Despite the fact that our march towards a healthier society in the last few years have picked up pace, there is still no decrease in the prevalence of obesity around the world. Obesity has reached an all-time high, accounting for about 39% of the adult population in the world around the year 2016 according to the World Health Organization. In addition to them, about 13% were overweight. It is an early distress signal, warning us about the future where heart diseases and obesity related problems will be more fatal than other diseases.
What is bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery, or also known as weight loss surgery, aims to treat obesity and other problems related to obesity simultaneously. After Bariatric Surgery the stomach size is reduced significantly which results in feeling of fullness with smaller quantities of food. This reduces the overall food intake leading to weight loss. But, not all the bariatric surgeries have the same working principle. Some reduce the stomach size while some decrease the bodies ability to absorb nutrients from the food, while some do both. Your doctor will be the best to chose which type of bariatric procedure will work best for you.
Some of the most common bariatric surgical procedures performed around the world are:-
Gastric bypass surgery
Gastric Bypass is one of the most common bariatric surgical procedures performed around the world. Gastric bypass is a restrictive as well as malabsorptive procedure. There is a small stomach pouch through which food reaches directly to the small intestine bypassing about 1.5 m to 2.0 m of the initial part of small intestine. Decreasing the stomach size leads to early satiety and bypassing the initial small intestine leads to lower absorption of nutrients. This arrangement leads to weight loss as well as resolution of certain other problems like type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Advantages of Gastric bypass surgery
- Restricts the amount of food intake at a time.
- Increases the energy expenditure by increasing the basal metabolic rate, hence more calories are burnt.
- Reduces appetite and enhances satiety.
- Helps to lose more than 60-80% of your excess weight.
- Resolution or partial resolution of other obesity related diseases like type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Laparoscopic gastric band surgery
This surgery aims to help weight loss by controlling the flow of food to your stomach. In this surgery, the doctor attaches a band over the upper part of your stomach, which results in the creation of a small pouch hence limiting the amount of food that enters your stomach. This small part of the stomach will become full much earlier hence making you feel the same and therefore limiting your food intake. After the surgery, you can adjust the size of this band according to your needs to control how quickly or slowly food passes from your stomach.
Advantages of laparoscopic gastric band surgery
- Reduces the capacity of stomach indirectly
- Helps to lose more than 40% – 50% excess weight
- Involves no cutting or removing the stomach
- Patients heal within a day later
- Adjustable and reversible
Overall long term and other benefits of bariatric surgeries
Weight loss is just a single of the many benefits that surgeries like gastric bypass and laparoscopic gastric banding offer. Losing weight and gaining it back will not reduce health complications. You must keep all the excess off of you for at least 5 years to make sure that you don’t suffer from any of the obesity-related diseases. Some of the common benefits of weight loss surgery are:-
- Resolution or partial resolution of type 2 diabetic patients – Bariatric surgery helps long term remission of diabetes 2. Obese people who suffer from type 2 diabetes find it highly effective as insulin and other medications are often stopped after the surgery and the ill effects of diabetes on various organs like heart and kidney are reduced.
- Better cardiovascular health – Bariatric surgeries reduce the risk of coronary diseases. Cholesterol and blood pressure comes back to the normal state. Hence reducing the risk of heart diseases. Moreover the control of blood sugar itself reduces the risk of heart diseases in future.
- Decreases depression – Helps you leave all the social stigma behind. You can overcome those bullies and come back to normal life much freely.
- Reduces the risk of sleep apnea – Sleep apnea patients after coming back to normal weight range, feel relieved, and often cured completely.
- Reduces pain in joints – Increased weight increases the pressure on the body joints. Often damaging the joints to such an extent that, the person has to walk with external support. Post-surgery, joint pain reduces significantly hence taking you back to normal life.