Are you struggling to lose weight? Whilst weight-loss surgery could provide the solution you need, there are many factors to consider. So to help you make the right choices for your health, here are the answers to some of the most common questions about bariatric surgery.
Am I a suitable candidate for weight loss surgery?
Weight loss surgery is not something to consider for general weight loss but rather a solution for clinical and severe obesity. Most bariatric surgeries should only be performed on people with a BMI of over 40. In some cases, patients with a BMI over 35 can be considered if they also suffer from medical co-morbidities like diabetes or high blood pressure. Patients should also try other weight loss therapies before turning to surgery.
Will surgery cure my obesity for good?
Weight loss surgery can help you to lose weight but it is not like taking a magic pill. In order to stay healthy, you must make a lifelong commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, otherwise you will re-gain the weight. This includes eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. You should also be aware that some weight-loss surgeries can restrict the type of foods you are able to eat. You may, therefore, find that you need to take supplements in order to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Is a gastric bypass my only option?
Whilst the gastric bypass is the most popular weight loss surgery in the world, it is not the only type of bariatric surgery available. In fact, there are several different options you can, and should, consider.
A gastric bypass involves attaching a thumb-sized vertical pouch to the small bowel to bypass over 95% of the stomach. This effectively switches off the hormones that cause hunger and prevents overeating.
Lap-band surgery involves placing a silicone ring with a balloon-like mechanism under the skin of your abdomen. When the fluid reaches this mechanism, it inflates and reduces the space for food in your stomach. This significantly slows down the eating process and suppresses your appetite by stretching the nerves that reduce hunger.
Another common weight loss surgery is a keyhole procedure called laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. After making small keyhole incisions, the surgeon removes up to 85% of the stomach which then allows people to eat very small meals and feel full. Weight loss is achieved because the surgery reduces your hunger and the amount of food you can eat during a meal.
What should I do next?
If you believe that you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, your next port of call should be to contact a reputable practitioner to thoroughly discuss your options. When done properly weight loss surgery can be life-changing, but in order to get the full benefits, you need to choose the right procedure and go into it fully informed and prepared to make a lifelong commitment to your health.