There are several different types of weight loss surgeries to consider. It’s not a decision that should be made overnight. The post serves only as a list of some commonly used types of weight loss surgeries, but it’s only your doctor who can provide counsel, regarding the option that’s best for you (and if you really need weight loss surgery at all).
For most people, this type of surgery is looked upon as somewhat of a last resort. If repeated attempts at following low-calorie diet plans and exercise routines haven’t worked, weight loss surgery is going to be the next step in drastic situations. Usually, you need to be at least 80-100 pounds over your ideal weight to be considered a candidate for any type of weight loss surgery.
Of course, there are exceptions. If you suffer from conditions such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure or diabetes, weight loss surgery has the potential of helping to reduce the severity of these conditions, as well as some other disorders.
Types of Weight Loss Surgeries
There are two types of weight loss surgery. They are categorized as restrictive and malabsorptive (intestinal bypass). It should be noted, however, that malabsorptive surgery is no longer a popular procedure, due to the numerous side effects associated with it.
Specific types of surgery, within these categories, include:
Adjustable Gastric Banding
Adjustable Gastric Banding is preferred by many people because it is quite non-invasive. It is commonly referred to as Lap-Band surgery. The procedure restricts the amount of food that can be consumed in one meal. An inflatable band is used to compartmentalize the stomach into two sections, one large (food pouch) and one small. The sections are connected. However, the path between them is very small, which causes the large section to empty slowly.
Typically, individuals who have this type of surgery don’t lose as much weight as individuals who opt for alternative procedures. Side effects are usually minimal, the biggest being vomiting as a result of eating too fast.
Gastric Bypass is the most common weight loss-related surgery. In this procedure, the stomach is divided into two parts, by a surgeon. The upper part is connected to the small intestine. Since part of the stomach and digestive tract is bypassed, fewer calories end up being absorbed by the body.
The most desired result of the surgery is that 50% of the intended weight usually comes off quickly, generally within the first six months. Because this happens so fast, symptoms of obesity such as heartburn, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol disappear as well. Many people, who have had this type of surgery, successfully manage to keep the weight off for 10 years or longer.
On the downside, getting all of the nutrition you need is sometimes difficult. It is recommended that every bypass recipient should take nutritional supplements for the rest of his or her life.
A Biliopancreatic Diversion is basically a more involved Gastric Bypass. In this procedure, as much as 70% of the stomach is removed and more of the small intestine is bypassed. This usually results in some of the fastest weight loss occurrences of all.
Surprisingly, even though this procedure requires removal of most of the stomach, recipients can usually eat larger meals. This is due to the fact that the part of the stomach that remains is generally larger than the “pouch” created with other types of surgery.
Sleeve Gastrectomy is performed with a laparoscope. As a rule, 75% of the stomach is removed and what’s left is transformed into a narrow sleeve that attaches to the intestines. This surgery is sometimes the first of multiple procedures. Additional surgeries can usually be performed within 12 to 18 months, depending on the overall health and weight loss success of the individual.
It is the safest alternative for extremely obese individuals who would be more at risk while undergoing other types of surgery. Nutritional issues are not a problem because this procedure does not intrude with food absorption.
Currently, the two biggest drawbacks of Sleeve Gastrectomy are that it is irreversible and because it is somewhat new to the scene, long-term benefits (or side-effects) are still unknown.
As with any other surgical procedure, it is extremely important to completely understand the risks involved with weight loss surgery. Potential candidates need to be mentally ready and willing to follow the instructions in the following days. You must try to achieve your weight loss goals by following healthy diet plans and exercise before thinking of such drastic measures. Also worth noting is the fact, that most of these surgeries will take some days before you will start seeing results, so you shouldn’t take them as quick-fix.
Last but not the least, there’s really no point in going through all of the pain and discomfort of surgery, if you aren’t willing to make lifestyle changes, which are necessary for future success and wellbeing.