If you’re considering weight loss surgery...
Severe obesity is a chronic medical condition that adversely affects the health and quality of life of many people in the United States. Most of these individuals have made serious attempts to lose weight through diet programs and exercise routines, but the efforts have not been successful in helping them achieve substantial and permanent weight loss. Obesity is a very difficult disease to treat. If a person is 100 pounds or more overweight, they may not be able to lose the excess weight with diet modifications and exercise alone. For these individuals, surgical treatment for obesity is often considered the most effective weight loss option.
What are my weight loss surgery options...
Bariatric surgery, commonly referred to as weight loss surgery, is the surgical treatment of obesity that involves making changes to the digestive system. The changes made to the body will help a person lose weight by either restricting the amount or type of food that can be eaten or by limiting the amount of food that is absorbed by the body. Some bariatric procedures are only restrictive, while other procedures are both restrictive and malabsorptive.
The two most popular bariatric procedures performed today are Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding. Other options are the gastric sleeve procedure and the duodenal switch procedure.
- Gastric bypass surgery is a combination restrictive and malabsorptive procedure that limits the quantity of food that is eaten, the types of food that can be tolerated, and the amount of food that is absorbed by the body.
- Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding, using either the Lap Band or Realize Band, is a restrictive method of weight loss surgery. This approach works by limiting the amount of food that can be eaten at any one time and slows the digestion process to help control hunger.
- Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) or Gastric Sleeve Resection, is a restrictive procedure that reduces the size of the stomach to help a person eat less and lose weight.
- The duodenal switch weight loss procedure moderately restricts food consumption, but it primarily promotes weight loss through malabsorption.
Do I qualify for weight loss surgery...
Bariatric surgery is not a shortcut to weight loss, nor is it a procedure that should be considered for women who are under 80 pounds overweight or men who are under 100 pounds overweight. Bariatric surgery is major gastro-intestinal surgery that is indicated for individuals who are considered severely or morbidly obese. While bariatric surgery has a very good success rate, there are also risks, complications, and lifestyle changes that must be considered.
If non-surgical methods of weight loss have not been effective, surgery may be the next step. An individual with a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI of at least 35 with an obesity related health problem, such as diabetes, heart disease, or severe sleep apnea, falls within the patient criteria for bariatric surgery. If you fit the guidelines for bariatric surgery, you will then need to consider all aspects of the procedure and decide if weight loss surgery is appropriate for you.