If you are morbidly obese, which means your BMI is at least 40, it is likely that you will need to look into bariatric procedures to resolve this. That said, there are many different types of procedures available, each with their own pros and cons. When people think about bariatric surgery, they usually consider those that alter your food intake. However, even liposuction is classed as a bariatric procedure, as it also helps people to lose weight and restore health. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of bariatric surgeries.
The Gastric Bypass
The gastric bypass is a very safe procedure, but it does carry some risks. You must learn about the pros and cons of this procedure, and about how your daily life will change as a result of having had it. During the surgery, your stomach will be made smaller and the length of your small intestine will be reduced as well. This means that you eat less, and that you absorb fewer calories.
The surgery can be completed through open surgery, but is now often done laparoscopically, as this is much safer, leaves fewer scars, and is less risky. Usually, a procedure takes four hours to complete, and a four day hospital stay is required. For three months after the procedure, people have to be very careful with what they eat. Usually, they lose at least 50% of their excess body weight within two years, so long as they stick to their diet and exercise plan.
If someone does put weight back on after the bypass, they should not have the surgery again. This is because the chance of serious complications is then greatly increased. Hence, the gastric bypass is, in a way, not a permanent solution as there is a chance that you will put the weight back on if you revert to your old habits.
The Lap Band
The lap band is becoming increasingly popular because it is less invasive than the gastric bypass and because it can be adjusted. While the procedure is much easier to complete, weight loss is also slower. It cannot be used on people who have had ulcers or hernias.
The Duodenal Switch
This procedure is offered to people who have a BMI of 50 or above. It often leads to vitamin deficiency and malnutrition, so lifelong supplementation is generally required. Most of the small intestine and 80% of the stomach is removed. This leads to rapid weight loss.
There has been significant research to demonstrate that bariatric surgery helps people to become healthier overall. This is one of the reasons why it is now often covered by insurance companies, as it reduces the cost of other health care that people inevitably need if they do become obese. This includes type 2 diabetes, liver disease, sleep apnea, asthma, cancer, and more. As a result, while surgery is often expensive, it is cheaper across a lifetime than leaving people to be obese and become unhealthier over time.