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Surgery For Weight Loss - Is It Time For You To Lose A Few Pounds?

Aug 17, 2007
These days weight loss is a problem that is faced by all factions of society. There are a plethora of diet and exercise regimes available that promise a new you. Most work if followed diligently but they also require a continuous control on food intake so the lost weight does not come back. Surgery is an option when exercise and diet have had no effect and the patient has a body mass index of over 35 and is at risk for life threatening health problems.

Bariatric surgery is expensive - the average cost goes from $20,000 to $50,000 depending on the surgeon, hospital or clinic. It has some side effects and requires some lifestyle changes. The patient must be motivated and should be aware of the associated risks. There is a probable additional cost of some plastic surgery to remove the ugliness left by the bariatric surgery which has to be factored in.

Bariatric surgery is the surgical reduction of stomach volume which involves the use of two procedures called the gastric bypass and gastric banding. Bypass surgery is more common and is known to produce faster results but on the other hand gastric banding is reversible and quite easily too. In both procedures stomach volume is reduced to 30ml and food intake post surgery has to decrease with the food being properly chewed. One of the benefits of this type of surgery is that along with weight loss there is a reversal of diseases like Type II diabetes and sleep apnea.

A new smaller stomach is created by a line of staples which is then connected to a loop of the small bowel in the gastric bypass procedure. While in gastric banding, a silicone band is placed around the upper stomach creating a small reservoir as well as a restricted passage to the lower stomach. The average length of surgery is about 2 hours. This surgery is done using laparoscopic technology where a small video camera and several tiny, customized instruments are used and it involves smaller incisions, lesser scarring, less pain and fairly quick recovery. Complications may include things like respiratory failure, staple leaking, stenosis (obstruction of stomach) and bleeding. The mortality rate for bariatric surgery is an estimated 0.1% to 1-2% but no comprehensive data is available.

The surgeon you go to must be able to give you a one-on-one consultation and must have done hundreds of such surgeries with an excellent success rate. You have to be comfortable with your surgeon and your friends and family must be able to interact with him. Check with your family doctor for a recommendation or go online for information. Make a list of what you would like to find in a prospective surgeon and try and match the list as much as possible.

Your stay in the hospitable would be around 2 to 3 days and you would need at least 3 to 6 weeks of post operative rest. There is some discomfort to be experienced for some days and intake of solid food will not be allowed as your body needs to adjust to the new settings done. Food consumption will be controlled and a diet may be allowed which might exclude fats, sugars and carbohydrates.
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