Bariatric surgery is a group of procedures used to help people with obesity lose weight. This type of surgery has been found to be one of the most effective solutions for long-term weight loss. A variety of bariatric surgeries are available, each with its own benefits and risks. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of bariatric surgery, how they work, and what patients can expect during the preparation process.
The first type of bariatric surgery is gastric bypass. This procedure involves making a small pouch from the stomach and connecting it directly to the small intestine, bypassing most of the stomach and some parts of the intestines. It reduces how much food can be eaten at one time, which leads to feeling full more quickly after eating smaller portions. This procedure has been shown to result in significant weight loss, with patients losing an average of 60-80% of their excess body weight within the first two years after surgery. It has also been found to improve or resolve conditions such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.
Gastric banding is another common type of bariatric surgery that involves placing an adjustable band around part or all of the stomach to create a smaller pouch for food storage and restrict intake at meals. The amount that can be eaten decreases, as well as digestion time, leading to improved satiety after meals. Gastric banding requires periodic adjustments over time to remain effective long-term; if not adjusted correctly or maintained properly, it can lead to weight gain again over time due to the body readjusting to the change.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure that involves removing a portion of the stomach, leaving a smaller, banana-shaped stomach. This procedure reduces the amount of food that can be eaten, leading to weight loss. Sleeve gastrectomy has also been shown to improve or resolve medical conditions related to obesity.
Biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch (BPD/DS) is a less common type of bariatric surgery that involves removing a large portion of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine to limit calorie absorption. This procedure results in significant weight loss but also carries a higher risk of complications, such as malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and bowel obstruction.
Other types of bariatric surgeries include vBloc Therapy™ and intragastric balloon placement. vBloc Therapy™ involves implanting a device that delivers electrical impulses to the vagus nerve, which controls hunger signals. Intragastric balloon placement involves placing a saline-filled balloon in the stomach to reduce the amount of food that can be eaten and improve satiety after meals. These procedures are less invasive than other bariatric surgeries but may not be as effective for long-term weight loss.
It is important to note that bariatric surgery is not a quick fix for weight loss. It requires a commitment to lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, in order to be successful long-term. Patients should expect to meet with a bariatric team, which typically includes a surgeon, dietitian, psychologist, and exercise specialist, to discuss the procedure, potential risks and benefits, and post-operative care.
Before the surgery, patients are required to undergo a thorough evaluation, which includes medical history, physical examination, blood tests, and imaging studies. Patients are also required to follow a pre-operative diet to shrink the liver, making the surgery safer and easier to perform. Depending on the individual case, patients may also need to lose some weight before surgery to reduce surgical risks.
In conclusion, bariatric surgery is a group of procedures used to help people with obesity lose weight.
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