There are various types of obesity surgeries and each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages.
Bariatic surgery can be classified in three categories-
Restrictive- This surgery limits food intake by creating a narrow passage from the upper part of the stomach into the larger lower part. It reduces the amount of the food that can be held in the stomach and slows the passage of food through the stomach. It does not interfere with the normal digestive process.
Doctor creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach where the food enters from the esophagus. This pouch can hold almost one pound of food initially and 2 or 3 ounces later. The outlet at the lower end of the pouch has a small outlet that delays emptying the food from the pouch. This causes the feeling of fullness resulting in rapid weight loss.
Various kinds of Restrictive surgeries are-
Adjustable Gastric Banding- This is also called LAP-BAND. This procedure involves placing a hollow band made up of silicone rubber around the stomach near its upper end. This creates a small pouch and a narrow passage to the rest of the stomach. The band is then inflated using the salt solution using a tube. This procedure is quite simple and safe.
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy- This procedure generates rapid loss in weight by restricting the amount of food that can be eaten without the bypass of the intestines. The stomach pouch is usually made smaller than the pouch used in other procedures. This procedure eliminates the portion of stomach that produces the hormone that stimulates hunger.
Vertical Banded Gastroplasty- This procedure uses both a band and staples to create a small stomach pouch. This results in quick weight loss. This procedure is reversible but needs strict compliance to diet post procedure.
Malabsorptive- This type of surgery does not limit the food intake but excludes most of the small intestine from the digestive tract. This limits the number of calories and nutrients absorbed by the body. This surgery is also known as intestinal bypass.
Combined- Combined surgery is a combination of restriction and a partial bypass of small intestine. Various types of Combined weight loss surgeries are
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass- This is one of the most commonly used obesity surgeries. In this procedure, surgeon creates a small pouch in the stomach to restrict the food intake. Then, a Y-shaped section of small intestine is attached to this pouch that allows food to bypass the lower stomach, the first segment of small intestine called duodenum and second portion of small intestine called jejunum. Hence, the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed by the body are reduced resulting in rapid weight loss.
Duodenal Switch- This is also called vertical gastrectomy with duodenal switch. This surgery restricts the amount of food that can be eaten and limit the amount of food that can be absorbed into the body. This procedure is quite difficult to be done and causes malabsorption.
Billiopancreatic Diversion (BPD) - This involves removing the lower portion of the stomach. The small pouch remains connected directly to the final segment of small intestine.
Obesity surgery is ideal for people who have BMI of 40 and above. If the BMI is slightly lower than this but if you have serious obesity related problems such as diabetes, sleep apnea and heart disease, then you can consider this surgery as an option. But, you must understand the procedure well and should be willing to change your lifestyle so that the problem does not arise again.
There are many people who have tried their best to lose weight, but are not able to do so. Even if they lose weight, it comes back. Obesity surgery is a serious matter. If you are not able to lose weight by non invasive methods and if you are determined to lose weight to improve your health and lifestyle and if you understand the surgery, then you can opt for the surgery.
The decision to have obesity surgery is a personal decision and very important one. It needs a commitment of lifetime to have medical follow ups and vitamin supplements. There are also adjustments that need to be made in your day to day life in terms of chewing your food well and eating a limited quantity.
There can be serious complications as well. Or there can be occasional failures. Before you decide that you can opt for the obesity surgery, be aware of all the pros and cons. Be mentally prepared for the results. Talk to your surgeon to find out which type of surgical procedure is best for you. You doctor will discuss the risks involved and help you make an informed decision.