Have you been looking into the big wide world of weight loss surgery and finding it all a bit overwhelming? Well not to worry, we’ve put together a handy guide to walk you through 4 of the most popular and commonly performed weight loss surgery procedures available.
In addition to the obvious benefits, many often overlook how weight loss surgery can also be a huge help in bringing down the risks of developing several serious conditions, such as:
— High cholesterol
— High blood pressure
— Gastroesophageal reflux disease
— Type 2 diabetes
— Heart disease
— Obstructive sleep apnea
In order to be considered for most weight-loss procedures, patients need either a BMI of 30 to 40 or higher, or a BMI of at least 35 with an additional weight-related health issue such as one of the above.
As far as cost is concerned, weight loss surgery prices will differ vastly from one another. On average, though, you can expect to see costs anywhere from £2,000 to £15,000. A gastric bypass will typically be at the higher end of the spectrum, around £9,500 to £15,000, with gastric balloons sitting around £2,000 to £5,000. Treatments carried out abroad will typically cost significantly less than in the UK.
Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery
With a gastric sleeve, otherwise known as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, or VSG, patients can effectively reduce the size of the stomach by about 80%, reducing the amount of food that can be consumed and thus losing any excess weight.
There are a handful of possible pros and cons that can come from undergoing sleeve gastrectomy surgery, including the following.
— Lowers the risk of malabsorption
— Reduces hunger
— Restricts food intake
— It will help patients to avoid over 40 weight-related diseases
— Durable weight loss
— No dumping syndrome
— Provides less weight loss on average than a gastric bypass
— Smoking can cause ulcers
— Gastroesophageal reflux
— Narrowing of sleeve
Stomach Stapling Surgery
Also known as a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, stomach stapling surgery involves the separation of a small pouch of stomach tissue to provide a smaller area to store food once it’s been swallowed, effectively limiting appetite and food intake.
There are several advantages to the procedure, as it reduces hunger and an ability to eat larger portions while helping those undergoing the procedure to avoid many weight-related diseases. There are some possible disadvantages too, however, such as the following:
— Steatorrhea can be caused by high fat foods
— Dumping syndrome can be caused by high sugar foods
— Smoking and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories can cause ulcers
— Vitamin or mineral deficiency can be caused by the intestines being bypassed
Following the procedure, patients will need to reintroduce certain foods in phases. For the first 24 hours following stomach stapling surgery patients will be restricted to a clear liquid diet, before moving up to a full liquid diet and a soft food diet over the following weeks, and eventually settling to a regular diet. In order to avoid dumping syndrome, foods such as honey, syrups and white sugar will need to be avoided.
With gastric balloon surgery, a silicone balloon filled with saline is placed inside the stomach. This helps those undergoing the procedure to feel fuller faster and therefore limit the amount they eat, helping them to lose weight.
As far as risks and side effects to gastric balloon surgery are concerned, about a third of those undergoing the treatment will experience nausea and pain shortly following the insertion of the gastric balloon. These symptoms should pass within only a few days, however, and in most cases can be managed at home with oral medications.
More serious side effects following either the placement of a gastric balloon or the removal of one are quite rare. There is a slight possibility that the balloon could deflate and, should this happen, it could run the risk of moving throughout the digestive system and causing a blockage that will require additional surgery to rectify. Additionally, the procedure could cause ulcers or even a perforation in the stomach wall. Again though, instances such as these are rare occurrences.
One of the more widely known surgical procedures for weight loss, liposuction targets certain areas of the body with the use of a suction technique to remove fat while also contouring the area.
Liposuction is not strictly considered a weight-loss technique, as the other previously mentioned surgical procedures provide much greater overall weight loss. The majority of those who undergo liposuction will have too much body fat in certain specific areas, but an otherwise stable body weight.
Areas typically treated with liposuction surgery include:
— Upper arms
There are a few potential complications of liposuction surgery too, such infections, contour irregularities, and the following:
— Fat embolism
— Fluid accumulation
— Heart and kidney issues
— Internal puncture
— Lidocaine toxicity
Ultimately, each procedure will still require the patient to make healthy and permanent changes to their lifestyle, involving a good diet and plenty of exercise if long-term success is going to be achieved.
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