Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery is a means of aiding persons who need to lose weight. This surgery, combined with proper nutritional eating habits and daily exercise, may help obese persons get closer to their desired and healthy weight. Surgical weight loss is not for everyone, and appropriate eating habits must be continued after any weight loss surgery. The two types of weight loss surgery used are stomach reduction surgery and stomach reduction plus an intestinal bypass.

For surgical procedures involving the stomach only, staples or bands are used to divide the stomach into two parts and create a small area at the top of the stomach into which the food travels from the esophagus. This surgery is called vertical banded gastroplasty. The small area at the upper part of the stomach empties into the lower part, which is the rest of the stomach. Ideally, the top, smaller area of the stomach holds only a few ounces of food and reduces overall food intake. If the person overeats feelings of discomfort occur.

Another form or weight loss surgery is stomach banding combined with an intestinal bypass. There are multiple versions of this surgery, including, in some procedures, removing of parts of the stomach coupled with the accompanying bypass. All of these surgical procedures involve banding the upper half of the stomach and creating a small area into which the food enters from the esophagus. From there, a bypass is created to avoid, in some cases where the stomach is left mostly in tact, the lower part of the stomach and the entire first section of intestine where absorption of food takes place. Digestive liquid continues to flow from the unused part of the stomach to the mid section of the intestine where the food is deposited from the upper part of the stomach. There are variations to bypass surgery, including altering the stomach by removal of small to substantial portions of its structure and connecting portions of the intestine that absorb less food to it.

There are risks with any surgery. Risks to consider concerning stomach banding weight loss surgery may be serious infection due to leakage at staple lines in the stomach, complications having to do with the constrictive band creating the smaller area of the stomach, lack of desired weight loss and migration of the restrictive band due to over eating, or movement of the band allowing individuals to overeat. In cases of bypass surgery, bone disease and anemia may occur in those patients who do not follow post operative diets, gallstone formation may occur due to restructuring of the intestinal tract, lack of essential vitamins and minerals may occur due to poor diet, and ulcers due to excess stomach and pancreatic fluid.

The cost of bypass surgery is approximately $25, 000. Medical coverage typically does not cover these types of surgery. Physicians and surgeons performing the procedure may be able to help in acquiring coverage of surgery for weight loss if the need is great and explained accordingly.

Persons considering weight loss surgery should consult a physician for opinions on health and surgical procedures. The best decisions are informed decisions, and a qualified physician is the best choice in helping to determine to right course of dietary action. Please consult a surgeon before attempting any type of weight loss action.

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