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Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery, also known colloquially as weight-loss surgeries, refers to a set of different stomach surgeries that will result in you losing a dramatic amount of weight. The term ‘Bariatric surgery’ refers to a class of surgeries rather than a single procedure. There are four different bariatric surgery procedures continually performed to this day. How the surgery proceeds and the amount of weight you will lose from the surgery depends on which exact surgery you underwent. The stomach is the organ which all kinds of bariatric surgery focus on. 

The goal of the procedure is to limit the amount of food your stomach can hold. Thus, limiting how much food and, ultimately, calories your body takes every time you eat. Besides making you lose much weight; the surgery has other benefits. Bariatric surgery has, as a consequence of the reduction of food, the ability to lessen the effect comorbidities associated with obesity have on your body. Bariatric surgery can lessen the threat type 2 diabetes, fatty liver syndrome, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a wealth of other disease have on you. 

Who is Bariatric Surgery Meant For?

To undergo bariatric surgery is not only required to you want to lose weight, but you also need to for health reasons. Obesity is the name given to the condition where a person holds an excessive amount of body fat on their body. The condition comes from continuous weight gain, meaning, results from taking in more calories than the amount you actually burn, compounding this for a period of years of consumption of much fat-saturated food and little physical activity results on it. 

Obesity comes with a plethora of health issues that are very dangerous if left unaddressed—ranging from straightforward physical symptoms as an ache in the bones and joints of the body due to the weight of the fat you are carrying. And to the development of serious health conditions of the chronic variety. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, among many others. Thus, not only is obesity unaesthetic, but it is also very dangerous for you and potentially fatal. Bariatric surgery can help you to dramatically lose an enormous amount of weight and, thus, treat obesity but only under certain conditions.

How Obese You Have to Be for Bariatric Surgery?

The measure of obesity goes by the name of body mass index (BMI). And it is the result of a person’s weight divided by the square of their height. The resulting value measures on a scale in which a value ranging from 18.5 to 24.9 BMI results in a healthy weight for an adult. However, values comprehended between 30 to 34.9 BMI fall within the obese ranger. And values going from 35 to 40 or more are what it’s known as the extremely obese range. 

The bariatric surgery will help people within the extremely obese range beyond 40 BMI. Some doctors will perform specific bariatric surgery procedures for obese people within the 35 to 40 range with comorbidities associated with being obese. Sometimes even for people with serious comorbidities that fall in the 30 to 34.9 range as well. Besides having to fall into the said spectrum, someone undergoing bariatric surgery also need to commit to healthier habits. 

Some of the procedures will permanently limit the amount of food you can eat. But a few lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and regular exercise are what will keep your weight stable. At the same time, you will not gain all the weight your loss due to bariatric surgery back if you don’t make those changes. You might just gain enough to keep any condition associated with obesity dangerous enough to threaten your life. So, make sure you are committed to a healthier lifestyle afterwards.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

Currently, there are four different types of bariatric surgery performed on patients. Each procedure has a different way of approaching the reduction of the stomach area. Thus, the amount of weight you lose from each one will vary, as does what the surgery does to your stomach. Each procedure happens under general anaesthesia. 

The surgeons nowadays use laparoscopic devices when performing bariatric surgery. The laparoscopic devices are thin and enter the body via very tiny incisions. This avoids the need of opening the abdomen with a long incision. From there on out, the surgery proceeds different depending on which bariatric surgery procedure you choose. These are those procedures.

Gastric Bypass Procedure

It consists of the severing of the upper part for the stomach. This newly-severed part of your stomach the surgeon fashions it into a small pouch through the use of surgical staples. The surgeon will then proceed to bisect your lower intestine into two parts. 

They will take the lower part of your lower intestine and position it higher up right next to the pouch to stitch them together. This creates an entirely new route connecting your upper stomach to your lower intestine that allows avoiding remaining 90% of your stomach. And since it’s much smaller, it will allow you to hold much less food than you previously had. 

Finally, the surgeon also attaches the upper part of your lower intestine to further down the lower part of it. This allows digestive acid and enzymes from the part of your stomach you will no longer use to reach the food you eat. You will lose anywhere between 60% to 80% a year after the procedure.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

A bit similar to the gastric bypass but much more radical. It consists of the actual removal of 80% of your stomach. What that leaves behind is a lean sleeve of the stomach that resembles the shape of a banana. 

The new stomach, likewise, holds only a fraction of the amount it previously could. The procedure does not involve rerouting of your lower intestines but, since it removes 80% of your stomach, it is permanent. With this surgery, you will lose 50% to 70% of your weight.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch

Works like a combination of the previous two to an extent. The surgery follows the same removal of most of your stomach to create a sleeve just like a sleeve gastrectomy would. Afterwards, your surgeon cuts into a very low part of your lower intestine and connects the new gastric sleeve to it. This will limit the amount of food you can eat and, like the gastric sleeve, is also irreversible. You can lose up to 90% of your weight with this surgery, but only very few patients can undergo it.

After A Bariatric Surgery

You will not be able to eat solid immediately after bariatric surgery and thus, must only consume liquids for one or two weeks. Afterwards, only consume very mild solid food such as porridge until your doctor gives you the all-clear. 

They will also recommend a set of vitamins and supplements for you to take during the entire time. For the whole year following the procedure, you will gradually lose most of your weight. Once you are able to eat normally again, you will notice you get fuller faster and with much less food. It is important that you know that only lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise will help you maintain a stable weight.

Bariatric Surgery FAQ

Q: What exactly is bariatric surgery?

A: Is an umbrella term for all weight loss surgeries that involve limiting the amount of food the stomach takes in.

Q: Do all of the different bariatric surgery give the same results?

A: The amount of weight you can lose varies depending on the type of bariatric surgery chosen: that and the possibility of it being reversible.

Q: Can a woman get pregnant after bariatric surgery?

A: Yes, they can. But a woman should undergo bariatric surgery after already having all the children she would. Getting pregnant after bariatric surgery is not advised.

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