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By Dr. Divya Nagpal Blog Published on - 20 April - 2023

Bariatric Surgery: A Complete Guide for Weight Loss

Bariatric surgery, also called weight loss surgery, is surgery performed on obese people who have not been able to achieve significant weight loss with traditional methods such as diet and exercise. This manipulation is an effective tool for significant and long-term weight loss and improvement of obesity-related health conditions.

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There are different types of bariatric surgery, each with benefits and risks. This blog discusses the most common types of bariatric surgery, the benefits and risks of surgery, and what to expect during the recovery period.

Types of Bariatric Surgery:

1. Gastric sleeve surgery:
In this surgery, part of the stomach is removed to create a smaller tubular stomach. This surgery limits the amount of food the stomach can hold and reduces hunger. Gastric sleeve surgery is a popular option because it is less invasive, has a relatively short recovery time, and has a high success rate.

2. Gastric Bypass Surgery:
In this operation, the surgeon creates a small pouch on the top of the stomach and connects it to the small intestine. Food bypasses the rest of the stomach and goes directly to the small intestine, reducing calorie and nutrient absorption. Gastric bypass surgery has been shown to produce significant, long-term weight loss results.

3. Adjustable gastric band surgery:
In this surgery, an inflatable band is placed on top of the stomach to create a smaller stomach. The band is adjustable and can be tightened or loosened as needed. Although this surgery has a lower risk of complications, it may not be as effective in achieving significant weight loss.

Benefits of bariatric surgery:

1. Significant and Long-Term Weight Loss:
Bariatric surgery has been shown to be effective in achieving significant weight loss. This can improve overall health and reduce the risk of obesity and health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

2. Improved quality of life:
Many people who undergo bariatric surgery report improved quality of life, including increased energy levels, improved mobility, and reduced need for medication. 3. Solving obesity-related health problems:
Bariatric surgery can help improve or eliminate obesity-related health problems such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure.

Bariatric Surgery Risks:

1. Operational risk:
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with obesity treatment, including bleeding, infection, and side effects of anesthesia.

2. Malnutrition:
There is a risk of malnutrition after bariatric surgery because the body may not be able to absorb enough vitamins and minerals. Patients are advised to take vitamin and mineral supplements after surgery.

3. Surgical site complications:
There is a risk of complications such as leakage and strictures at the surgical site.

4. Dumping Syndrome:
This is a common side effect of gastric bypass surgery that causes stomach contents to enter the small intestine too quickly, causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Recovery period:

After bariatric surgery, it is important to follow your surgeon's aftercare instructions to ensure recovery. Recovery time depends on the type of surgery performed and the patient's overall health. In general, patients can expect to stay in the hospital for 1-3 days after surgery. During this time, patients are given pain medication and their vital signs are closely monitored.

After discharge, patients must follow a strict diet and exercise regimen to promote healing and ensure successful long-term weight loss. The diet begins with clear liquids and gradually transitions to soft, then solid foods.

You should avoid high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sugar foods and focus on high-protein foods such as lean meats, eggs, and beans.

In addition to a strict diet, patients should gradually increase physical activity. Initially, people can do only light activities, such as walking, but their activity levels may increase as they recover. It is important to have follow-up appointments with the surgeon and nutritionist to monitor progress and address any concerns. Your surgeon may also recommend additional support, such as counseling or a support group, to help with the emotional aspects of weight loss.

Conclusion:

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure that can help individuals achieve significant and long-lasting weight loss and improve their overall health. However, it is not a quick fix and requires a commitment to lifestyle changes such as following a strict diet and exercise regimen. It is essential to discuss the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery with a qualified surgeon to determine if it is the right option for you. With proper aftercare and support, bariatric surgery can be a successful tool for weight loss and improved health.

FAQs

Bariatric surgery is typically recommended for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. Candidates should also have attempted to lose weight through traditional methods but have been unsuccessful.
The success rate of bariatric surgery varies depending on the type of surgery and the individual's commitment to lifestyle changes. On average, patients can expect to lose 50-70% of their excess weight within the first two years after surgery.
The recovery period can vary depending on the type of surgery performed and the individual's overall health. In general, patients can expect to be off work for 1-2 weeks and will need to follow a strict diet and exercise regimen for several months to promote healing and ensure long-term weight loss success.
Yes, patients will need to take vitamin and mineral supplements after bariatric surgery as the body may not absorb enough nutrients from food alone.
In some cases, bariatric surgery can be reversed, but it is a complex and risky procedure that should only be considered as a last resort.
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