Weight loss surgery is the final option suggested by the doctor to reduce excess body fat. Additional fat accumulation or obesity can trigger several health complications. As time progresses, you can experience serious and potentially life-threatening health issues. When you pack pounds, you are at risk of developing the following:
Excess body fat can severely damage your quality of life. It can put a strain on your weight-bearing joints. So, you can also face problems like stress fracture or immobility. Apart from physical issues, you can also suffer from mental problems like depression or anxiety. So, excessively overweight people look for different methods to reduce their weight. Several weight-loss interventions are tried and tested to reach the ultimate weight loss. When different weight loss techniques like diet, exercise or other techniques fail to show the results, then your doctor suggests weight loss surgery.
What Is Weight Loss Surgery?
Weight loss surgery can help you shed excess pounds from your body. It also reduces your risk of medical problems linked to obesity. You can achieve your goal of weight loss in two ways:
The invasive procedure can physically limit the quantity of food your stomach can hold. So, it can create a calorie deficit as you eat less.
The surgery shortens the part of your small intestine. So, it causes a reduction in the absorption of nutrients and calories your body absorbs.
Types Of Weight Loss Surgery
You have four common types of weight loss surgery available. Your doctor helps you choose the right one from the following:
Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass
During the surgery, the surgeon creates a small pouch. The pouch created on top of your stomach is the only part of the stomach, which can receive food. So, it reduces your ability to eat and drink. It can result in a calorie deficit. The result is weight reduction. After creating a pouch, the small intestine is cut at a short distance below your stomach. It is connected to the newly created pouch. Therefore, the food you consume flows directly from the pouch to the new part of the small intestine.
The main part of your stomach continues to make digestive juices. Your surgeons reattach the portion of the small intestine attached to the stomach farther down. So, the digestive juices flow to the small intestine. Only a portion of the food flows through the small intestine. It results in fewer calories and nutrient absorption.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
The procedure involves fixing a band on the upper part of your stomach. The band has an inflatable balloon. So, the laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding creates a small pouch above your stomach. The pouch created above the band has a narrow opening to the other part of your stomach. After creating a pouch, a port is placed under the skin of your abdomen. The band is connected to the port via a tube. Your doctor can adjust the size of the band. By injecting fluid, the balloon is inflated while fluid removal results in the deflation of the balloon. The procedure restricts the amount of food your stomach can hold. It can make you feel fuller without eating too much food. But, the procedure does not restrict your calories and nutrient absorption.
In sleeve gastrectomy, a portion of your stomach is separated. It removed from your body. Your surgeons reconstruct the rest of the stomach into a tube-like structure. So, your stomach has a reduced size. It cannot hold much food. The new stomach also produces less amount of ghrelin (the appetite-regulating hormone). So, it reduces your cravings to eat. But, the procedure does not affect the calories or nutrient absorption in your small intestines.
Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch
The procedure involves removing a large part of your stomach. But, the surgeons leave the valve. It is responsible for releasing the food to your small intestine. The duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) is also left during the procedure. The surgeon closes the small intestine’s middle section. The last part is attached to the duodenum. It is called the duodenal switch.
The separated part of the small intestine is not removed from the body. Instead, your surgeon reattached the section to the end of the intestine. It allows the pancreatic digestive juices and bile to flow into the part of the intestine. This is referred to as biliopancreatic diversion. So, these changes cause the food to bypass the majority portion of the small intestine. It results in restriction absorption of nutrients and calories. The condition along with smaller stomach size results in weight loss.
Cost Of Weight Loss Surgery
Losing weight takes a lot of work. But, some people may not see the results irrespective of what they do. So, weight loss surgery is an option when you find it difficult to lose weight or have a lot of weight to shed. Your doctor suggests the surgery when exercise, medication or diets fail to produce desired results. While losing weight by undergoing surgery sounds simple, the cost associated with it can scare you. The surgery for losing weight depends on the following:
Type Of Surgery
The cost of the procedure depends on the type of surgery you have opted for. Your doctor can suggest the best surgical option from different procedures. Each method is different and has a different fee. So, the overall cost of the surgery depends on the type of surgery you chose.
The next factor contributing to the surgery cost is the fees of the surgeon who performs the procedure. Depending on the area you live, the expertise of the surgeon, and the complexity of the procedure, the rates may vary.
The hospital you select to undergo the surgery will also contribute to the cost. The cost depends on the operating room, hospital room, and other fees. The other fees include:
- Anesthesiologist Fees
- Nursing charges
- Device Fee
- Consultant Fees
- Follow-up procedure (if necessary)
In total, the costs can run from $10,000 to $25,000 in the USA. While in the UK, it can cost from £8,000 to £10,000.
Reduce Cost Of Surgery
You have two main options to reduce the cost of the surgery.
You cannot find a health insurance plan that covers surgery to reduce weight. It is especially true for people who are already overweight. But, your best chance to decrease the cost of the surgery is by getting a group health plan. The standard health plans fail to cover surgery to reduce weight. In most cases, employers may not opt for the option. So, you need to specify it to your employer or take a group plan.
In countries like India, the cost of the surgery is low. But, you get high-quality medical care. The internationally accredited hospitals in the country offer you the best surgical care at affordable costs. The features that make surgery a better option in India are:
- State-of-the-art medical equipment and care meeting international standards.
- Obesity surgeon with good experience, training, and international exposure.
- No waiting period, unlike Canadian or European hospitals.
- Low cost compared to other countries ($3000 to $6000).
So, when you get treatment in India, you can get a 30% to 70% cost advantage. So, you can get exceptional care without worrying about the cost of surgery.
Complications Of Weight Loss Surgery
Most of the people think that undergoing surgery for weight loss has only pros. You tend to believe that losing the stubborn weight through the invasive procedure is easy. But, it is not true. The surgery has several short-term and long-term complications. You can experience long-term problems based on the type of surgery you select. More than 40% of the people who undergo weight loss surgery suffer some sort of problem. While 5% of patients undergoing such surgery can experience serious problems. You need to talk to your doctor about the possible complications before agreeing to undergo the procedure. So, you can prepare yourself for issues like:
It is the most common side effects of the surgery. You experience infrequent bowel movements. Some find it hard to pass. The stool is hard and has a dry texture. Without proper bowel movement, you feel bloated, abdominal pain, and a feeling of fullness. You need to talk to your doctor about handling the problem. It is better to avoid granular fiber that can cause further obstructions.
It is also known as rapid stomach emptying. You can experience the problem after the surgery, especially when you consume foods containing high-sugar. So, the food tends to move quickly from the stomach to the duodenum. The rapid action triggers several signs like:
Therefore, to prevent the condition, you need to refrain from eating or drinking high-sugar foods. Avoid sodas, juices, and other food items containing sugar.
People who undergo surgery for weight loss are more at risk of developing gallstones. It is because you tend to lose too much weight quickly. More than 50% of patients develop gallstones after undergoing surgery for weight loss. In most of the cases, the gallstones are small. So, it triggers no issues. It is usually detected during routine checkups. But, around 15 to 25% of the patients develop large gallstones. Then, you can experience the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
You require surgery to remove the gallstones from your gallbladder.
Wound infection is another complication that you can develop after the invasive surgery for weight loss. Without proper wound healing, you can see the presence of infection. It occurs within three weeks after the surgery. If you develop an infection, then you can see the following signs:
- Redness at the infected site
- Warmth at the wound site
- Thick drainage or pus from the wound
The surgical wound infections require antibiotics to heal. If you ignore to take steps to manage it, then you need further surgery to eliminate the complications.
Lack Of Nutrition
The surgery for weight loss changes your body’s method of handling food. So, the different types of food become harder to absorb. So, your body can suffer from lack of nutrition like:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
So, you suffer from malnutrition. It can lead to several problems in your body. You need to talk to your doctor about taking the necessary supplements to overcome the shortage of nutrients.
Mental Health Problems
People suffering from morbid obesity tend to suffer from mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Some people overcome mental disorders after surgery. But, some struggle even after the weight loss surgery. So, you need to talk to a mental health professional to get the necessary help. The guidance from the professional to avoid becoming overwhelmed or sad. The mental health professional also helps you deal with other emotional concerns.
Serious Side Effects Of Weight Loss Surgery
Some people suffer from serious side effects of the surgery. In such rare cases, people can experience the following:
Blood In Stool
You can see bleeding in the stools. Your stools can appear reddish or black. If you observe such a problem, then you need immediate medical attention. You need to inform your doctor or visit the emergency room. As the condition is severe, you must never ignore the problem.
Blood Clots In Lungs
People undergoing surgery for weight loss can experience blood clots in their lungs. It is a life-threatening condition. So, you need to use blood thinners. Your doctor prescribes blood-thinning drugs to prevent the problem. You must also engage in frequent physical activity to avoid blood clots to the lungs.
Leaks In Connections
In rare cases, patients suffer from leaks in the new connection made by invasive surgery for weight loss. But, the condition is severe and needs prompt attention. It usually occurs within five days of undergoing the surgery. If you suffer from the problem, then you can see the following signs:
- Feeling ill
- Abdominal pain
It is a serious issue common in older people who undergo surgery for weight loss. As you become older, your skin loses its elasticity. So, losing weight can result in skin sagging. You may need surgery to remove the excess skin.
Recovering From Weight Loss Surgery
In most cases, weight loss surgery has a swift recovery. As the surgery is performed laparoscopically, the surgeon makes only small incisions. So, you need to stay in the hospital for just two to three days. With proper care, you can resume your normal activities within three to five weeks. If your surgeon opts for the open surgical method, it means a larger cut, which takes a longer time to heal. You need to follow the instruction offered by the surgeon
Lifestyle Changes After Weight Loss Surgery
After undergoing surgery to reduce weight, you need to change your lifestyle. Following the same routine before your surgery can only pile more weight and failure of the surgery. So, you need to back off from the old routine and follow a new routine to get dramatic results:
Instead of eating very large quantities in a single meal every day, you need to reduce the quantity of food. So, you must learn to eat small meals at frequent intervals. Try to include healthful foods. Failure to follow the guidelines can result in an inadequate calorie intake and poor nutrition.
Food Volume And Pacing
Obese people tend to binge eat. You need to learn to eat small meals. The stomach after your surgery can only a small amount of food. So, eating large meals can only trigger problems. Eat your food slowly after chewing it well. It gives a feeling of fullness and prevents overeating.
Drink Enough Fluids
You have to replenish your body with adequate fluids. It is important to carry sugar-free beverages and drink it often. Never wait for thirst to occur to drink fluids. You can drink soups, water, and other sugar-free fluids. It helps avoid constipation.
Commit To Good Nutrition
You need to commit yourself to good nutrition. So, ask a dietitian to develop a plan specifically to meet your nutritional needs. The diet plan must include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Protein Rich Food
You must also try to take 60 to 80g of protein. It is provided for nutritional adequacy. By taking food rich in protein, you can ensure swift wound healing. So, include the following food rich in proteins:
- Plant-based foods
- Soy products
After the weight loss surgery, include exercise in your daily routine. The physical workout can keep the weight off. Working out after the surgery becomes easier as your joints feel better. So, you can control the weight and prevent it from going back to the previous state.
Talk To A Professional
People under stress tend to eat more.It is also applicable to patients who have undergone surgery to reduce weight. The harmful chain can only diminish the effects of the surgery. So, you need to see a psychologist to break the vicious chain of stress eating. You have to learn stress-relieving activities to de-stress yourself. Engaging in stress-triggered eating after surgery is not advisable. Therefore, consult a professional to talk to them and find ways to deal with the problem.
Weight loss surgery is not a magic fix for your problems. So, you must never select it to reduce weight without trying other options. It is only advisable for people who have failed to lose weight using the other methods and face serious health scare risks. You have to put in the effort to lead a healthier lifestyle and maintain the results of the surgery. It is also important to brace yourself for the changes happening in your attitudes, behaviors, and relationships. So, you have to follow programs provided by the hospital or weight loss centers to deal with such issues and lead a happy life.
[expand title=”View Article Sources“]