Pros and Cons of Weight Loss Surgeries

Diet and exercise can sometimes only help people reduce excess weight to a certain extent. Many of us are overweight, but it’s not because of a weakness in our character or a lack of willpower. Instead, it’s a progressive disorder caused by genetic and environmental factors, which means it could get worse over time. 1

Bariatric surgery, often known as weight loss surgery, can help you lose weight and reduce your chance of developing health problems related to obesity. You may be a suitable candidate for bariatric surgery if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or if you have a weight-related medical condition and your BMI is 35 or higher. To assist you keep the weight off, you must nevertheless be prepared to make lifestyle adjustments.

What is bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery)?

Bariatric surgery, often known as weight loss surgery, is a medical treatment carried out by a highly skilled specialist to alter the way your body digests food and aid in weight loss.

Typically, food passes from your mouth down your esophagus and then into your stomach to be digested by your body. The meal is broken down in your stomach and then passed on to your intestines, which absorb nutrients.

In addition to changing your way of living, weight reduction surgery can alter your regular digestive function in two different ways.

  • Restriction: Shrinking the size of your stomach so that it holds less food, which limits how much you can eat.
  • Malabsorption: Shortening or going around (bypass) part of the small intestines, which limits how many calories and nutrients your body can absorb.

Who is a good candidate for bariatric surgery?

You may be considering this type of surgery, especially if you are feeling the negative effects of weight-related conditions, such as:1

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure or cholesterol
  • Breathing problems
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Depression

But who is an ideal candidate for weight loss surgery? You may be eligible for bariatric surgery if you;

  1. Have a BMI over 40 or are more than 100 pounds overweight
  2. Have a BMI over 35 and weight-related condition (comorbidity) as mentioned above
  3. Are unable to maintain a healthy weight for a period of time despite weight loss efforts

types of bariatric surgery

Gastric Bypass Pros And Cons

How it works: The digestive system is changed through gastric bypass surgery, also known as a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, which divides the stomach into two sections, one of which includes a pouch. The upper section of the stomach is then connected directly to the lower section of the small intestine. You’ll feel fuller sooner because the process restricts how much food and liquid you may consume without becoming uncomfortable.

Roux-en-Y bypass restricts how much food your stomach can hold (by making it smaller.) By speeding up your digestive process, it also reduces the amount of calories and nutrients your body can absorb.

Pros of gastric bypass:

  • Quick, dramatic weight loss and good long-term results
  • Can improve issues with acid reflux
  • Well-established history and reliable technique
  • Effective for long term weight loss and reduction of weight-related conditions
  • Standardized procedure and can be done minimally invasively

Cons of gastric bypass:

  • The procedure is more complicated (and takes longer) than some other options
  • Since it changes the way your body absorbs food, your body may not routinely get as many vitamins and nutrients as it needs (nutritional deficiency). Therefore, you may have to take supplements for the rest of your life to ensure your body gets enough nutrients.
  • There’s a higher risk for a blockage in your bowel (bowel obstruction)
  • There’s a higher risk of getting ulcers
  • You may feel sick after eating or drinking certain things (dumping syndrome)
  • The surgery is irreversible, and you’ll need to follow a strict diet and eating habits to prevent complications.

LAP-BAND Pros And Cons

What it does: During the treatment, a band with an inflating balloon is placed across your upper stomach.
How it functions The balloon regulates how tight or loose the band is, which helps you feel full more quickly by limiting the quantity of food you can consume comfortably. An inflatable band holds a tiny pouch to the top portion of the stomach.

The gastric balloon is a less invasive, non-surgical technique in which inflated silicone balloons are temporarily inserted in the stomach for around six months, reducing the amount of capacity for meals. Some people who are candidates for a gastric lap band may wish to think about it. He won’t feel as hungry.

Pros of LAP-BAND:

  • Quick weight loss
  • The procedure is minimally invasive (done with special tools through small openings)
  • Smaller scar
  • Fast recovery
  • The band can be removed
  • The band can be tightened gradually
  • It’s less invasive and lower risk than some options
  • It has a lower risk of nutritional deficiency than other options

Cons of LAP-BAND:

  • Slower weight loss (and less overall weight loss)
  • Multiple adjustments required
  • Risk of band slipping from proper placement
  • Higher rate of complications/re-operation than some options
  • Can cause swallowing difficulties

Gastric sleeve pros and cons

What it does: During a gastric sleeve procedure, also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, the majority of the stomach is removed, leaving only a small upper stomach part (about the size of a banana).

How it works: During gastric sleeve surgery, a sizable part of your stomach is removed (about 80%). Your stomach can hold less food as a result, limiting how much you can consume. Moreover, it can lower the hormones that regulate hunger, causing you to feel fuller and less hungry sooner.

Pros of gastric sleeve surgery:

  • Quick, dramatic weight loss
  • Shorter procedure time
  • Safer for high-risk patients than other options
  • Less likely to create a long-term nutrient deficiency compared to other types of bariatric surgeries

Cons of gastric sleeve surgery:

  • Gastric sleeve surgery is irreversible
  • Can cause or increase heart burn (acid reflux)
  • May not improve how your body stores and processes energy (metabolism) as much as gastric bypass surgery

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