BACKGROUND: For millions of Americans, obesity is a lifelong struggle that not only affects one’s self-image, but his/her overall health and well-being. The complications of obesity can seriously affect one's ability to live a full and active life. Bariatric surgery alters the digestive system to help people with severe weight-related health problems lose weight. Bariatric refers to the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity. (SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com; http://www.floridabariatric.com)
PEOPLE WHO CONSIDER BARIATRIC SURGERY: Bariatric surgery is often the appropriate weight loss option for patients whose body mass index (BMI) is above 35. Surgical weight loss options typically result in quick and dramatic weight loss among patients and significantly reduce obesity-related health issues, such as diabetes. (SOURCE: www.emoryhealthcare.org)
TYPES OF BARIATRIC SURGERY: There are many types of weight-loss surgery, known collectively as bariatric surgery. The most popular three are:
- Gastric Bypass - The gastric bypass surgical weight-loss option reduces stomach size and diverts the passage of food through the small intestine to limit digestion, leaving patients feeling full after eating less.
- Gastric Banding - Gastric banding is a minimally-invasive weight loss procedure in which doctors place an adjustable silicone band around the upper portion of the patient’s stomach to reduce stomach size.
- Sleeve Gastrectomy - The sleeve gastrectomy procedure is a surgical weight loss options in which doctors permanently remove approximately 75 percent of the patient’s stomach. The remaining, smaller stomach is reshaped into the form of a sleeve.
RISK FACTORS: As with any major surgery, weight-loss surgeries pose potential health risks. These procedures carry the risk of bleeding, infection in the incision, bowel blockage caused by scar tissue, hernia through the incision, rejection of sutures, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. There is also a small possibility of injury to the spleen, which may have to be removed if bleeding cannot be controlled. Some additional risks are directly related to being obese. (SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com; www.hopkinsbayview.org)