Surgical Weight Loss

Bypass Risks

Gastric Bypass Health Information

Surgical Weight Loss

Surgical weight loss is and should only be considered an option in extreme circumstances. Extreme circumstances would include where an individual has a BMI (body mass index) of over 40 which is considered morbidly obese or when an individual has a BMI lower than 40 but higher than 35 (severely obese) and is suffering from a co-morbid condition. Co-morbid conditions include coronary heart disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, infertility and asthma. However, surgical weight loss is also considered as a last resort, when all other attempts at weight loss have failed to be successful.

Surgical weight loss is a lifesaver in a number of circumstances. It has been proven that health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure that are directly related to obesity are improved or even cured after weight loss surgery. In the United States, obesity related diseases are responsible for more deaths each year than colon and breast cancer combined.

The decision to carry on with surgical weight loss should not be taken lightly. This is because like any surgery, the bariatric or weight loss surgeries carry some level of risk. However, the risks of bariatric surgery are relatively low and only a small percentage of patients experience complications from the surgeries. Generally, the longer the length of the surgery and the more complex it is, the higher the risk. The risk can be mitigated by having the surgery performed by a highly experienced bariatric surgical team.

Some of the surgical weight loss risks include dumping syndrome (this happens because the food eaten moves too fast through the digestive system), stomach leakage into another body part referred to as peritonitis which may lead to infection, infection at the place where an incision was made during surgery, blockage of blood flow in the lungs referred to as pulmonary embolism and the reduction of the passage between the stomach and the small intestines referred to as stomal stenosis.

Other surgical weight loss side effects include temporary hair loss, nutritional deficiencies, altered bowel habits, nausea, vomiting, gall stones, muscles mass loss, lactose intolerance and excess skin. All these side effects can be controlled or taken care of. More surgery may be required to get rid of excess skin once the weight is loss.

There are different types of surgical weight loss methods. These methods are categorized according to the type of procedure being carried out. The methods are predominantly malabsorptive surgeries, restrictive surgeries and mixed surgeries. In mixed surgeries, the surgeon uses both restrictive and malabsorptive procedures. These types of surgeries include biliopancreatic diversion (malabsorptive procedure), vertical banded gastroplasty (restrictive procedure) and sleeve gastrectomy with duodenal switch (mixed procedure).

If you are considering surgical weight loss, you should arrange to have a consultation with a qualified physician. At this consultation, the doctor should be able to determine if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery.