Obesity is a serious emrging health problem in various countries. People tend to get bound to their houses because they cannot move around actively due to their weight. They lose their self esteem as well as acquire several other weight related diseases. Having said that, to end this struggle and to have a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to lose weight and bariatric surgery could be the first stepping stone in the journey to weight loss.
Many researches have shown that obese people are unable to maintain their weight loss if any, achieved by weight loss programs, restriction of calories, or other conventional therapies. The only permanent way to fight severe obesity and to maintain a sustained weight loss is by undergoing a weight loss surgery.
What is a Bariatric Surgery?
To understand how a weight loss surgery can help to overcome obesity, one must first understand what this surgery is all about.
Weight loss and gastric bypass surgeries are collectively referred to as bariatric surgery. The surgeon makes changes to the digestive system, which in turn helps in weight loss. Bariatric surgery is performed when exercises and diet do not work, especially on someone who is suffering from severe obesity. The surgery is also for those who have serious health issues like uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea because of excessive weight. Some weight-loss surgeries stop the ability of the body to absorb nutrients, while others will limit how much one can eat. There are some that do both.
A weight loss surgery poses virtually no risk or minimal risk when performed at the hands of an expert bariatric surgeon only after the patient has undergone the required evaluation. Along with weight loss, bariatric surgery offers many other health benefits and can cure type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, sleep apnea and fatty liver (non-alcoholic) along with many other weight related problems.
Someone who has undergone a weight loss surgery must also make healthy changes to their diet and exercise regularly to ensure that their surgery offers long term results.
Types of Bariatric Surgery and How They Help in Weight Loss
Some common types of bariatric surgeries are:
A gastric bypass surgery is one of the most common weight-loss surgeries where the surgeon will make a small stomach pouch. The small intestine is then cut and sewed directly to the small stomach pouch bypassing about one and half meters of the initial part of small intestine. A person will be able to eat a very small quantity and that food will reach directly into the small intestine. The surgeon basically bypasses not just the stomach but also the process of moving the food from the first section of the intestine by dropping it directly to the middle part.
This way, not only a person eats less quantity of food but the nutrients absorbed by the body are also very less. There is also a hormonal mechanism behind this arrangement wherein benefitial hormones, normally produced by the intestines are augmented in the circulation which helps in resolution of many other diseases like type 2 diabetes mellitus.
In this type of bariatric surgery, the surgeon removes about 70 – 80% of the stomach and what is left is a small pouch resembling a banana shaped tube. This new and small stomach is unable to hold much food.
So, with the help of this type of surgery, there is restriction of the amount of food intake at a time, moreover there is feeling of fullness with smaller quantity of food. It also has an impact on gut hormones and regulates appetite hormone ghrelin – so that one doesn’t feel like eating. As a result of both of these phenomenon, there is gradual weight loss.
Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch
This weight loss surgery is performed in two parts where the first part is exactly like sleeve gastrectomy. In the second surgery, the end part of the intestine is connected to the stomach (duodenum). This bypasses most of the small intestine.
So, this surgery limits food intake as well as absorption. The weight loss results seen in this type of surgery are amazing. However, one must follow the dietician’s advice to ensure that there is no deficiency of essential nutrients and vitamins.
The results of every bariatric surgery are different depending on the body type and medical conditions of the patient. Such surgeries are recommended only after proper evaluation and under strict guidelines by expert practioners and at specialized centres. The weight loss results from these surgeries are long-term provided they are performed under experienced hands and there is a long term follow up protocol.