The goal of weight loss surgery is to live a better, healthier and longer life. There are two basic ways that bariatric surgery works to help patients lose weight and improve or resolve obesity-related health conditions. Malabsorptive procedures that alter digestion, causing the food to be incompletely digested and absorbed so that it is eliminated in the stool. Restrictive procedures that limit food intake.
Most patients enjoy an improvement in health and obesity-related conditions (such as mobility, self-image and self-esteem). You should make the decision to have weight loss surgery only after careful consideration and consultation with an experienced bariatric surgeon or a knowledgeable family physician. However, the decision to have a surgical weight loss procedure is entirely up to you.
After having heard all the information, you must decide if the benefits outweigh the side effects and potential physical and emotional complications. This surgery is only a tool. Your ultimate success depends on your adherence to the recommended dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes.
Following are the types of weight loss surgery we perform at Advanced Surgical Associates:
Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy at Advanced Surgical Associates reduces the size of the stomach so that patients feel full after eating much less, thereby taking in fewer calories, and losing weight.
During surgery, the stomach is stapled and divided vertically, removing more than 85 percent of its capacity while retaining the nerves and outlet valve to preserve function. What remains resembles a very slim banana with an approximate volume of one to five ounces.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery at Advanced Surgical Associates is a restrictive-malabsorptive procedure, meaning it not only limits the volume of food that can be eaten, but also decreases the absorption of fat and calories.
During the operation, a surgeon will use staples to divide the stomach into a smaller upper half and larger lower half. Next, the smaller section or pouch is connected directly to the small intestine. As a result, patients feel full after eating less.
Gastric Band Surgery
Adjustable gastric band procedures at Advanced Surgical Associates control the amount of food that can be consumed at one time.
A hollow silicone band is placed around the top of the stomach, creating a small pouch and narrow passageway. The band is then inflated with a saline solution. When the patient eats, food enters the pouch and is slowly emptied into the stomach via the narrowed passageway. The band can be adjusted by the surgeon, as needed. Patients considering this procedure are carefully screened for dietary habits and preferences, as well as pre-existing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The ultimate goal of a bariatric procedure is to help a patient improve or eliminate diseases associated with obesity and to lose weight quickly and safely. Every procedure available today has become increasingly effective and safer than ever.
However, not every bariatric procedure ultimately works as it is supposed to. In cases where the procedure fails to offer the patient a suitable and acceptable result, the procedure can be revised either by performing the same procedure again or by converting the procedure to another form.
At Advanced Surgical Associates, weight loss procedures can be revised both in the case of short-term failure, where the procedure itself fails and long-term failure where the stomach pouch may have stretched or the stoma has widened, allowing more food to be consumed.
Bariatric surgery is a very personal decision, but it also requires care in matching the patient to the procedure. Further, a patient is responsible for keeping up with a significant lifestyle change.
A revisional surgical procedure carries some added risk, especially if the patient is in generally poor health. Revision procedures should not be performed without suitable diagnostic testing to understand what is causing the lack of weight loss.
The first course of action is to analyze the patient’s dietary and exercise habits. Often, patients get themselves into a dietary rut and are not able to lose the weight as they were in the first few months after surgery. Our team will be able to quickly analyze these habits to understand if a simple change in lifestyle is sufficient to start losing weight again.
If we cannot find a reversible reason for a lack of weight-loss and ultimately decide that the procedure needs to be revised, there are many options. For example, the gastric sleeve can be revised to a gastric bypass or duodenal switch, the gastric band can be revised to a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass and a gastric bypass can be revised by adding a band or through various minimally invasive outpatient techniques.
Regardless of the cause, any lack of weight loss or significant weight regain should be evaluated by your bariatric surgeon. Understanding the real cause of the problem will ensure that a revision procedure is truly necessary.
Considering Weight Loss Surgery
The choice to undergo bariatric surgery is one of the most important decisions of your life. Below, you’ll find a few of several medically accepted criteria for defining morbid obesity and helping you determine whether or not you will qualify for bariatric surgery:
- If you are more than 100 pounds over your ideal body weight
- If you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or over
- If you have a BMI of 35 or over and diagnosed significant co-morbidities, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
- If you haven’t been able to maintain healthy body weight even with medically supervised dieting
Body Mass Index (BMI) calculators have been the basic standard by which the average patient can help determine his or her eligibility for weight loss surgery. BMI calculator can both describe what weight category you fall into and help you track your weight with a simple easy-to-understand number.
Bariatric surgery should not be viewed as a weight loss tool exclusively. It is a tool to improve or eliminate the diseases that are caused and exacerbated by obesity. In the end, it is up to our office and/or your insurance company to decide whether you are a candidate for bariatric surgery.
Ready for the Next Step?
Are you a candidate for weight loss surgery? The first requirement for people interested in weight loss surgery is to watch our free, on-demand webinar. This webinar educates potential, qualified patients on the benefits and risks. Listen to Dr. Feteiha explain everything you need to know about bariatric surgery and whether it is the right choice for you.
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