Weight loss surgery is an appealing option for many patients who have tried to lose weight through traditional methods and have not been successful. In general, weight loss surgery provides appetite control and reduces your overall food intake. There are different types of weight loss surgery, including:
- Gastric sleeve – This procedure removes most of the stomach and leaves the upper section (the gastric sleeve)
- Adjustable gastric band – This is a small band that is placed around the top of the stomach in order to limit how much food can enter
- Gastric bypass – This procedure leaves a small amount of the stomach, called a pouch, which cannot hold a lot of food
- Duodenal switch – This procedure removes most of the stomach, except for the gastric sleeve, allowing food to bypass most of the small intestine
Your weight loss doctor will have different criteria for you when it comes to weight loss surgery, depending on your health and the exact procedure that will work best for you. In most cases, your BMI (body mass index) will need to be high and in the obese range. Typically, you will have needed to be overweight for several years and unable to lose weight after attempting it on your own. You might be a candidate for weight loss surgery if you suffer from a condition that is related to obesity, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Additionally, you will need to be willing to participate in monitoring and follow-ups.
Any patient considering weight loss surgery will be thoroughly evaluated. Understanding the risks involved is an important part. Weight loss surgery is not an easy way out of doing the hard work that it takes to lose weight, and patients need to be informed about what to expect.
Weight loss surgery requires determination from the patient to follow through with dietary restrictions and the inability to eat large meals. It is also important to understand that there are no guarantees with weight loss surgery.
The most common side effects of weight loss surgery are bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and increased gas. More serious side effects are bleeding, infection, and blood clots.
As long as you understand the risks and meet the criteria, weight loss surgery might be an option for you. If you do undergo weight loss surgery, you can expect to lose weight for about 18 to 24 months following the surgery.