What Is the Safest Form of Weight Loss Surgery?
Many people who are overweight or struggle with obesity find it difficult to shed excess pounds to get down to a healthier weight. Dieting and exercise may seem like the perfect solution but, they are not for everyone. There are often underlying factors, many that are beyond personal control that can make losing weight difficult and downright frustrating.
If you find yourself feeling ashamed about your appearance or obsessed with having a well-proportioned body, you may be a good candidate for weight loss surgery. Continue reading below to learn what the safest form of weight loss surgery is for your situation.
Types of Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery may seem like the perfect solution to anyone’s weight loss problems. But there are benefits and risks that must be considered that are highly dependent on the patient’s current health, medical history, lifestyle, goals, and other factors.
Weight loss surgery involves undergoing a medical procedure that alters the way the body processes food and nutrients. This is done by surgically manipulating the shape or size of the stomach. Some surgical options are permanent solutions, others are not and can be adjusted periodically during the patient’s weight loss journey depending on their specific needs.
Gastric Sleeve weight loss surgery is ideal for severely obese candidates with a BMI of 35 or higher. It is often recommended for individuals who have had limited success with nonmedical, alternative weight loss practices. Surgery is minimally invasive due to the use of laparoscopic surgical devices and techniques. During the procedure, the surgeon sections off and removes a small portion of the stomach. The section of the stomach that is surgically altered is responsible for the production of the hunger hormone.
The main goal of this type of weight loss surgery is to reprogram hormone production and reduce the size of the stomach Gastric sleeve patients have smaller appetites and a smaller stomach capacity, so they eat less, feel full sooner, and lose weight. It is a permanent procedure.
On average, gastric bariatric patients notice a 30-50 percent decrease in weight within the first year, with an even greater percentage of excess weight falling off by the end of the second year. Gastric sleeve bariatric surgery risks include an increased risk of infection, sleeve slippage or leakage, acid reflux, malnutrition, dumping syndrome, hernia, and blood clots.
Gastric Band is an option for
individuals who are severely overweight and have a BMI of 35 or higher. They should have a history of nonsurgical unsuccessful weight loss attempts. Gastric band bariatric surgery is also a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure.
To perform the surgery, several tiny incisions are made in the patient’s abdomen so the surgeon can access the stomach and place a band around it. This creates a small pouch that can be adjusted or removed as needed throughout the patient’s weight loss journey.
Transforming the stomach into a small pouch disrupts the production of hunger hormones and signals sent to the brain, thus resulting in a reduced appetite and increased fullness. Patients feel hunger less often and are unable to consume large meals without discomfort.
Gastric band surgery results are drastic and often provide up to a 75 percent reduction in excess body weight within the first year. Gastric band surgery is not permanent and fully reversible. Gastric band patients are at risk of nausea and vomiting after meals, band slippage, leaks, and infection.
Gastric Bypass/Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
Gastric Bypass/Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass incorporates the use of restrictive and malabsorptive techniques to prevent weight gain. The procedure involves transforming the stomach into two compartments, thus restricting access between the two. The smaller intestine is then connected to the upper portion of the stomach, so foods bypass a significant portion of the digestive tract.
Revamping the structure of the stomach changes the way it absorbs calories and nutrients. Most Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass patients notice the most dramatic changes, up to a 50 percent drop in their weight within the first six months. This bariatric surgery option is extremely helpful for those who have conditions that normally pose barriers to healthy weight loss and maintenance, such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, etc.
The risks associated with Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass include inadequate nutrient intake. It reduces the patient’s ability to absorb nutrients, elevating the likelihood of severe nutrient deficiency, such as iron and calcium loss. Patients are advised to watch their diets carefully and take iron, calcium, and other health supplements to ensure shore up their nutritional needs and prevent the development of nutrient-deficient health conditions, such as anemia and bone loss.
Duodenal Switch involves the removal of the outer border of the stomach to make it smaller, giving it a tubular shape. The small intestine is then sectioned off into two sections. The alimentary portion of the intestine (the tract that foods and liquids travel through the digestive system and are processed out of the body) is attached to the tubular stomach to minimize exposure to the digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas and gall bladder, limiting the absorption of nutrients and calories.
The result is patients usually do not have to adjust their meal portions. They can still eat as much food as they like, but only a portion of the food is digested. Most duodenal switch patients experience up to a 65-80 percent decrease in excess weight within 12 months.
Duodenal switch bariatric surgery risks include temporary or long-term changes in abdominal and bowel function. Bloating and foul-smelling flatulence and loose and more frequent bowel movements may also occur. There is an elevated risk of malabsorption and vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, bone loss or disease, anemia, gallstone formation, and ulcers due to intestinal and stomach irritation.
Anyone who chooses this procedure should be prepared to make life-long adjustments to their diet and lifestyle, such as consuming more healthy proteins and taking daily vitamins and other health supplements, and getting regular nutritional assessments.
Bariatric Revision is reserved for bariatric surgery patients with certain conditions or risk factors that caused them to have less-than-ideal weight loss results or complications from the procedures listed above or older, more traditional medical weight loss procedures, such as hernias or ulcers.
Contact Us to Learn Optimal Weight Loss Surgery Options
Ultimately, the safest weight loss surgery option is one that offers the highest chances of weight loss success and the lowest risk of complications for you. Also, there are short- and long-term diet, health, and lifestyle requirements to consider. A medical consultation is necessary and can provide more in-depth information and treatment recommendations, so you are successful on your weight loss journey.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our bariatric center to learn the safest weight loss surgery recommendations for your situation.