Obesity is a ‘warning’ sign and calls for strict weight control measures.
Obese individuals have the tendency to suffer from adverse conditions such type II diabetes, cholesterol risks and gall bladder stones. The cure is often lifestyle changes to keep off excess weight. But diet and exercise regimes alone might not be enough.
When, how and who should undergo visceral, bariatric or gastric bypass surgery is a medical decision that demands strict vigilance.
Visceral surgery is prescribed if you:
Show indications, or have a history of lifestyle illnesses such as diabetes, cholesterol or heart ailments.
Have high Body Mass Index (BMI) that does not match standard values.
Be aware of the pros and cons of long term surgical implications on your overall health.
2013 evoked much interest in a four-year-old boy undergoing weight loss surgery due to a rare genetic disorder – the Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). The impacts of PWS lead the boy to consume at least 1500 calories per day.
PWS affects muscle tone, learning difficulties, behavioural problems and lowers sexual hormones. Hunger pangs and obesity are the prime fallouts of such disorders. It is therefore advisable to understand the risks and benefits of undergoing such treatments.
Teen obesity has reached epidemic proportions but surgery is not always the first line of treatment. Extremely obese teens with a BMI of above 35 are subjected to surgical methods of cure. Because the risks increase with age, it is recommended to undergo surgery when young, under strict medical supervision.
Going under the knife helps to lose weight but has other health benefits in controlling:
Type II diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Obstructive sleep apnoea
Can avoid occurrence of obesity-linked gall bladder stones and related health complications.
Beware of post-surgical complications besides pain, caused due to:
Surgery-linked wound or hospital borne infections
Vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea
Heart attacks, blood clots and ulcers
Studies indicate women at high risks of giving birth to premature babies if subjected to bariatric treatment.
Excessive post-surgical weight loss can also lead to:
Vitamin deficiency, malnutrition due to poor nutrient absorption.
Sagging skin that might need additional cosmetic surgery.
Surgical Weight Loss Techniques
Surgical reduction of body fat limits the quantity of food stored in the stomach cavity; thus restricting calorie intake. The method physically shortens the small intestinal tube that lowers nutrients absorption.
The basic techniques for surgical weight loss are:
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: A small pouch is created on top of the stomach that receives food. This food bypasses the rest of the stomach, and goes straight to the small intestine, thus limiting the quantity of food absorbed at a time.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band: A small band is placed surgically on top of the stomach with the help of a laparoscope. A balloon inserted within the band controls tightness of the stomach thereby limiting food intake.
Gastric Sleeve Method: Removes a greater part of the stomach and reconstructs the remaining upper section into small tube called the gastric sleeve that limits amount of food stored. The surgery also inhibits appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin and curbs hunger.
Duodenal Switch: Similar to the sleeve technique, here the valve that releases food into the small intestine is retained along with the duodenum, the initial part of the small intestine. The middle section of the intestine is now closed and directly attached to the duodenum. It limits how much you can eat by lowering quantity of absorbed nutrients.
Long term weight management thus relies on calculated and active lifestyles that incorporate healthy diet patterns.