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Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure performed on the digestive system of overweight patients to help them lose weight. The procedure aims at limiting the amount of food consumed and absorbed.
There are basically two major steps involved here. First, is limiting the quantity of food you can hold in your stomach, thereby, making you feel full sooner and preventing overeating. Second step is to shorten your small intestine, to prevent absorption of food molecules that gets converted into fat eventually.
Bariatric surgeries are mostly done laparoscopically as this is less invasive and healing is faster. However, some surgeons may prefer an open surgery depending on the patient’s needs and health condition.
What are the criteria to undergo surgery?
Weight loss surgery should be considered only when medication, physical exercise and dietary plans have failed to show results. The basic criteria to ensure you are a candidate for weight loss surgery is:
What are the different types of weight loss surgery options?
There are mainly three types of methods used for weight loss surgery. Each method has its own pros and cons. Your surgeon will recommend which one will best suit you looking at your extent of obesity and other health conditions.
Your stomach will be made smaller by dividing into two sections using staples. The smaller top portion is where the food will go and is known as a pouch. The pouch size is kept very small so that you eat less quantity of food which in turn promotes weight loss.
Bypassing is the next step of surgery. Your surgeon creates a bypass or connection between the small intestine and the pouch. The food reaching the pouch will now travel to this connection and then into your small intestine. As a result, lesser calories are absorbed by the body.
During the procedure, about 80 to 90 percent of the stomach is removed permanently, leaving a tube-like portion of the stomach in place. This drastic decrease in stomach size means the person can intake only a limited quantity of food at a time, which in turn decreases the calories intake of the body, leading to weight loss.
Basically, the surgeon creates a narrow sleeve or stomach by stapling the stomach vertically and then removing the larger part of the stomach. The remaining stomach resembles a banana in shape and is much smaller than the original.
This type of weight loss surgery involves the use of a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band. The ring, when inserted through a small incision and fitted around the stomach, restricts the amount of food and caloric intake, allowing patients to feel full quickly and consume fewer calories, leading to weight loss.
What are the complications involved in the surgery?
One of the most crucial decisions you need to make if you consider weight loss surgery is your choice of surgeon. Your weight loss surgeon will guide you through the entire process and also post-surgery regime.