Obesity is one of the most problematic health conditions every person who has it is experiencing. People with morbid obesity find it hard to obtain a healthy body by resorting to different types of dietary and physical programs.
Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases. The accompanying pressure and pains of obesity are all the more making the situation worse. After one diet to the next, a person who is obese may feel the slight difference of weight loss, but the control not to return to overeating is very minimal. In the first few weeks, the person may lose kilos but will regain it after or add even more. When this happens, the person will face more difficulties in breathing, walking, fainting due to low oxygen level, high blood pressure, and many more.
Bariatric surgery: who is it for?
Bariatric surgery is not for everyone. It is the most common type of weight loss solution when all else fail. If exercise and diet could not engineer one’s body to achieve a desirable weight, changes in the stomach or digestive system are the better options in losing weight. The concept of bariatric weight loss is to limit the amount of food one can take. Bariatric surgery will help you absorb the amount of nutrients your body needs, guiding you to achieve a considerable weight that will prevent you from suffering from certain diseases.
You are qualified to undergo bariatric surgery only if your bariatric surgeon tells you that your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or above. Individuals who have a 35 BMI often have serious health problems, such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes—which are all weight-related diseases. If you are ready for a bariatric surgery, you need to understand the risks and side effects of this procedure especially that our body is unique and that your body might not be ready to make drastic adjustments and consequences. Further, it also depends on the ability of your body to make permanent lifestyle changes. A bariatric surgeon will explain to you and will let you undergo a thorough evaluation to see if bariatric surgery is suitable for your condition.
What happens in bariatric surgery?
Provided that you are committed to change your lifestyle and make a lasting commitment over it, bariatric surgery is your chance to achieve it. Expect your bariatric surgeon to evaluate which weight loss surgery type works for you. Generally bariatric surgery involves the following:
- Restricting your food intake
- Preventing your stomach from absorbing all the nutrients in the food
- A combination of these ways
Types of bariatric surgery
- Restrictive procedures—decrease the size of the stomach to an amount of food to 1 cup while a normal stomach normally can hold an amount of food up to 6 cups.
- Malabsorptive procedures—decrease the absorption of calories in the small intestine.
Before the procedure, the bariatric surgeon will do the following:
- Perform intravenous medication and sedative.
- Administer general anesthesia to put you to sleep for the duration of the procedure.
- Insert a breathing tube through your mouth and into your windpipe to let you breathe during the operation.
Roux-en-Y bypass is both restrictive and malabsorptive in nature since it reduces the size of the stomach and decreases calorie absorption in the small intestine. This can be done through open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. An open procedure requires an 8 to 10 inches incision on the abdomen. In laparoscopy, it only requires several small or keyhole incisions. Four small incisions in the abdomen are done to insert a laparoscope in the surgical holes.
During the gastric bypass procedure, your bariatric surgeon will make a smaller compartment out of your stomach using surgical staples. The smaller pouch serves as your new stomach and can hold up to one cup of food. The lower part of the stomach continues to secrete digestive juices but will not receive food. Next, the surgeon will cut your intestine way beyond your stomach and bring one free end up and attaches it to the pouch. By bypassing the lower stomach in the first part of the small intestine fewer calories will be absorbed as food passes to this new pathway.
Banding techniques are restrictive procedures. They help decrease food intake in two ways, by shrinking the stomach into a small pouch and by making a tiny opening from the pouch to the end of the stomach. Food moves slowly to this opening. These factors make you feel full quicker and for a longer time.
In vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) or stomach stapling, your bariatric surgeon will cut a window on the upper part of your stomach and will place surgical around the window and toward the esophagus to create a smaller pouch. Next, your surgeon will pass a rigid plastic band through the window and wrap it around the smaller outlet of the pouch to prevent it from expanding. Food will move from this pouch through a tiny opening into the lower stomach and to the rest of the digestive tract.
During an adjustable gastric banding (AGB) procedure, also known as Lap Band, your bariatric surgeon will wrap an inflatable ring around the upper part of the stomach. As the band is inflated, it will squeeze the stomach to create a small upper pouch and the narrow opening into the larger lower portion. This may be done during tiny incisions using a laparoscope; the band may be adjusted anytime.
Biliopancreatic diversion is a malabsorptive procedure that decreases the amount of calories absorbed in your small intestine. Your surgeon will begin by removing part of your stomach, leaving only a small pouch. Next the surgeon will sew the small intestine to the pouch. This creates a direct path from the pouch to the end of the small intestine. The duodenum and jejunum are bypassed so few calories and nutrients are absorbed. The surgeon will now close the small incisions with surgical staples or stitches. After the procedure, your breathing tube will be removed, you will be taken to the recovery area for monitoring, you will be given medications for pain, and your diet will be gradually advanced over several days.
Diet: crucial in the success of bariatric surgery
Even before the surgery starts, your bariatric surgeon will advise you to consult a dietitian so you can contemplate in the preparedness for a change. Your diet includes your food choices and meal modifications. Why does it need to restrict you of food? The idea is to prepare you psychologically and physically so that your body will easily get rid of the foods you usually eat. As it is quite drastic, such preparedness will help you cope with post surgery. Foods that are high in sweets, saturated fat, oils, calories, foods that make you store unnecessary fats will be big no-nos when you decide for a bariatric surgery. It is encouraged that accepting this fact is part of a long-term success.
What you will eat and how much you will take is the core of this bariatric journey and will determine your success for weight loss. Prioritizing what constitutes a healthy diet will support your quest for a healthy body. Diet combined with exercise will bring your weight loss endeavor to a greater height. When you have followed the guidelines given by your bariatric surgeon and have given your stomach enough time to heal, your decision for this life-changing procedure will be a total success.
Embrace the fact that your decision for a bariatric surgery will change your life forever. If you ignore your healthcare givers advice post surgery, it will result to complications in your digestive system, including nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps. Help yourself become a better you. Look good and feel good, your healthy new body is your key to unlocking your success.