What is weight loss surgery? 

Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery is performed on obese people. The size of the stomach is reduced by removing a portion of the stomach.

As a result of this surgery, two things happen. The capacity of the small intestines to absorb nutrients is reduced. There is also a major reduction in the capacity of the stomach to hold food.

What are the different types of weight loss surgeries?

Weight loss surgeries can be broadly classified into restrictive and mal-absorptive surgeries. Restrictive surgeries shrink the stomach size while the latter reduce the capacity of the intestine to absorb nutrients. These can be further classified into:

  • Adjustable Gastric banding: An inflatable balloon is placed around the upper part of the stomach and it helps restrict the amount of food that can be held.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy: A large portion of the stomach is removed. It can be followed up by a second surgery, if required. It is a comparatively safer option for the obese.
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery: A combination of restrictive and mal absorptive procedures, it connects the upper stomach into the lower part of the small intestine, thereby reducing chances of intake and absorption.
  • Biliopancreatic Diversion: An extreme form of gastric bypass surgery where as much as 70% of the stomach is removed and bypassing is done.

What are the benefits of weight loss surgeries?

  • Increases self-confidence
  • Removes around 50% of a person’s excess body weight
  • Conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis often reduce after the surgery.

What are the complications of weight loss surgeries?

  • The patient, who has undergone weight loss surgery, stays in the hospital for a recovery period of 2-3 days. During this time the chances of a complication are very rare.
  • However, the complications may occur in the form of infectious wounds, ulcers, bleeding and digestive problems. Only 10% of the people have this issue.
  • 2-3% of the people undergoing the surgery may suffer from very serious issues like heart attack, clotting of blood, serious, life-threatening infections etc.

Who is a good candidate for weight loss surgery?

Not everyone is qualified or deemed fit to have a weight loss surgery. Usually recommended for:

  • Those who have a body mass index over 40, i.e those overweight by about 100 pounds (for men) and 80 pounds (for women).
  • Obese people with a lower body mass index, but have problems related to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, severe sleep apnea, or high cholesterol.
  • Those who have exhausted other option.
  • Weight loss surgery is usually done after complete evaluation

How much weight is lost after weight loss surgery?

  • The patient undergoing gastric bypass surgery for weigh loss loses around 5 to 15 pounds per week. This rate of weight loss continues till 2 or 3 months after which it lessens to 1 to 2 pounds per week for the next 6 months.
  • The rate at which one loses weight depends much on the individual. Thus its better not to compare the weight loss rate of one person with another.

Which doctors perform weight loss surgery?

A weight loss surgery is performed by a specialist in bariatric known as a bariatric surgeon.

What are the preparations for weight loss surgery?

  • The dietary requirements, as recommended but the doctor, should be strictly met.
  • It is the best to avoid drinking and smoking for a few days in advance prior to the surgery.
  • Read up on the experiences of patients who have undergone the surgery.
  • Get a thorough check up done for avoiding the associated risks as much as possible.
  • The doctor may advise the patient to lose some weight prior to the surgery to have a taste of what it will be like. Besides, there are other health purposes associated with it as well.

What is the recovery time after weight loss surgery?

  • The complete recovery time for weight loss surgery may vary. However, it only takes a time window from two to five days to come out of the hospital.

What should be the lifestyle (diet & exercise) after weight loss surgery?

  • One of the most important things to be kept in mind is to avoid lifting heavy objects after a weight loss surgery.  It is also advisable to avoid sitting and standing for long periods at a stretch.
  • The fluid intake of a person must be kept up by staying constantly hydrated.
  • It is recommended that a person inhale deeply be it for coughing or for breathing.
  • A few exercises will be recommended by the nurse during post-operative care.

When can a female get pregnant after weight loss surgery?

The complications associated with pregnancy increase with obesity. On a positive note, women who get pregnant after having bariatric surgery have a lesser chance of problems than women who are extremely obese. It is advisable to wait at least a year or a maximum of 18 months before another pregnancy.

How much does weight loss surgery cost?

The cost of weight loss surgery varies roughly between two to three and a half lakh Indian rupees.



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