by Joseph Foster
The use of surgery in weight loss is a practice that has continued to attract a lot of interest all over the world. The main reason is that surgical techniques have been refined over time and are associated with very few complications and failure rates. These procedures are broadly known as bariatric surgeries. Examples include lap-band and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. There are a number of things that you should know if you consider having any of these operations.
Using surgery as an option for weight loss should come at the rear end after everything else has been attempted. Lifestyle options are the most ideal way of shedding off extra weight even though their effect takes fair long to be appreciated. The two main areas where lifestyle changes can be adopted is in the level of physical activity and the diet. Ensure that you take part in intensive physical activities regularly and cut down on high calorie foods in the diet.
This surgery is also known as gastric banding. As suggested by the name, a silicon band is used. Fitting this band on the upper portion of the stomach significantly reduces the size of your stomach. As a matter of fact the remainder is just a small pouch whose capacity is about an ounce of food. This operation is done laparoscopically meaning that very small incisions (surgical cuts) are required to see it through.
With a reduced stomach volume, one tends to fill up rather fast. With filling, comes satiety meaning the overall effect will be a reduction in food intake. Most of the food that is eaten is channeled towards food production and very little is left for storage in tissues. Weight gain is therefore controlled and in a matter of weeks or months, there is net weight loss.
A plastic tubing is usually connected to the silicon tube on the stomach to help make adjustments when need be. This is made possible by filling this tube with saline or withdrawing the same. When the tubing is filled with saline, the degree of the squeeze is increased and the size is reduced further. The reverse happens when the saline is drawn from the tube.
There are several complications that may be encountered in the course of these complications. They include minor bleeding, vomiting, esophageal spasms, infections and leakage of food. Many of these complications can be managed easily. You will be well advised to have a discussion with your surgeon regarding these complications and to assess what your level of risk is.
Sleeve gastrectomy, unlike the band procedure, is irreversible. However, both are restrictive surgeries. This means that they are aimed at reducing the holding capacity of your stomach. In the sleeve surgery, a large section of the stomach (75 to 80%) is removed to leave a tubular pouch that looks like a sleeve. The reduced capacity and the increased emptying time are the main causes of weight loss in this case.
You should appreciate the fact that the results of the operation are bound to vary among patients. These differences exist because of patient and doctor factors. Patient factors may include the severity of the problem, genetic factors or the lifestyle after the operation. The doctor factors may include skill and type of technique used.
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