It is evident how popular surgeries have become to improve bodily features and aesthetics. Be it relating to a health concern or to look fit and healthy. With obesity and weight gain being significant health concerns, weight-loss surgeries have become a quick solution to provide effective treatments and maintain a healthier life. Here, we bring you all the information and facts concerning weight loss surgery and what you need to know if you wish to pursue it for your weight loss journey.
What is it?
Weight loss surgeries, along with other gastric surgeries or other digestive system surgeries, are collectively known as bariatric surgery. The main aim of bariatric surgery is to make the patient lose a few pounds of weight by changing the digestive system.
Why is it done?
Bariatric surgery is generally done to reduce someone's excessive weight, which can cause many fatal health problems to the patient if not taken care of. These health problems include the risk of heart attack or stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver, etc. This surgery is used when the patient has tried diets and exercises but has not been able to lose weight.
Bariatric surgery is only performed after screening the patient's medical records and history and matching it with the prescribed medical guidelines. There are certain conditions upon which it is decided if the person will have to undergo bariatric surgery or not. These conditions include a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40, sometimes between 30 and 40, and severe health conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or sleep apnea.
The process of bariatric surgery varies from patient to patient. Some procedures focus on limiting the capacity of the organs of the digestive system to absorb certain nutrients. In contrast, other methods restrict the amount of food the patient can intake. After the surgery, the patient has to make permanent lifestyle changes along with the intake of less amount of food as prescribed by the doctor as a side effect of the bariatric surgery to maintain the results of the surgery and avoid any medical complications in the future.
Types of weight-loss surgeries
There are three common types of weight-loss surgeries. Though every class has its own merits and demerits, the appropriate type for you is decided by your medical consultant based on your health conditions, medical history, and requirements.
- Sleeve gastrectomy
This method of bariatric surgery requires less time than other types. In this procedure, about 80 percent of the patient's stomach is replaced by an elongated pouch in the shape of a tube. It is smaller than the stomach, which means that the patient will have to cut on his food. After this surgery, patients report having a lesser appetite due to the shortage of ghrelin production, the appetite-regulating hormone of our body. This process does not include any changes to be made to the intestines.
- Biliopancreatic diversion along with a duodenal switch
This is a two-part surgery, wherein the first part is identical to the sleeve gastrectomy. After that, the end part of the intestine is connected to the duodenum, situated near the stomach, and helps digest the food and absorb nutrients. This surgery not only limits the patient's food intake but also puts a bar on the number of nutrients absorbed in the body by the intestines. Although this has been proven a very effective method of weight loss surgery, this might result in nutrient deficiencies, leading to malnutrition in the patient.
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
This method involves sewing a significant part of the stomach and the intestines to limit the intake of food by the patient, as the newly stitched stomach can accommodate only a handful of food. This also helps in reducing the absorption of nutrients. This is one of the most common ways of performing a weight loss surgery, but the process is irreversible, so care should be taken if opting for this surgery.
Pros and Cons of Weight Loss Surgery
Most people lose weight for 18 to 24 months after weight loss surgery. Many people regain some of their lost weight at this stage, although few do so ultimately. If you have any medical problems due to obesity, they should improve after weight loss surgery. Some illnesses, such as diabetes, respond promptly to treatment, and others, such as excessive blood pressure, may require more time.
The type of weight loss surgery you have determines your long-term concerns. "Dumping syndrome," in which food travels too quickly through the small intestine, is one of the most common problems, especially following gastric bypass. Nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, diarrhea after eating, and inability to eat sweets without feeling relatively weak are all symptoms. It can affect up to 50% of patients who have had weight loss surgery.
Weight Loss Surgery Costs
Costs of weight loss surgeries have been observed to rise to the sky in the past few years. The average surgery cost ranges from $10,000 to $25,000, which also depends on the type of surgery you are going for. The average price of a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is $23,000, compared to $15,000 for a Sleeve gastrectomy and $14,000 for a Biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch. These are the basic surgery costs which are exclusive of the doctor's fees, the hospital's charges (which depend on what kind of hospital you choose for yourself), anesthesia charges, medications, and other follow-up charges.
If you already have medical insurance, carefully read the terms and conditions and the surgeries covered in the insurance before being reliant on it. If you do not have insurance, many hospitals might provide a loan option wherein you can repay the whole amount in installments at specific interest.
Medical tourism for weight loss surgery
Medical tourism for weight loss surgery generally addresses the movement of people from their home country to any other country to have their weight loss surgery. A study published in the Journal of Obesity Surgery states that about 2 percent of all the bariatric surgeries performed worldwide are performed on medical tourists that have traveled to another country to get their surgery done. Patients travel from their home country to another foreign state to have their surgery as they prefer a better quality with cheaper rates and a faster procedure. The dominant destinations for patients going for bariatric tourism are Mexico, Romania, and Lebanon. This case is widely observed among patients from the UK, USA, Germany, etc., who travel to these countries in search of a better surgery experience.
After-effects of weight loss surgery
A weight loss surgery helps the patient lose most of their weight by making appropriate lifestyle changes and following the guidelines prescribed by the doctor who performed the surgery. Weight loss surgeries have also proven to resolve many pre-existing medical issues like high blood pressure, extreme sleep apnea, heart disease, or minimize the risk of an attack or a stroke, fatty liver, type two diabetes, and pain in the joints known as osteoarthritis. A weight loss surgery makes the life of the patient average like everyone else. It allows them to carry on all their chores efficiently and effectively without demanding much help or depending on anyone else.
Every coin has two sides. Though there are many benefits of having weight loss surgery to be performed on oneself, there are certain complications that cannot be ignored and thus have to be well prepared for in advance. While the surgery is being carried on, risks include blood clotting, excessive bleeding, infection, breathing problems, or a leak in the body's gastrointestinal system. In sporadic cases where the patient's situation gets out of the hands of the surgeon, it can also result in the patient's demise. After-effects of the weight loss surgery include complications like stones in the gallbladder, hernia, ulcers, persistent vomits, acid reflux, diarrhea, bowel obstruction, low blood sugar, malnutrition, or even a need to perform a revised or follow-up surgery.
After the surgery, the patient is shifted to a general ward, and they are monitored by the medical and nursing staff of the hospital for any reactions or complications arising from the surgery process.
The bariatric surgery industry is growing consistently, with market size of over two billion dollars. Although the weight loss surgery process is considered harmful by many, it is the only method for you to go for in case you have tried your best and are unable to lose weight, when your excess weight is causing other fatal problems to your health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has awarded bariatric surgery as the most effective surgical treatment for people with uncontrollable obesity. Be sure to get a credible medical consultation and a proper screening of your medical history by a certified doctor before diving into the process. For more health-related information, make sure to follow cured.com!From the Web