Bariatric Surgery for Obesity: All You Need to Know
Bariatric surgery, in simple terms, refers to any of the various weight loss procedures available to address obesity. Provided by every notable center for obesity surgery, these procedures include sleeve gastrectomy (performed using a gastric band that reduces the size of the stomach), biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (removal of a portion of the stomach), and gastric bypass surgery (resecting and re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch), among others. Let’s take a look at the finer lines of the option, covering all that you must know before choosing to go under the knife.
Bariatric surgery is mostly recommended to people dealing severe obesity. Obesity, as a clinical disorder, is measured based on BMI (Body Mass Index), which is a measure of weight in relation to height. Severe obesity is a BMI of 40 or more, and for people with co-existing health problems such as diabetes, the threshold for severe obesity BMI is 35. Bariatric surgery works by limiting the amount of food the stomach is able to hold, resulting in less food intake and weight reduction, or by inhibiting the digestive system from absorbing some portion of the nutrients from the food consumed, or both.
Bariatric Surgery Process
Before surgery can begin, your doctor will determine if you are physically and mentally prepared for the procedure, willingness to make the commitment to adjusting your lifestyle to keep the extra rounds away. There are different weight loss procedures and your doctor at the obesity clinic in Dallas or any other part of the US can walk you through your options, discussing what is involved, as well as the pros and cons. You may also be required to effect some lifestyle changes in preparation for the procedure, such as quitting smoking and bringing your blood sugar under an advisable limit. Other requirements that go into preparation for the operation include avoiding herbal supplements and products that contain aspirin at least a week before the operation. During the 24 to 48 hours before the procedure, the patient is required to consume only clear liquids.
The surgery is administered under general anaesthesia. The surgeon may use either open or laparoscopic surgical method. Laparoscopy, however, is usually prefered as it leaves smaller scars and has fewer risks and complications. The surgeon will simply require small ‘keyhole cuts’, whereas open surgery requires a 8 to 10 inch incision on the belly.
Available weight loss procedures include:
- Roux-en-Y-Gastric Bypass
- Gastric Sleeve
- Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB or Lap Band)
- Vertical Gastric Banding or Stomach Stapling
- Biliopancreatic Diversion
Post Procedure and Risks
In all types of weight loss surgery, stitches or staples are used to close the incisions, and the patient is required to stay hospitalized for a short time. Some of the risks associated with bariatric surgery include:
- Bleeding (haemorrhage)
- Blood clots or blood clot symptoms also known as Thrombus
- Dumping Syndrome
- Bowel Obstruction also known as Internal Hernia
- Bowel function changes, namely diarrhoea and constipation
- Anastomotic Leaks
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Stomal Stenosis
The risk of particular complications varies and largely depends on the procedure sought. Bariatric surgeons discuss all such issues with the patient to put them in the picture and empower them to make better decisions about their health.
Post-surgery lifestyle has a large bearing on the success of all types of weight loss surgeries. Immediately after the surgery, it is recommended for the patient to go on clear liquid diet that includes items such as diluted fruit juices, clear broth, gelatin desserts, and sugar-free drinks. Exceeding the new capacity and efficiency of the stomach when eating may result in nausea and vomiting. Some patients might also need a daily multivitamin pill, to compensate for the reduction in the absorption of essential nutrients. If you wish to learn more about weight loss treatment surgeries or are looking for a reliable obesity clinic in Dallas, feel free to contact us for a no-obligation consultation.
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Dr. James Davidson Voted Top DocsBariatric Director at Presbyterian Hospital Dallas James A. Davidson, MD, FACS, FASMBS was Voted Top Doctor by Peers In D Magazine for 25 Years in a Row - 1992-2017
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