Weight loss is a tough battle for most of us and an almost impossible task for a few. Obesity affects 12% of the global adult population and is a leading cause of death worldwide which means that weight loss is not just about aesthetics, it can be life-saving.
But what is obesity? Is it merely carrying some extra weight on your body? Obesity is defined using a metric called body mass index or BMI. Body mass index is a value obtained from the height and weight of a person. A BMI reading over 30 kg/m2 is considered obese and 25-30 kg/m2 is overweight.
Obesity is not just about weight, it actually means that the amount of fat stored in the body is excessive. This often results from a combination of an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and a genetic predisposition.
A body mass index reading that indicates obesity predisposes a person to a number of health complications including, but not limited to, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, cancer, and depression. Weight loss can reverse or reduce the risk of many of these disorders.
Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery is usually reserved as the last option for people who cannot lose weight through diet and exercise. BMI readings over 40 kg/m2 without complications and 35 kg/m2 with complications is one of the criteria for weight loss surgery. Other criteria include the failure of a proper diet and exercise regime, and the need to carry out the bariatric surgery under the care of experienced bariatric doctors at a weight loss centre or hospital that handles a high volume of such cases. In India, Bangalore is one of the best cities for weight loss surgery, with a number of skilled bariatric doctors and laparoscopic surgeons available for obesity treatment and obesity surgery.
Bariatric surgery is largely divided into three types: blocking, restricting, and mixed. The type of bariatric surgery that is chosen depends on the patient, their health condition, the expected results of weight loss surgery, and the consensus of the team of bariatric doctors.
The following types of weight loss surgery are available in Bangalore:
This is a restrictive type of bariatric surgery in which about 80% of the stomach is cut off or removed, leaving about 15% to perform digestive and food storage functions. The stomach is reduced to a small banana-shaped pouch.
This works for weight loss by reducing the amount of food that can be held in the stomach meaning the person eats less and there is a reduction in the production of the hormone ghrelin which stimulates appetite. Sleeve gastrectomy doesn’t interfere with absorption of nutrients in the intestine.
This weight loss surgery is irreversible.
Gastric bypass surgery is a mixed type of weight loss surgery used for obesity treatment. The most common type of gastric bypass is called the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure.
This is a two-step procedure. First, a small pouch is created by separating the top of the stomach from the rest using sutures. Then the lower end of the stomach is connected to the lower end of a cut portion of the small intestine and the other end of the small intestine is connected to the stomach pouch. This is to allow for the flow of gastric juices from the stomach to the intestines.
Gastric bypass surgery is a permanent procedure. It works by reducing the size of the stomach and reducing the number of calories absorbed by the small intestine. Unfortunately, this also results in malabsorption of nutrients which can be a problem for some patients.
This type of restrictive bariatric surgery involves the placement of a band around the top portion of the stomach which is then tightened to close off the smaller top part of the stomach from the larger lower portion.
The band is usually adjustable and the size of the stomach pouch can be adjusted by loosening or tightening the band using an external port and normal saline. The band reduces feelings of hunger and the size of the stomach but there is no problem with absorption of nutrients.
One of the first steps to in bariatric surgery is finding the right weight loss center and the best bariatric doctors. You can also choose between traditional bariatric surgeons and laparoscopic surgeons. Laparoscopic surgeons perform minimally invasive weight loss surgery which can speed up recovery and reduces the risk of blood loss and infection.
There are a number of weight loss centers in Bangalore so making a choice can be daunting. Look for centres that provide comprehensive evaluation and support in collaboration with bariatric doctors and laparoscopic surgeons to ensure the best success for bariatric surgery.
The type of obesity surgery or obesity treatment that is right for each person depends on the amount of the weight that needs to be lost and the general health of the patient. Each type of bariatric surgery has different rates of weight loss with gastric surgery resulting in over 50% weight loss, sleeve gastrectomy gives about 50% weight loss, and gastric band surgery results in 40-50% reduction of body weight.
The pros and cons of each option are carefully evaluated before a decision is made.
Bariatric surgery is a life-saving procedure for many people, allowing them to avoid health complications and live wholesome lives. Consult with bariatric surgeons if you think weight loss surgery may be right for you or a loved one.