What exactly is weight loss surgery?
Often referred to as bariatric surgery, these operations are performed to produce weight loss, but bariatric surgery does far more than produce weight loss. Metabolic and bariatric surgery currently provides one of the most effective therapies for diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, arthritis, asthma, acid reflux, infertility, and high cholesterol. Such operations can often restore the health of a morbidly obese individual by the correction of abnormal metabolism.
The surgical treatment of obesity involves altering the body’s mechanisms for weight gain and maintenance, either by restricting the amount of food the patient eats (restrictive operations) or by averting the absorption of calories in foods that have already been eaten (malabsorptive operations) or by a combination of both. Most patients who are candidates for obesity surgery will benefit from combined restrictive-malabsorptive operations such as the vertically banded gastric bypass and duodenal switch.
If you are overweight, you are not alone
About one-third of American adults are overweight — that’s 58 million people. More than 14 million are seriously overweight, and about 5 million are so seriously overweight it affects their health and decreases their life expectancy.
How do I know if I am a candidate for weight loss surgery?
Deciding who makes a good candidate for bariatric surgery is a highly individualized process. Qualifications for bariatric surgery in most areas include:
BMI ≥ 40, or more than 100 pounds overweight.
BMI ≥ 35 and at least one or more obesity-related co-morbidities such as type II diabetes (T2DM), hypertension, sleep apnea, and other respiratory disorders, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart disease.
Inability to achieve a healthy weight loss sustained for a period of time with prior weight loss efforts.
Free from circumstances that would make bariatric surgery prohibitive
In addition, patients must be committed to long-term follow-up, compliance with nutritional supplements, periodic blood work, and aftercare.
What is BMI?
BMI stands for body mass index and is the ratio of your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. BMI is a relatively accurate way to determine if a person’s weight poses a serious health risk. Please note, however, that the BMI calculator does not take into account muscle mass and should only be used by full-grown adults ages 20 to 65.
A BMI in the range of 18.5 to 24.5 is considered to be ideal. If your BMI signifies that you are Morbidly Obese (BMI of 40 or more) or Severely Obese (BMI of 35 to 39) with severe weight-related co-morbid conditions, then you might be a candidate for bariatric surgery.
Below is a helpful tool from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery that will calculate your BMI for you, simply enter the required information to see your results.
ASMBS BMI Calculator
Bariatric Surgery Procedures
Bariatric surgical procedures cause weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold, causing malabsorption of nutrients, or by a combination of both gastric restriction and malabsorption. Bariatric procedures also often cause hormonal changes. Most weight loss surgeries today are performed using minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopic surgery).
Mission Surgical Clinic’s surgeons offer bariatric surgery procedures such as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Each surgery has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass – often called gastric bypass – is considered the ‘gold standard’ of weight loss surgery.
The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy – often called the sleeve – is performed by removing approximately 80 percent of the stomach. The remaining stomach is a tubular pouch that resembles a banana.
Revision Bariatric Surgery
Revision bariatric surgery – sometimes known as revisional surgery – refers to a weight loss treatment that follows a previous weight loss surgery that did not lead to the desired level of success.