Losing weight for certain people can often be extremely difficult, and even worse it can be frustrating if nothing seems to be working. Sometimes, drastic action needs to be taken if you really want to make a difference. In that case, you might want to look into weight loss operations and see your doctor.
Weight loss operations can drastically reduce your body weight in a very short space of time. This can be particularly appealing to dieters who just don’t seem to be getting anywhere, or if you’re seriously obese and need surgery to save and prolong your life.
There are a number of options to weight loss operations available (please remember that this is general information only and doesn’t constitute or replace the need for professional advice), and the one you go for will undoubtedly depend on your needs, the cost, your medical requirements, and your overall preferences.
The most popular types of weight loss operations these days are as follows:
1. Gastric Banding
Having a gastric band fitted can significantly reduce the amount of food you’re able to eat, and can lead to quick and sustained weight loss.
An inflatable band or ring is put around your stomach, dividing it into two parts, so it can fit less in before it feels full. Food fills the smaller pouch at the top before passing slowly through the opening and continuing on its journey as normal.
Because its inflatable, the band can be filled with saline solution to make the opening even smaller to restrict the amount of food you can eat even more.
A particular advantage of this weight loss operations procedure is that its relatively low-invasive, with the band being inserted using keyhole surgery in just four or five small cuts. Its extremely quick and can take as little as 45 minutes, but you’ll often have to stay in hospital for a day or two afterwards.
Recovery takes around 2 weeks, after which you’ll have to re-visit your practitioner for regular check-ups and adjustments. You can increase or decrease the level of restriction by putting in more or less saline through a small tube placed just under the skin. Several adjustments will usually be required before you get the best level of restriction, with the amount needed depending on the patient.
With gastric banding you can expect to lose between 50-60% of your excess body weight over two years, with the most weight being lost in the first 12 months.
Often, you’ll see a loss of around half a stone per month. And, the procedure is reversible, so if you’re not happy just have it taken out!
2. Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass weight loss operations is the safer and more effective replacement to stomach stapling, but is riskier than gastric banding and isn’t easily reversible.
It involves stapling the stomach into two parts, the smallest being at the top. This small pouch fills up quickly, and food then bypasses the rest of the stomach entirely by travelling down a small intestine that has been grafted onto the pouch.
This means that you cant eat as much food before feeling full, but also you’re likely to absorb less calories from what you do manage to eat.
Because the food doesn’t hit the main part of the stomach it doesn’t have the chance to mix with the enzymes needed to absorb calories until much later in the process, and as such youll be absorbing less and losing more weight.
The procedure can either be performed using keyhole surgery or as an open operation, but this will be discussed with your doctor. You’ll need to stay in hospital for up to six days after the procedure, and should expect to be in recovery for 6 weeks. Again, you’ll need to attend regular check-ups to keep an eye on your progress.
However, even though its riskier and more invasive than banding, gastric bypass weight loss surgery could be worth it because you can expect to lose up to 70% of your excess weight within 2 years.
Realistically, you can see a loss of around 1 stone per month.
3. Gastric Balloon
While the gastric balloon procedure isn’t technically surgery, its still a medical procedure that can have effective results. Put simply, an inflatable saline-filled balloon is inserted into your stomach to give roughly the same effect as gastric banding it fills up most of your stomach to reduce the amount of food you can eat.
Because it fills your stomach you not only feel fuller quicker, but also don’t feel as hungry because your stomach is already full!
You’ll be able to leave hospital on the same day as the procedure, and because no surgery was involved there shouldn’t be much recovery time needed. You’ll have to attend follow-up appointments to check your progress, but bear in mind that the procedure is only temporary, with the balloon being removed after 6 months.
As you can see, there are a number of weight loss operations options available to you if you want to lose weight.
As with any surgery, they all come with risks and possible complications; make sure you thoroughly discuss everything with your doctor before you decide on which one to go for. Also, bear in mind the possibility of being left with excess skin after such rapid weight loss, which may have to be dealt with at some point in the future.
Typically, weight loss operations should only be considered if you’re particularly overweight, with a BMI of 40 or above for gastric banding and bypass, and 30 and above for a gastric balloon. Otherwise, you may consider other options such as a diet suppressant to help you lose weight.
However, exceptions can again be discussed with your practitioner. Also, don’t give up on a healthy diet and exercise regime this is vital if you want to achieve lasting weight loss, and you probably wont be considered for surgery unless you’re already on the right track.
If you think surgery is for you, always consult a registered medical practitioner. Never trust unregulated doctors offering to perform the weight loss operations instead! But, if you make sure you’ve gone through all the options and understand the risks as well as the positives, undergoing weight loss operations could be the best decision you ever make.