Surgical procedures to try and help a person to lose weight (also known as bariatric surgery) are becoming more and more popular. This is because they are extremely effective when compared to trying to lose weight by dieting. The most popular procedures at present are the Sleeve gastrectomy and the Mini-gastric bypass.
Almost all patients will have tried dieting to lose weight. Almost all will have had short term success with diets and then noticed that the weight always seems to go back on and they end up heavier than when they originally went on the diet!
The problem with dieting is that once a certain amount of weight is lost the body goes into a starvation type mode, and hormones are produced that lower your metabolism and increase your appetite. This means that despite you complying with a low calorie diet you do not see any weight loss after the first few weeks because your body has adapted a low metabolism to cope with the diet. You are tired and irritable (because your metabolism is artificially low) and you have severe cravings for any food containing lots of calories (because the hormones driving your appetite have taken over). It is because of your bodies totally normal reaction to food restriction that diets rarely work long term.
It is very common for patients to be able to lose a certain amount of weight but to regain it quite fast and even put more on. This common dieting sequence is referred to as yoyo dieting and is a normal consequence of these appetite driven hormonal changes, which are very difficult to resist.
Bariatric surgery is highly effective in that the procedures will help a patient to lose weight, but also more importantly will stop the longer term urges to regain weight by modifying the appetite drives and food cravings.
In addition to bariatric surgery increasingly being recognised as the most effective weight loss strategy, it is also being accepted that it is a much safer form of surgery than previous public perceptions. In the hands of a surgeon and a surgical unit which is dedicated to this type of surgery, the complication rate is as low as routine gallbladder or hip surgery, and the stay in hospital is only one night. People who have undergone this surgery are usually back to work after 7 to 10 days.
Bariatric surgery will help dramatically improve a persons' health, particularly if they suffer with conditions associated with their obesity. These include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnoea and joint problems. Once a patient has lost weight following bariatric surgery it is a pleasure to see them in the outpatients' clinic with their lives transformed, having finally being able to escape the trap of obesity that is becoming all too common.
Sleeve Gastrectomy, Gastric Band and Gastric Bypass are the common forms of bariatric surgery. These procedures are very safe and extremely effective in helping weight loss and most importantly maintenance of weight loss.
When you see the doctor in the outpatients’ clinic you may well forget some of the answers that he gave to your questions. We have therefore taken the commonly asked questions by patients from each of the procedures and added the doctor’s answers.
These procedures have an extremely good safety record. All are highly effective in resetting your weight to a much lower and healthier level long term.