What You Need to Know About Weight Loss Surgeries

Credit: Bill Oxford, Unsplash

Shedding extra pounds and getting a toned body is everyone’s dream. Yet, for some people, it is more of a necessity than a luxury. Being overweight or obese brings about many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. In some severe cases, obesity might even cause premature death. Because reducing your BMI naturally is easier said than done, weight loss (bariatric) surgeries are now helping more patients lead a normal life and overcome obesity-related medical conditions. Although bariatric surgeries are often recommended by doctors as a fast solution for patients dealing with extra weight, you still need to know more about them before you decide that undergoing one is the best choice for your case. So, check out the following points to discover their side effects, how they work, and some extra information about them. 

They Suppress Your Appetite

Shedding 40-60% of your excess weight may seem like a dream come true, but how exactly do bariatric surgeries achieve this amazing result? To answer this question, you need to know how they work. A normal stomach can expand up to 1 to 1.5 liters of food. So, weight loss procedures rely on reducing your stomach’s capacity, which will help you feel fuller faster without consuming large meals. By suppressing your appetite, bariatric surgeries help you lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI for longer.

They Aren’t Invasive

Going under the knife is certainly scary. Luckily, this is not the case with weight loss surgery. While the word “surgery” usually denotes making big incisions, bariatric procedures are laparoscopic, meaning that they are not invasive. When performing a weight loss surgery, the doctor often makes very tiny incisions to place a small camera inside the patient’s stomach to help guide them. The great thing about this is that you do not have to stay in the hospital for long to recover, as most patients go home on the same day or up to 2 days after maximum.

They Aren’t All the Same

Not all bariatric surgeries have the same mechanism since some rely on making a pouch in the stomach, changing the route of the intestines, or both. Perhaps, the least invasive one of the bunch is the lap band. This procedure entails using a small medical device (a band) to make a small stomach pouch, allowing the patient to consume only small quantities of food before feeling full. On the other hand, procedures like the sleeve gastrectomy depend on completely removing part of the stomach. 

Since the results and the recovery period of these surgeries can be vastly different, you need to consult your doctor who can recommend which one to go for. The cost of the surgery itself also differs. However, medical procedures that aid with losing weight are usually more expensive in the U.S. as opposed to other countries like Mexico. So, if you really need the surgery, but do not want to go over your budget, consider medical institutions outside the United States.

They Have Side Effects

Although bariatric surgeries are hardly invasive, they are still major medical procedures, especially the ones that involve removing a part of the stomach. For this reason, you should be ready to deal with some side effects. Having excess skin after the procedure is usually a patients’ biggest concern since it cannot be removed without undergoing another surgery. You may also experience bouts of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation 3-5 weeks after the surgery. These side effects usually go away by making small dietary changes. However, there are some long-term side complications you should be aware of. Vitamin deficiency and obstructions are some of the most dangerous side effects you may experience, as your digestive system might not be able to absorb nutrients as well as it used to.

They Aren’t Enough on Their Own

Bariatric surgeries can indeed kickstart your weight loss journey, but this does not mean they offer a definitive solution. Unless it is coupled with healthy dietary options and exercise, a weight loss procedure will not offer long-term results, even if it helps suppress your appetite. This is why you need to follow a workout routine and exclude fats and sugar from your diet to maintain a healthy weight after the surgery.

Renowned for their fantastic results, weight loss surgeries offer hope for thousands of patients. While they are not invasive and usually have a short recovery period, they come with their own set of drawbacks. You should not also rely on a bariatric procedure to stay healthy because your lifestyle choices will still matter. Nonetheless, these surgeries can still be a good option for you, provided that you consult your GP first.