Weight loss surgery your guide to obesity Surgery

Many people with excessive weight problems are turning to obesity surgery or weight loss surgery. It is fast becoming a popular option when other weight loss methods, such as diet, exercise and supplementation has failed. Failure of these methods means that a person is unable to maintain a healthy weight and in many cases, the weight is regained. And, excessive weight, if not dealt with can lead to long term health problems such as cancer, heart disease or strokes.

This can be a source of distress as well as frustration but weight loss surgery may be able to help. Also known as bariatric surgery it can, in combination with a sensible diet and exercise plan help you to lose excessive weight.

Is weight loss surgery safe? Yes, it is a safe and effective form of treatment for excessive weight problems as many satisfied patients will testify. However, it is not something that you go into lightly. We have put together a comprehensive guide to obesity surgery which is designed to help and advise you. This is a serious decision and one that will permanently change your life so it is important that you have all the information you need before making that decision.

This easy to understand guide is Your complete guide to weight loss surgery: what it is, the different types of obesity surgery, benefits and risks of surgery, life after surgery and so on…

As this is a medical subject technical terms have been used but they are fully explained.

We hope that this site will enable you to make a balanced and informed decision which will lead to a new and improved way of life.

Obesity Surgery a quick overview of procedures for weight loss:

Also known as weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery: it is a highly specialised branch of medicine which deals with the causes, symptoms and treatment of obesity. The table below highlights some of the most common procedures that we will be discussing in this guide to weight loss.

Obesity Procedures: Comparison Table

Procedure

Hospital
Stay

Recovery

Benefits

Risks

Weight
Loss

Gastric Bypass
(Roux-en-Y)

2 to 4 nights
(keyhole or
open surgery)

2 to 3 weeks

Dramatic weight loss.
Can resolve or cure
co-morbidities.

Complications (1 in 20 cases)
‘Dumping syndrome’
Lifetime nutritional supplements.

60 to 70%

Sleeve Gastrectomy
(with or without
duodenal switch)

2 to 4 nights
(keyhole or
open surgery)

2 to 3 weeks

Dramatic weight loss.
Can resolve or cure
co-morbidities.

Complications (1 in 10/20
cases)
Lifetime nutritional supplements.

60% without a DS

70%
with a DS

Biliopancreatic Diversion
(with or without
duodenal switch)

2 to 4 nights
(keyhole or
open surgery)

3 weeks

Dramatic weight loss.
Can resolve or cure
co-morbidities.

Complications (1 in 10/20
cases)
Lifetime nutritional supplements.

70 to 80%

Gastric Band

Day case or
1 night stay
(keyhole surgery)

1 to 2 weeks

Dramatic weight loss.
Can resolve or cure
co-morbidities.

Band slippage
(1 in 50 cases)
Erosion
(1 in 50 cases)
Failure
(1 in 20)

50%

Gastric Balloon

Day case
(keyhole surgery)

1 day
(may take a week to adjust to the balloon)

Can contribute to weight loss.
Short term measure.

Weight is regained.

35 to 45%

Weight loss surgery is major medical procedure and is not "Cosmetic"

We cannot stress enough that it is MAJOR surgery. And, like any other form of surgery it does carry risks although these are fairly uncommon. However, you need to be aware of these before considering whether or not to undertake this type of surgery.Many people see it as a form of cosmetic surgery: but the main difference here is that it is designed to treat a medical condition - that of obesity, whereas cosmetic surgery is usually undertaken for reasons of physical enhancement.

It is carried out by well trained and experienced surgeons who will have performed these procedures many times. There is a high success rate and complications tend to be rare.

Obesity Surgery has its risks....

However, nothing in life is risk free and the risks are even greater for those people who are obese so you need to take this into account. It is not a ‘miracle cure’ and you will be required to stick to a prescribed diet and exercise plan. This plan may include nutritional supplementation (daily vitamin and mineral medication). It will also include follow up sessions with your surgeon and his/her team.

This is all designed to check on your progress and to ensure that you achieve your desired weight loss. And, you can get extra help via a local patient support group. Meeting with other people who have undergone the same experience can help and if fact you will find that your surgeon and team will recommend that you do so. Sometimes, just talking to someone when things are not going so well can make a big difference.

The British Obesity Surgery Patient Association (BOSPA) is a very good source of information and advice. They also provide information about local support groups and are there to help you at every step, from finding a surgeon right through to the surgery itself and afterwards.

Weight Loss surgery is not the easy way out..

We are all human and it is very easy to give in to temptation but remember that for the weight to stay off you have to stick to your new healthy lifestyle. The surgery is just one part of this new lifestyle but it is worth it. Consider this: being obese puts you at greater risk of developing one of the many obesity related conditions also known as ‘co-morbidities’. These are long term, chronic conditions which can also take a few years off your life. And, you may have also found that it has affected your confidence, self-esteem and relationships. You are likely to be constantly tired and unable to move around as much as you would like. Plus, if you have a family then there will probably be a range of activities that you are unable to join in due to your excessive weight.

If you stack this up against the risks of surgery and having to follow a new healthy routine; the thought of having a better quality of life tips the balance in favour of weight loss surgery.

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