Bariatric Surgery: The Quick Fix to Obesity

Overweight and obese people are constantly on the look out for new gadgets or devices they can use to shed off their unwanted pounds. Some have success stories, some fail. Some understand the concept of healthy weight-loss, some are looking for a quick fix. Some opt to do it the natural way, some choose surgery. One of the well known weight loss surgery availed by obese people is bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery
Bariatric surgery, more commonly referred to as weight loss surgery, is a combination of surgical procedures performed to treat overweight and obese people. This is best for people who?ve failed to reach their weight loss targets through dieting and exercise routines. Compared to other surgical procedures for obesity, bariatric surgery may help attain a more healthy body weight. Like any other available surgical options for obesity, bariatric surgery has it benefits. Although, of course, do not forget to consider the possible risk and side effects before choosing to undergo such a procedure.

Doctors check the following criteria before endorsing s patient for surgery:
? A body mass index or bmi of 40 and above. This equates to about a hundred pounds overweight for men, and eighty pounds overweight for women.
? A bmi of 35 to 39.9 along with a serious obesity-related health condition like hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and obstructive sleep apnea (this occurs when breathing stops for a few seconds while sleeping).
? A clear understanding of the operation and the lifestyle changes that the operation would require from you after the procedure is performed.

The most common procedure is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Here, a small stomach pouch is created with a stapler device, and connected to the distal small intestine. The upper part of the small intestine is then reattached in a Y-shaped configuration.

In the United States, an estimated 140,000 people have requested to have the said procedure, thus making it the most commonly performed operation for weight loss. Gastric bypass procedure has already been performed for almost 50 years, that?s why surgeons have become comfortable with the full understanding of the risks and benefits of the procedure.

Even if bariatric surgery uses a minimally invasive surgery technique, it is still considered a major operation. And like all other major operations, you will be administered general anaesthetic, and will require a few days at the hospital and a few weeks to recuperate. And like any other major operations, there will still be risks involved.

General risks:
? Bleeding
? Infection in the incision
? Potential heart and/or lung problem
? Intestinal obstructions due to adhesions
? Hernia through the incision; rejection of materials used for the suture
? General anaesthesia related risks

Post Operative Early Risks:
? Gastric fluid leakage from the stomach or intestines through the sutures which may result to abdominal infection. This will require a second operation to drain the infection.
? Spleen injury. Rare as this side effect may be, spleen removal may be required if the bleeding cannot be controlled.

Post Operative Late Risks:
? Ulcer formation on the stomach or small intestine.
? Defecating. Patients may produce loose stools and/or abdominal cramps immediately after eating certain foods.
? Obstruction of the opening of the stoma. This happens when a piece of food becomes lodged in the stoma.
? Vitamin and/or iron deficiency.
? Inaccessibility of the lower stomach and upper intestine to certain diagnostic tests.
? Staple disruption may occur at any time. A second operation may be required for re-stapling.
? Hair loss can be a temporary problem within the first six to twelve months after the operation. This is mostly attributed to vitamin deficiency. There is no specific remedy other than proper nutrition and multivitamin supplements.

Now that the risks and benefits have been laid to you, think about it carefully before undergoing this treatment. Consult your physician and have them discuss this matter thoroughly. After all, this is your body and this is a big change. Just keep in mind that even if surgery is the fastest way to get over your obesity ordeal, the best way to lose weight is still through the natural process.

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