What Is Weight Loss Surgery?
Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a type of weight-loss procedure designed to help individuals who are severely obese to take off excess weight and improve their overall health. Weight loss surgery is intended for individuals who are unable to achieve and maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise alone.
Benefits Of Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery can provide numerous health benefits, including:
- Significant and lasting weight loss, resulting in a reduced risk of many diseases and overall improved quality of life
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve cholesterol levels
- Reduce type 2 diabetes symptoms and even remission of type 2 diabetes in some cases
- Improve sleep apnea, joint pain, and acid reflux
Weight Loss Surgery Options
Common types of weight loss surgery include:
- Gastric sleeve – a partial removal of the stomach and reconstruction of the remainder into a tube shape;
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass – dividing the stomach and bypassing part of the small intestine so food does not leave the stomach as quickly;
- Lap band surgery (gastric banding) – a band is placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch which limits the amount of food that can be eaten;
- Gastric balloon – a deflated balloon is placed in the stomach to reduce hunger, promote fullness, and help you eat less; and
- Duodenal switch – stomach size is reduced and portions of the small intestine are bypassed.
Weight Loss Surgery Risks and Side Effects
Weight loss surgery comes with certain risks and potential side effects, including:
- Bowel obstruction;
- Excess skin after weight loss;
- Gallstone formation;
- Bowel changes; and
- Dumping syndrome.
How Weight Loss Surgery Can Impact Your Life
Weight loss surgery can help improve your health and quality of life, but it also requires lifelong commitment and a willingness to make changes to your diet and exercise habits. While the procedure can help you lose unhealthy weight, it can also cause nutritional deficiencies and require dietary restrictions.
Make an Informed Decision About Weight Loss Surgery
With the variety of weight loss surgery options and potential risks, it is important to research the procedure and make an informed decision. Be sure to discuss any questions and concerns with your doctor. With the proper guidance and management, weight loss surgery can help people achieve a healthier lifestyle and drastically improve their quality of life.