With the uncontrolled increase in obesity and overweight rates, Weight loss surgery has become a frequent procedure in many countries where junk food consumption and processed sugar are out of control.
Bariatric surgery, commonly known as weight loss surgery, consists of procedures that allow obese and overweight patients to lose those extra pounds that harm their life’s quality.
All weight-loss surgeries offer highly effective results in the short and long term, as long as the patient is willing to modify their eating habits with a nutritionist and a psychologist’s help.
However, like any medical treatment, bariatric surgery can have complications, so not everyone can undergo one of them.
The three most commonly used weight-loss surgeries are:
- Gastric sleeve.
- Gastric bypass.
- Gastric balloon.
Gastric sleeve is a restrictive technique; surgery involves removing a large portion of the stomach to reduce its size and, by extension, the amount of food the patient can eat.
This causes a decrease in appetite and makes it easier to achieve a feeling of satiety. With proper medical and psychological supervision, patients adapt to their “new stomach” and gradually gain their ideal weight.
The gastric bypass consists of two phases; the first one is similar to the gastric sleeve since it consists of forming a smaller stomach to restrict the amount of food that the patient can ingest.
The second phase consists of connecting the new stomach to a more advanced section of the small intestine; thus, the ingested food bypasses most of the small intestine and the absorption of nutrients decreases.
A gastric balloon is a non-surgical and reversible treatment; therefore, it is much safer than the previous two. At the same time, it is highly effective in stimulating weight loss quickly.
The procedure consists of endoscopically introducing a deflated silicone balloon through the mouth. When the balloon reaches the stomach, it is inflated with a saline solution and occupies a large part of the stomach. This makes the patient feel full with smaller portions of food.
The balloon is removed after 6-12 months, but the results are preserved over time as long as the patient is willing to maintain a healthy diet.
Who can have weight loss surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a procedure performed for medical reasons, and it should never be for aesthetic reasons since these are complex surgeries and the eligibility criteria are strict.
Only people with morbid obesity whose life’s quality is compromised and who fail to lose weight with diets and exercises are eligible for weight loss surgery. The surgery will only be performed if the doctor determines that the patient’s’ general health status does not compromise the surgery’s success.
Overweight people are NOT eligible for bariatric surgery; however, sometimes an overweight person may be eligible for a gastric balloon, as this is a temporary and reversible procedure.