Weight Loss Surgery Options

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Obese people who cannot lose weight by any other options like dieting and exercise have the last alternative of weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery. This surgery is to be undergone only if you don’t have any other option. There are several weight loss surgery options and one has to take information of all of them and decide which will be the most suitable. You cannot say that your friend got very good results of a particular weight loss surgery and so you too will get that surgery done. A type of surgery which has given good results to one person may not be suitable for another obese person. You and your doctor are the best to decide which surgery is suitable for you.

Roughly weight loss surgery is of two types, viz. food restriction surgery, in which the intake of food and thereby calories are restricted to enter the body, by reducing the size of the stomach, and the other is food malabsorption surgery, in which the absorption of food is cut down, thereby lesser absorption of calories and thus weight loss is brought about. Sometimes a combination of both these is also done to bring about weight loss. Each one of these has its own pros and cons.

Restrictive (food restriction) surgery is performed in four ways, namely, vertical banded gastroplasty, gastric sleeve, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and TOGA system. With restrictive weight loss surgery, a steady weight loss is brought about with low risk of nutritional deficiencies, reduced hunger and portion (amount of food taken at a time) control. But at the same time, this type of surgery presents some problems like loss of satisfaction and necessity of healthy eating choices.

Malabsorptive surgery is performed by restricting the digestion of food. Cutting and re-routing of a part of small intestine is involved in this type of surgery. Intestine is the part of the digestive tract where absorption of food takes place. As structure of intestine is altered in this surgery, there is less absorption of food and the body gets less calories. This surgery is performed in three ways, namely biliopancreatic diversion, extended (distal) Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. This type of surgery presents advantages like high level of satiety, high success rate of weight loss and long term weight control, whereas it has some drawbacks too, like lifelong requirement of vitamin supplementation, problems in bowel movements, bloating, flatulence, gall bladder troubles and intestinal irritation.

The combination of the above two is the most popular type amongst the weight loss surgery options. This is called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (proximal) and in this, by doing gastric bypass surgery, the size of stomach is decreased and simultaneously, the first (proximal) section of small intestine is bypassed to decrease absorption of food. This surgery brings about higher weight loss than a solely restrictive surgery. But it presents minus points like nutritional deficiencies and dumping syndrome (also called gastric dumping syndrome, in which the food bypasses stomach and comes to the intestine largely undigested).

If you have tried and failed in all weight loss techniques, and want to take up the surgery options, you should thoroughly discuss each one of them with your bariatric surgeon, to see its benefits and disadvantages. If you choose the best amongst the various weight loss surgery options, you will get the best advantage of consistent weight loss and a healthy life thereby.

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