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Weight Loss surgery options & types of Bariatric surgery

May 11, 2018

Rising obesity cases has become an epidemic in India. The sad truth is that obesity doesn’t come alone. It is always accompanied by a host of other health complications that may become life-threatening in the long term. Therefore, it is important to treat this condition of excessive storage of body fat be it any age. Given the modern day’s advancements, today we are equipped with many options to treat obesity which are safe and effective at the same time.

Have you heard about bariatric surgery? It is a surgical procedure done on the abdomen or intestine that induces loss of weight. It also helps in cutting back the medical problems that are associated with obesity. Let’s understand bariatric surgery a little better. There are 2 main types of bariatric surgery.
 

  • Restrictive bariatric surgery – In this type, the stomach is physically limited to hold more food. This means the food has limited space and therefore it automatically limits the number of calories one eats
  • Malabsorptive bariatric surgery – This involves surgically bypassing the upper intestine thereby decreasing the absorption of calories and nutrients by the body. In short, this process alters the digestive process to induce weight loss

 

Type of Bariatric Surgery

There are various types of bariatric surgeries. Let’s understand the 6 main types here.

Gastric Banding – This is considered as one of the safest weight loss surgery. It is conducted using a laparoscopy and a silicone band. This band is either horizontally or vertically placed in the upper part of the stomach. The remaining upper part of the stomach above the band is stapled to form a small pouch. This reduces the capacity of the stomach to hold food. Such surgery can reduce weight-loss by as much as 40%.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery –This is a laparoscopically done procedure. It is a permanent and non-reversible procedure. In this surgery, the surgeon removes 3/4th of the stomach and staples the remaining parts of the stomach to form a new tube or banana-shaped stomach. This surgery is very useful for people with a BMI of at least 40 and higher. One may lose 60-70% of their weight in 1-18 months’ time post this surgery, as it limits the amount of food intake to a great extent.

Gastric bypass surgery – This surgery is also known as Roux-en-Y. It is the most commonly performed bariatric surgery with very few post-surgery complications. As the name suggests, this surgery involves bypassing the food from the upper part of the intestine. In this process, the stomach is reduced in size and the small intestine is re-routed to a new opening or pouch in the stomach that receives food. It staples the upper section of the stomach. As a result, the body absorbs fewer calories and intakes lesser food. This process is suitable for people with BMI of 30. It can be done in 2 ways- Laparoscopically or through a traditional open surgery. One can lose 60-80% of excess body weight within 12-18 months post-surgery.

Duodenal switch surgery – Combining the above two surgeries together is the duodenal switch surgery. At the first step, it restricts the stomach size and in the second step, it creates malabsorption of food from the intestine. The surgery can be performed in both ways as above. Surgeons have to be cognizant of not bypassing too much of the intestine in. It is one of the most complicated surgeries as it creates the longest bypass of the intestine. This process is suitable for people with BMI of 30 and more.

Gastroplasty –  This surgery is a restrictive procedure that involves usage of both staples and a band to vertically create a small pouch of the stomach. The pouch outlet is restricted using a band made of special material. Only a small place is left for the food to move into the intestine. It does not affect the process of digestion but intake of lesser food may lead to nutritional deficiencies. It can be carried out as open surgery or laparoscopically.

Gastric Balloon – This is a short-term process of weight loss which is non-surgical. In this process, deflated silicone balloons are ingested by the patient which are inflated inside later. The process is done under mild sedation and is generally painless. It may take 15-20 mins and one can go home the same day. The balloon expands in the stomach and reduces the space available for food intake thus causing a feeling of satiety and fullness. They are deflated and removed after a 6 month’s period. The amount of weight loss experienced by each differs from individual to individual. On an average, about 30% of excess weight loss is observed in 6 months post the procedure.

To summarize…

There is no “one size fits all” procedure. You and your bariatric surgeon can together determine which ones best fit your goals. It is important to remember that obesity surgery is not a quick fix and calls for permanent lifestyle modifications. Fortunately, a team of professionals will always be there to support your efforts. With a lot of patience and willpower, you are sure to achieve your goal of being a fitter version of yourself.

 


Posted in Gastro Care