Bariatric Surgery (Also called “Weight-loss Surgery”) includes a variety of procedures performed on people who have obesity. Weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through the removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery).
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is nothing more than the common term used collectively for many types of weight-loss surgeries. These procedures alter your digestive system to assist in weight loss. They limit the amount of food you can eat or reduce your ability to absorb nutrition and, in some cases, both. When diet and exercise regimens have failed and the person has a serious health condition as a result of their weight, these types of operations are performed. The most common type is gastric bypass, which most doctors favor since it has fewer complications than other weight-loss procedures. These surgeries generally have significant risks and side effects and the patient has to make permanent changes to their diet and also schedule a fixed exercise regimen so that they can ensure the long-lasting success of bariatric surgeries.
Myths and Facts
Bariatric surgery is extremely dangerous
While it is true that all surgery carries some risks, recent advances in the techniques used in surgery have greatly reduced these risks. Studies have shown that the risk is about the same as that of routine gallbladder surgery.
It's about diet and exercise
Diet and exercise are certainly important, but they may not be enough for many extremely obese patients. Studies have shown that changes in diet and exercise can result in weight loss, but more than half of those people will regain their weight.
Most people will regain weight
After the surgery, patients can lose between 50 and 100 pounds in the first year. Long-term studies have shown that 10 years after the procedure, more patients have maintained weight compared to patients who have lost weight without surgery. This shows that long-term weight loss can be achieved.
Surgery can affect the way the body absorbs vitamins and minerals
There are different forms of bariatric surgery for weight loss. Some of them can change the way the body absorbs vitamins and minerals, and deficiencies can occur. This side effect can be prevented by using supplements after surgery. Follow-up care of patients after surgery should include regular testing of their vitamin and mineral levels so that any deficiencies can be addressed.
You can't have children after weight loss surgery
Patients undergoing weight loss surgery are advised not to become pregnant for the first two years after surgery. One reason is that these procedures are intended to induce weight loss, the opposite of what is needed during pregnancy. Most patients reach a weight loss plateau about two years after surgery. It is also important to note that weight loss leads to higher fertility rates and higher levels of testosterone in men.
Insurance doesn't cover weight-loss surgery
Several insurance companies cover these procedures. Insurance coverage varies from state to state and company to company. Generally, a patient must meet certain requirements for insurance to cover the surgery. The best way to know if one meets all the requirements is to go to a bariatric clinic where all the necessary information is provided.
Bariatric surgery leads to alcoholism
Several studies have shown that there is no clear link between bariatric surgery and alcohol use. Patients are advised to reduce alcohol consumption after surgery, as the effects of alcohol may be greater after surgery.
Bariatric surgery increases suicide
Many changes can occur as a result of weight loss after surgery. Those changes can be psychological or emotional, or they can even change someone's personality. Some studies have shown an increase in suicide rates after weight loss procedures, but those patients tend to have undiagnosed psychological conditions before surgery. That is why detecting mental health problems before surgery is so important.
Bariatric surgery leaves a big scar
In the past, "traditional" surgery left scars. Most weight-loss procedures are now conducted through "pinhole surgery," often known as laparoscopic surgery, as the technology and skills have advanced. Laparoscopic surgeries leave much less scarring than open surgery, plus they have a faster recovery time, less pain, and less blood loss.
Bariatric surgery is an easy way out
While it is true that people can lose a lot of weight through bariatric surgery, there is a small group of people who can regain the weight. Usually, this is due to unhealthy lifestyle choices - not getting enough exercise or not eating the right foods. Surgery is an important way of helping individuals lose weight, but healthy decisions are required to keep that weight off.
Not a single gram of fat is removed or liposuction is done. It is based on the principle of restriction of food & less absorption of food
It is a very old surgery. The first Bariatric Surgery was done in the year 1966. In India, it is being done for more than a decade with figures as high as 15000 cases per year.
This surgery not only reduces your overweight but also helps in the resolution of your comorbidities like Type II Diabetes Mellitus, High Cholesterol, Snoring, Sleep Apnea, Joint Pain, PCOD & Fatty Liver Disease. So, this is not a cosmetic but a life-saving surgery.
There are different types of procedures for example Mini Gastric Bypass, Roux-N-Y Gastric Bypass, Gastric Band, Gastric Sleeve Resection, Duodenal Switch, SADI, Plication, and ileal interposition.
Excess weight loss varies from procedure to procedure. Excess weight loss may range from 20% to more than 90%.
Sometimes obesity is genetically related to or overproduction of hunger hormones or the slow metabolic rate of the body. An obesity-prone person who even eats less can gain weight for such people Bariatric Surgery is a boon.
Only 10-15% of people can lose weight with diet & exercise. If you stop the dietary and exercise regime all the lost weight can come back.
Some Bariatric Surgeries are reversible like a mini gastric bypass & gastric band.
Bariatric Surgery allows eating food according to your ideal body weight.
An experienced laparoscopic surgeon can perform Bariatric Surgery comfortably and successfully using the laparoscopic technique.
Procedures like gastric bypass reduce the high pressure in the stomach so negligible chance of vomiting.