Bariatric Surgery or Weight Loss Surgery is a permanent, quick and hassle-free way to lose weight.
Although being overweight and obese are not the same, most overweight persons are obese (they have an excess of body fat that amounts to more than 1.5 per cent over the average weight for their height and sex). Every day millions of people try out new diet plans, exercise plans and weight-loss programmes but few are successful in warding off the flab forever. Most people are successful in reducing a few pounds but the real challenge is to keep the flab off, consistently. This is where most people fail. Bariatric surgery is one solution that is permanent.
What Is Bariatric Surgery ?
Bariatric surgery is a weight-loss procedure in which a patient’s stomach capacity is surgically reduced to 25 per cent its normal size. Bariatric surgery leads to smaller appetite and fewer calories intake. Doctors around the world are now increasingly performing bariatric surgeries and their patients are only getting happier by the day and by the pounds that they permanently lose.
Bariatric surgery is especially recommended for those with a BMI (body mass index) of 37 or more and those with BMI of 32 with diabetes or any other disease related to obesity. In simpler words, anyone who is 55 to 70 pounds (25 to 30 kgs) overweight should consider bariatric surgery.
Types Of Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric Surgery can be classified into following 3 types :-
- Restrictive procedures that make the stomach smaller to limit the amount of food intake.
- Malabsorptive techniques that reduce the amount of intestine that comes in contact with food so the body absorbs fewer calories.
- Combination operations that employ both restriction and malabsorption techniques
Gastric Bypass Surgery : This weight loss surgery works by reducing appetite and calorie-intake. During gastric surgery, the stomach size is greatly reduced. This reduces appetite significantly. Also, in some stomach surgery procedures, some (or most) of the early section of the small intestine (duodenum) is “by passed” to reduce the number of calories (and nutrients) that can be absorbed.
Gastric Banding Or Gastric Stapling Surgery : This kind of “restrictive” bariatric surgery uses a gastric band/ring or staples to reduce stomach size. It makes no attempt to alter the anatomy of the digestive tract by (e.g. bypassing the small intestine). This kind of bariatric procedure produces less weight-loss.
Sleeve Gastrectomy : This type of weight-loss surgical operation shrinks the size of the stomach to about 15% of its original size. The open edges are then attached together to leave the stomach shaped more like a tube, or a sleeve, with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach. The procedure is performed laparoscopically and is not reversible.
Hence, these operations are called “malabsorptive”. This kind of bariatric procedure produces greater weight loss. Neither restrictive nor malabsorptive procedures can be successful unless patients follow the dietary and exercise guidelines issued to them by their surgeon.
Bariatric Surgery Cost
Bariatric Surgery Cost can vary based on your location and the surgery procedure chosen. Of the three most popular bariatric surgeries (Lap Band, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass), gastric bypass is the most expensive.
While the pricing range is wide in United States, the average price remains at about $22,000.
- The pricing range across the country varies from $15,000 USD to $35,000 USD
- $22,000 is the most often quoted average surgery price.
In most states, legislation requires insurance companies to provide benefits for weight loss surgery when patients meet the National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria. But even though insurance coverage is widespread, you should prepare for a lengthy approval process.
Bariatric Surgery Guidelines
The following criteria must be met in order for Medicare to cover your weight loss surgery:
- You are more than 100 lbs. over your ideal body weight.
- You have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40. ( Calculate Your BMI )
- You have a BMI of over 35 and are experiencing severe negative health effects, such as type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure or osteoarthritis, related to being severely overweight.
- You must have documented evidence that you’ve been obese for the last 5 years.
- Documented participation in a medically supervised weight loss program. Typically, you must show that you have participated and failed more than one program.
- A letter from your physician recommending or supporting weight loss surgery.
- Passed a psychological evaluation.
- All other treatable medical diseases have been ruled out as a possible cause for your obesity. Adrenal, pituitary, or thyroid screening tests have been completed and are normal.
Gastric Bypass Diet / Bariatric Surgery Diet
Eating after bariatric surgery will be quite different than before. The changes made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits that must be followed for a successful weight loss in your new life after bariatric surgery. Post surgery dietary guidelines will vary by bariatric surgeon. You may hear about post-surgery guidelines that are different from the ones you receive. It is important to remember that these guidelines will be different depending on the surgeon and type of procedure. What is most important is that you follow your surgeon’s guidelines.
The following are some of the generally accepted dietary guidelines for a healthy diet after bariatric surgery:
- When you start eating solid food, it is important to chew your food thoroughly and eat very slowly. It is important to wait for two to three minutes after swallowing before putting the next bite of food in your mouth. You will not be able to digest steaks or other chunks of meat if they are not ground or chewed thoroughly.
- Do not drink fluids while eating. They will make you feel full before you have eaten enough solids. Fluids consumed with meals can cause vomiting and a dumping syndrome, and can lead to feeling hungry sooner after a meal.
- Do not eat desserts and other items with sugar.
- Avoid carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes, foods high in fat, and foods that have no nutritional value.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Limit snacking between meals.
Bariatric Patients – Tips For Gastric Bypass Recovery
Life After Bariatric Surgery : Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix, it’s an ongoing journey toward weight loss through lifestyle changes. After the surgery, the difference in your body makes it physically easier to adjust your eating and lifestyle habits. Fortunately, you will not have to go through the process alone. A team of professionals will be there to support your efforts. Positive changes in your body, your weight and your health will occur, but you will need to be patient through the recovery process.
Going Back To Work : Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will vary according to your physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of weight-loss surgery you had. Most patients return to work and are able to exercise within one to three weeks after their laparoscopic gastric bypass. Patients who have had an open procedure do so about six weeks after surgery.
Birth Control And Pregnancy : It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age use the most effective forms of birth control during the first 16 to 24 months after weight back to work: Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of loss surgery. The added demands that pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this a most important requirement.
The World Health Organization considers obesity as one of the major diseases that can lead to several other complications like type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, infertility, cancers, venous ulcers and many other diseases. If not dealt with in time, obesity can certainly be fatal. It is now established that most diet plans, exercise regimes, etc. can only enable a loss of around 20-25 pounds (10-12 kgs), which can be gained again very easily. The real challenge is to keep off the weight, but one cannot diet for a lifetime nor spend the rest of their life in a gym. This is precisely why an increasing amount of people are now opting for bariatric surgery.