stomach is now reduced in size the patient won’t be able to absorb as many calories as before, leading to weight loss. Levels of hunger are also reduced with Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, meaning a decrease in cravings and further weight loss.
This is a non-reversible surgery and cannot be changed after the operation is performed. Often, due to the invasive nature of this method, follow up surgery may be required, to solve any complications that arise. Patient are also required to stick to a specific diet and would be required to avoid high calorie foods such as ice cream or chocolate bars for the rest of their life.
3. Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
This surgery uses both band and stapling to create a small pouch in the upper regions of the stomach. This decreases the amount of food a person needs to eat at one time and slows down the passage of food, which reduces the absorption of nutrients and calories, leading to weight loss.
There is no loss of stomach tissue with this procedure and the operation is reversible. As it combines both band and staple, there is a two-pronged attack on cravings and weight, with both a decrease in hunger and decrease in calorie absorption.
The patient must to adhere to a strict diet for the rest of their life. If food isn’t chewed thoroughly severe discomfort and vomiting can occur and although reversible the procedure to do so is invasive.
Criteria for Weight Loss Surgery:
Before any weight loss surgery can even be considered, a person has to fit the strict criteria required for treatment.
To qualify for weight loss surgery the candidate must have a body mass index of over 40 and must be at least 100 pounds overweight. They must also be suffering from a life threatening obesity related illness, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or severe sleep apena. The patient must also be completely aware of the risk of their operation and accept the changes they will have to make to their lifestyle and diet.
The candidate must also have exhausted all other options of losing weight, such as dieting and exercising before they can become a candidate.
If you need anymore information concerning weight loss surgery it is always best to consult your doctor, who may put you on a better diet plane, or provide you with further advice concerning weight loss surgery.