Also referred to as bariatric or weight loss surgery, gastric surgery is a typically safe and effective option for those battling severe obesity and its related health complications. The types of gastric surgery available have been recognized for the impact they have on the hormonal and metabolic changes that play a major role in hunger and satiety, the desire to start and stop eating.
Gastric surgeries are performed to specifically aid in weight loss and work in the following ways:
If you are currently severely obese with a body mass index (BMI) above 40 – or you are 100 lbs. or more over your ideal body weight – you may be a candidate for surgery. Those who have a lower BMI of 35 and above also qualify with the presence of an obesity-related serious health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, etc.
Other criteria that must be met include:
Weight loss surgeries can be performed via open surgery or laparoscopically. Laparoscopic surgery is trending in popularity, however, the more traditional open surgery may be necessary in certain cases such as the buildup of scar tissue from previous surgeries.
No one procedure works the same for everyone. When considering surgery types, take into account many factors such as what your weight loss goal is, what health problem you want to improve, the associated risks and cost.
This type is considered to be the ‘golden standard’ of weight loss surgery. The Roux-en-Y results in decreased calorie consumption related to a reduced stomach size and changes in the digestive process. More importantly, the rerouting of your food stream causes the previously mentioned hormonal changes that suppress hunger and promote satiety, reversing a primary mechanism that can induce type 2 diabetes.
During this procedure, a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach, which will be the only part receiving food. This greatly limits the amount of food eaten.
Next, the small intestine is cut below the main stomach and connected to the new small pouch. The remaining portion of the small intestine that is attached to the main stomach is reconnected farther down. This process causes a portion of the small intestine to be bypassed during digestion resulting in the decreased absorption of calories and nutrients.
The adjustable gastric band is the second most popular weight loss surgery method. This is a laparoscopic procedure in which an adjustable band containing an inflatable balloon is strategically placed around the upper portion of the stomach. Just above the band, a small stomach pouch with a narrow opening to the remaining portion of the stomach is created.
Next is the placement of a port just beneath the skin of the abdomen, which is connected to the band by a tube. The port is accessed to inflate or deflate the balloon – which adjusts the size of the band – by injecting or removing a saline solution.
As the amount of food that can be held in the stomach is restricted by the band, you will feel full more quickly. The adjustable band does not affect the absorption of nutrients or calories.
During this surgical procedure, a portion of the stomach is completely removed. The section of the stomach that remains is formed into a tube-like shape, similar to a banana, and does not affect the absorption of calories and nutrients.
As the stomach is smaller, less food needs to be eaten to feel satisfied. The desire to eat may also be decreased as less of the appetite-regulating hormone is produced.
This procedure is somewhat similar to the gastric bypass and begins by removing a large portion of the stomach while leaving the valve that releases food to the small intestine (duodenum). The middle portion of the small intestine is closed off and the last part of the small intestine is attached directly to the duodenum. Rather than removing the separated portion of the small intestine, it is reattached to the end of the intestine to allow for the flow of digestive juices.
This is a combination procedure as the size of the stomach is reduced and digestion only occurs in a small portion of the small intestine. Therefore; recipients eat less, feel full sooner, and the absorption of nutrients and calories is decreased.
Gastric surgery for weight loss has been shown to produce a greater degree of weight loss in those who are obese when compared to other weight loss methods. The amount of weight loss varies per person and per procedure. Other benefits of gastric surgery include:
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