Is there a surgery for weight loss. Simple answer is ‘yes’ there is a surgery for weight reduction. We call it Bariatric surgery. Nowadays there is a new trend among people for this weight reduction surgery. So, this is about it.
What is weight reduction surgery?
Surgical treatment for obesity has been available for decades. The first recorded successful weight reduction surgery was a jejunoileal bypass. Jejunoileal bypass is a surgery in your small bowel. It was done in 1954. That procedure was very common in those days. But it had some complications. Therefore various types of operations were introduced time to time. There were some adjustable stomach bands also.
Nowadays weight reduction surgery is very popular among people. And it has become easy to do after invention of laparoscopy surgery.
Is it really necessary?
Obesity or weight gain is a real problem. There are many methods for weight reduction. Dietary modifications and exercises are some popular methods. You can join to slimming clubs, get professional dietician advice, personal exercise trainers and get some drugs. But the problem is many people with obesity also have other associated disorders. Such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels and arthritis. Many studies say that weight reduction surgery will improve not only weight but also other associated disorders. So it is life saving.
But the biggest problem is it’s cost. You may have to pay for it. But the outcome is better. And also there may be complications of the surgical procedures. You may have some idea about a general surgical procedure.
Remember, there are some criteria in patient selection for this surgery.
- Body Mass Index (BMI) should >40
- Minimum of 5 years obesity
- Failure of other treatment options
- No alcoholism or major untreated mental disorder
- Not going to become pregnant within 2 years
- Age limit 18-55 years
- Accept the risk of operation
Types of weight loss surgery
Weight reduction surgery helps you to lose weight by two main ways:
- Food restriction – It limits the amount of food hold in your stomach.
- Malabsorption – It will reduce the length of your small bowel. This causes poor absorption of food.
There are several surgical options available. Most doctors now do these surgeries laparoscopically. Compared to open surgery it has low side effects. Here are some available treatment options:
Most of surgeons prefer this method. In here, they put an adjustable band around the upper part of your stomach. It is very popular in Australia and many other countries. It’s an easy operation. Because it does’t involve cutting any stomach or bowel part.
Most patients can expect to lose around 40-50% of their weight. So it’s effective as a treatment option.
One disadvantage is the need for continual band adjustments. And also if the patient dose’t have attitude and understanding about the importance of weight loss this may be ineffective.
However, gastric banding has a place in properly selected patients. It an be done as a day case procedure.
This is a new operation. Though it is somewhat risky procedure it doesn’t require any adjustments.
In this operation a part of your stomach is separated and removed. The remaining part of the stomach is formed into a tube like structure. It can’t store much food as before. You may expect around 60% of weight loss at 2 years.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
Gastric bypass is a very effective way of weight loss. But it’s somewhat difficult. However, an experienced surgeon will do it without any mistake. It can produce around 65-75% weight loss.
Other most important fact is, it is very effective against type 2 diabetes. Studies say over 80% of patients will have their diabetes permanently resolved. So this is a good news for diabetic patients as well.
In this operation, the surgeon creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach. That pouch is the only part of the stomach that receives food. Because, the small intestine is then cut a short distance below the main stomach and connected to the new pouch. Food flows directly from the pouch into this part of the intestine. This greatly limits the amount that you can comfortably eat and drink at one time.
Biliopancreatic diversion – with or without a duodenal switch is also another successful surgical method.
How much it cost?
It depends from country to country. Also including your location, the hospital, surgeon’s fee and the type of surgery. Average cost of a laparoscopic banding surgery is $14 500. And gastric bypass is $25 000. But this may be changed from country to country.
Doing a surgery in overweight people is more risky than surgery in lean people. Because overweight patients more likely to suffer from heart diseases and other comorbidities.
Here are some complications you may have following a weight reduction surgery:
- Damage to bowel accidentally
- Internal herniation
- Vitamin deficiency
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Band slipping
- Staple line/ anastomotic leak
As a summary, weight reduction surgery, bariatric surgery, is a common method for weight reduction. It has shown good results for patients with other metabolic disorders like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. But there are indications for surgery to select most suitable patients. Most common methods are adjustable band insertion, sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. However, there are complications associated with these surgeries.