Bariatric Surgery – Symptoms
Bariatric Surgery is generally opted for in cases of severe obesity to reduce the life-threatening risks arising from it. Common reasons include:-
- When changes in diet and exercising have not helped an individual reduce weight
- Risk or occurrence of problems such as
- heart related troubles
- diabetes Type 2
- high blood pressure
- Having a BMI of 35 or more representing class 2 & 3 of obesity
There are certain medical guidelines to qualify for anyone who wants to opt for weight loss surgery. One also must be willing to make permanent lifestyle changes in the future.
Bariatric Surgery – Types
There are different ways in which a bariatric surgery may be performed –
- Gastric bypass- It is the most common and often irreversible type of weight loss surgery. In this the stomach is divided into a small pouch, sealing it from the rest of the stomach. This portion is then connected to the small intestine directly and thus any food travels through this small pouch only and enters into the middle part of the small intestine.
- Sleeve gastrectomy – In this procedure about 80% of the stomach is removed leaving only a banana shaped section which again holds very little food. It also affects the production of some appetite relating hormones and causes a significant reduction in weight immediately
- Gastric balloon – In this a special balloon is put into the stomach which stays there for up to 6 months. While it is there, the stomach has less space to store food making one eat less. This can be altered by a visit to the doctor at any time. It is a painless surgery and just takes 15 minutes to complete.
Bariatric Surgery – Treatment
The doctor on consultation will be able to decide the best possible method of performing the surgery as per your condition. Almost all gastric bypass and gastric sleeve procedures are done as “laparoscopic” surgeries. This is done by making 3-4 small holes in the abdomen and working with narrow tools so that chances of scarring are least. Gastric balloon is a non-invasive procedure for weight loss. But one has to be clear about the potential risks involved in these procedures.
Bariatric Surgery – Risks & Complications
Each type of surgery has different benefits and downsides.
- Gastric bypass leads to the most weight loss and works the fastest but it involves most serious surgery along with the highest risk. It can also cause problems in how your body absorbs nutrients in the future and may lead to nutrient deficiency.
- Sleeve gastrectomy is safer than the above because it does not involve rerouting or cutting of the small intestine and does not involve any form of outside materials that stay in your body.
- Gastric balloon is becoming a more and more popular option for weight loss. That is because it is safe, easy to opt for and does not involve any invasive procedure. But it may not be as effective as other surgical options. After the balloon is removed, some people may not be able to control their weight anymore.
In general, risks involved with any type of surgery may include bleeding, infection inside the belly, leaks from the incisions on the stomach or intestine, blockage or tear near the intestine, gallstones, nutritional problems, etc.
Bariatric Surgery – Pre Op Care
Pre-operative care for weight loss surgeries differ for different treatment options.
- In general, the doctor along with a nutritionist will put you on a 1-month diet to help your body prepare for the sudden loss of body mass which will get more rigorous as you get closer to the day of your surgery
- You will also be required to light to moderate movement exercises
- You will have to stop smoking, drinking if you do any of these
- Fatty foods, spicy preparations, caffeinated drinks and dairy products should be avoided as far as possible
- The doctor will ask you to stop all oral contraceptives and hormonal medications 3-4 weeks in advance as they increase the risk of blood clotting
- In the last 2 weeks, the doctor will prescribe antacids which will need to be continued even after the surgery
- In the last 3 days, the doctor will put you on a complete liquid diet
The surgery is normally done on an empty stomach as such you will not be allowed to eat anything at least 12 hours before the surgery.
Bariatric Surgery – Post Op Care
You will have to follow a strict diet post any weight loss surgery for at least 6 months to allow the body to heal and not to stretch it because of any food. Closely following your post-surgery diet will help your body lose weight safely.
The diet is designed to
- Allow your stomach to digest small amounts of food safely
- Help lose weight and avoid gaining weight
- Avoid any complications from the surgery