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All You Need To Know About Weight Loss Surgery

Gastric bands and other surgical procedures designed to aid weight loss have been around since 1978and gained more popularity, safety, and traction in the nineties. Nowadays, more and more medical providers are safely performing weight-loss surgeries worldwide. There is plenty to consider if you are thinking about having a surgical weight loss procedure, and we are going to discuss this below in great detail.

History Of Weight Loss Surgeries

The very first weight-loss surgeries were called JIBs, and they involved surgically bypassing the majority of the intestines while keeping the stomach intact. This caused issues, however, as people were not absorbing enough of certain nutrients through their intestine. This surgery is not widely recommended anymore. In the sixties and seventies, however, a new technique called the Gastric Bypass was developed.

Instead of skipping a large section of intestine, this surgery bypasses more of the stomach and only part of the intestine, yielding much healthier results in patients. Nowadays over 140,000 of them are performed in the USA each year alone. Since then, more techniques have developed with success rates gradually increasing over time.

Who Performs Them?

You will be pleased to know that only very specialized surgeons perform these surgeries, it is not a skill picked up overnight! Only once a doctor has fully qualified, registered, specialized in surgery, and then worked many years would they be leading such a surgery. Your surgery could be performed in a hospital or specifically designed weight loss clinic. In both settings, the theatres will be fully equipped and professionally made. You will also have support staff, nurses, and an anesthesiologist with you. Between them all, you will have all the support and safety measures required for a successful surgery.

Types Of Weight Loss Surgery

There are two main types of procedures to consider. These are called Gastric Band and Gastric Bypass Surgery. Here we will discuss the two types and help you understand both better, giving you better reasoning as to which surgery may suit you best.

Gastric Sleeve

Gastric Sleeve surgery is a procedure in which the stomach is restricted and made smaller. A portion of the organ is removed giving the stomach a smaller, tube-like shape. This aids weight loss by making your stomach fill up quicker, thus making you more full and less hungry. You will also feel fuller after eating for a longer period of time.

Gastric Bypass

In a Gastric Bypass, the stomach is still restricted, but the small intestine is also restricted. As described earlier, the smaller section of the stomach remaining is then connected to an also smaller section of the intestine. This adds to the caloric restriction as fewer calories can be absorbed by the small intestine.

All You Need To Know About Weight Loss Surgery

How Much Does It Cost?

Bariatric surgery varies in price. Some insurers may pay for a gastric sleeve procedure, though only if your insurance covers bariatric surgery. As gastric bypass surgeries are more complex, fewer insurers cover them. If you are paying yourself, you can be looking at anything from $2500 to $7500 for a good surgeon and excellent treatment.

Safety and Peace Of Mind

You may be worried as to whether either of the surgeries discussed here is safe. Over the years surgical techniques have developed and become much safer. Nowadays, these procedures are performed mostly laparoscopically. This means that only a few small incisions are made for a camera and some surgical tools, and you will not be ‘open’ on the table. This results in far fewer complications and a much lower mortality rate than seen with open surgeries. The mortality rate in the USA today is less than 0.2%, which is safer than many other procedures.

Do Weight Loss Procedures Actually Work?

Yes, they do! For most people, Gastric Sleeves and Gastric Bypasses lead to success. A recent study showed that over 85% of patients lose at least 50% of their excess weight, and of those over 65% maintain that weight loss in the long term. The average weight loss for most adults having bariatric surgery is 65% of their excess weight. This means that if you are 75 kilos overweight you can expect to lose over 48 kilos!

This, then, is everything you need to know about weight-loss surgery. How it works, who it’s for, and how safe and successful it is. If you are seriously considering bariatric surgery, we recommend you reach out to a reputable local surgeon or hospital and discuss your options. Check-in with your insurance provider as well. If you decide to go down the path of surgical weight-loss, we wish you all the very best!

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