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Weight Loss and Wellness

Bariatric Surgery – Weight loss

The number of overweight and obese individuals have been increasing year after year. The obesity population doubled in 2014 when compared to 1980s (7). This, in turn, made many to think about staying fit with a regular exercise regime and even the number of fit individuals have been reportedly rising since then. But not many are capable of burning out that extra pounds. Hence for such people, Bariatric Surgery is an option.

Though many non-invasive methods can be employed to lose weight like diet plans, exercise, and weight loss pills for moderately and severely obese people, the medical field has a viable solution, an invasive weight loss surgical treatment for those who are incapable of reducing mass through fitness. For such individuals, Bariatric Surgery is the best option. Bariatric Surgery involves stomach size reduction and intestine realignment.

Why Bariatric Surgery?

There is a need for Bariatric surgery because the problem with being obese is not the result of a single problem, it is a combination of different health issues, which can be potentially life-threatening illnesses like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, breathing difficulties, and infertility.

When to go for Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric Surgery is meant for someone whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is beyond 35 i.e. when the patient is extremely obese and has an imbalance of height and weight can undergo surgery (2).

(1) Types of Bariatric surgery

Gastric Bypass – Stomach is divided into two different pouches i.e. 1. Upper Pouch, which looks small and 2. Lower Pouch which looks larger. This surgery involves the realignment of small intestines being connected. Cases of Morbid Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Comorbid conditions are treated with this.

Photo Courtesy: www.bariatric-surgery-source.com

2.Sleeve Gastrectomy – The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy which is often called the Sleeve is performed by removing approximately 80 percent of the stomach. The remaining stomach is a tubular pouch that resembles a banana.

Photo Courtesy: www.drshwantsuda.com

3.Adjustable Gastric Band – The Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery involves an inflatable band that is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, which looks like a small pouch after placing the band and it controls the amount of food consumed at once.

Photo Courtesy: www.mercyiowacity.org

4. Biliopancreatic Diversion with duodenal switch – The Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch, abbreviated as BPD/DS is a procedure with two components. The surgery has two major aspects i.e. 1. Restrictive and 2. Malabsorptive. While the former involves removing 70 percent of the stomach as well as the Duodenum (5), the latter deals with creating two separate pathways and a common channel for the intestines.

Photo Courtesy: www.bariatricfacts.org

Misconception about Bariatric Surgery

There are numerous misconceptions regarding the thought of Bariatric surgery for weight loss in the minds of people. One common fallacy is that ‘Surgery is a ‘cop-out’ and in order to lose and maintain weight, obese individuals just need to go on a diet and exercise program’. Truth, on the other hand, is individuals affected by severe obesity are resistant to long-term weight-loss by diet and exercise. Long-term weight-loss, or in other words, the ability to maintain weight-loss, is considered impossible for those affected by severe obesity by any means other than metabolic and bariatric surgery (4). These surgeries are effective in maintaining long-term weight-loss, in part, because these procedures offset certain conditions caused by dieting that are responsible for rapid and efficient weight regain following a diet.

Popular Destinations for Bariatric Surgery

UAE, Mexico, UAE, Turkey, Thailand, Germany, India and Poland are amongst the popular ones for Bariatric procedures. India has been the preferred destination for this treatment as the medical tourist will receive a pocket-friendly treatment at international standards in Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals. The country equally has umpteen options for attractive places to visit during their stay.

Risk Factors

Being an intensive surgery, risk factors are high (3). Some of them are as follows

  • Lung or breathing problems

  • Gallstones

  • Dumping Syndrome

  • Adverse reactions to Anesthesia

  • Leaks in Gastrointestinal System

  • Bowel Obstruction

Caution 

Post the surgery a patient will undergo a completely different pattern of food consumption. It is quite necessary that he/she chews the food before letting it go into your stomach as the stomach size is reduced, there are risks that unchewed food might have some negative effects on digestion. Following the diet suggested by your physician is also very important. In case a patient resorts to the same old eating habits, he/she could develop gastric dumping wherein food passes quickly through the stomach to intestines directly. This causes intestine overloading and leads to nausea, diarrhea and similar complications.

 

The complete weight loss process 

It is ideal to understand the entire weight loss process from the moment you make the decision to have bariatric surgery, getting the buy-in from your personal physician, nearest family members, to the actual surgery, post-surgical dietary requirements, emotional and psychological conflicts, the time required to recuperate, etc. A good read would be by someone who has actually gone through this themselves. We suggest reading the article by Carol Adkisson.

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