For some, shedding a few pounds can make all the difference in the world, especially if they suffer from other life-threatening conditions related to their weight. While most people would hit the gym a few times a week to stay in shape, some people require more on-the-nose solutions. Thankfully, bariatric surgeries help thousands of patients who struggle with weight loss. These procedures usually entail changing the route of food by altering the construction of the digestive system. Although they might seem very invasive, most of these surgeries are done with a microscope, eliminating the need for long recovery periods. Because there are many bariatric procedures you can go for, it helps to know a bit more about all the options you have. So, keep on reading to discover the different types of bariatric surgeries.
Known as the most popular bariatric surgery, the gastric bypass helps patients lose up to 80% of their current weight, which is why it is often recommended for people with very high BMI (body mass index). The surgery entails creating a small sac in the stomach by dividing it into two parts using a stapling device. Then, the small intestines are also divided into two parts to connecting the lower portion to the sac that was created in the first step. Finally, the upper part of the intestines is then reattached to the lower portion to allow the pancreatic and digestive enzymes to break down the food. This leaves the majority of the stomach empty, helping patients feel full faster.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of this surgery is that it is often the best solution for diabetic patients. According to recent studies, the gastric bypass increases the remission rates of the patients who have type 2 diabetes by up to 75%. For this reason, the gastric bypass can be a life-changing procedure, not only because it encourages weight loss, but because it also improves insulin production, and a specialist clinic like Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado can offer help.
Adjustable gastric band
Because not all overweight individuals need overly aggressive solutions like the gastric bypass, an adjustable gastric band can be their second-best option. The adjustable gastric band surgery, also known as the lap band, stimulates weight loss by limiting the capacity of the stomach. A medical device, the band, is used to create a stomach sac by dividing it into two portions. As opposed to the gastric bypass, the two portions remain connected. However, the path between them is tightened by the band to allow patients to feel full even after consuming small quantities of food. The biggest advantage of the adjustable gastric band is that the band itself can be tightened or loosened gradually as needed, eliminating most of the negative side effects that are often associated with the gastric bypass. So, patients do not often need to stay in the hospital for more than a day after the procedure
Sleeve gastrectomy is another bariatric surgery that has helped millions regain control of their weight. Just like other similar restrictive procedures, it involves creating a pouch in the stomach by dividing it. While most bariatric surgeries keep the empty part of the stomach intact, it is removed in a sleeve gastrectomy. Because it does not alter the course of the small intestines in any way, this procedure maintains the normal rate of nutrient absorption, limiting the risk of vitamin deficiencies. Nonetheless, the sleeve gastrectomy is not without its drawbacks, and the biggest is that it cannot be reversed. Considering that most bariatric surgeries can be easily reversed in case of complications, sleeve gastrectomy often isn’t the most patients’ preferred method of weight loss.
BPD/DS gastric bypass
The BPD/DS (biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) gastric bypass is the most altering bariatric surgery available for obese patients. If you opt for this procedure, your surgeon will create a small pouch in your stomach and remove the rest of it, a step similar to what happens with the sleeve gastrectomy. The upper part of the intestines, the duodenum, is separated from the rest of the bowels. Then, the lower part of the bowels gets directly attached to the duodenum, leaving out the middle portion of the intestines. Finally, the middle part is reattached to the lower portion again, which limits the food that can be digested. This surgery encourages weight loss by changing the behaviour of gut hormones, reducing appetite. However, since it involves a lot of alterations, there is a higher risk of complications for the people who opt for the BPD/DS gastric bypass.
Bariatric surgeries have been developed to induce weight loss in overweight/obese patients who cannot shed weight through standard methods like exercising or dieting. As you now know, there are many bariatric surgeries you can opt for depending on your case. So, it is better to consult your GP before making any decision, as they will be able to recommend the best procedure for you.
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James Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.