Obesity is a major health concern as the percentage is significantly increasing. Obesity is associated with several adverse health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, gallstones, hypertension, varicose veins and a lot more. This leads to an increase in early mortality, reducing the life years of obese individuals. To know the solution possible solution to weight loss, it is important to understand the cause of obesity and how severe is the case.
What Causes Obesity?
Obesity can happen for a number of reasons:
- Unhealthy diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history
- Use of certain medication
Exercise and dietary changes can prove to be useful weight-loss tools but sometimes health conditions such as hormonal imbalance can result in weight gain. This can further bring more health issues. Therefore, people opt for a surgical procedure such as gastric bypass.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Many people face the problem of deciding which method to choose in order to lose weight. There are many ways when looking at weight loss options. Weight loss surgeries are collectively known as bariatric surgery. Gastric bypass surgery is the most common and widely chosen surgery for weight loss. It is done when people face difficulty losing weight by exercising or dieting or suffer health issues because of obesity.
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery
The steps involved in this surgery are:
- The size of the stomach is reduced in the first step, dividing it with gastric staples. It creates a small gastric pouch at the upper part of the stomach. This limits the amount of food you can eat. This surgery has a quicker recovery time as compared to other complicated surgeries.
- Small intestine is divided into two portions: Roux limb and biliopancreatic limb.
- In the next step, Roux limb is brought up and connected to the new pouch so the pouch can empty food in the bowel. As a result, the lower stomach and portion of the small intestine are bypassed.
Open vs laparoscopic surgery
Gastric bypass surgery may be performed “open” or “laparoscopic.” Currently, laparoscopic procedures are more common than open surgeries. There are several factors, including surgeon experience as well as your surgical and medical history, which may influence one approach to be used over the other. Discuss the surgical approach with your doctor
- Open Roux-en-Y gastric bypass – The open procedure involves a single long incision that opens the abdomen, which provides the surgeon access to the abdominal cavity. The surgery includes long hospital stay, long recovery time and some discomfort post-surgery.
- Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass – In laparoscopic surgery, a small video camera is inserted into the abdomen allowing the surgeon to conduct and view the procedure on a video monitor. Both camera and surgical instruments are inserted through small incisions made in the abdominal wall. Depending on the surgical procedure and surgeon experience, the number of incisions are made. Some surgical procedures can be performed via a single incision while other procedures may involve three or more small incisions.
Benefits of Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery
- It is a minimally invasive procedure, there is a decreased post-surgery pain, faster recovery and resume work really soon.
- The average weight loss may be 60 – 70 percent of the excess weight.
- The problem of diabetes and hypertension are excessively reduced.
- It is most widely performed weight loss surgery.
- No scar, now wounds and negligible pain along with short hospital stay (nearly 24-48 hours).
Before Gastric Bypass Surgery
The health care providers may ask you to perform certain tests such as
- Physical examination
- Blood test and ultrasound to make sure you are healthy enough to go through the surgery.
- Check medical problems such as diabetes, heart diseases and high blood pressure, if they are all under control.
- Check if you are emotionally fit to undergo the surgery and ready to make lifestyle changes.
- If you smoke, quit before surgery and forever.
- Ask doctors if you can continue with ongoing medicines or if any restriction on medication.
Options other than surgery
- Dietary changes: A person consumes more calories than needed which results in weight gain. Reducing the intake of processed, refined, high-sugar and high-fat content food. Increase the consumption of whole grains and high-fiber foods. Some people try to do crash dieting which may result in new health problems. You do not achieve a healthy weight loss and suffer from food deficiencies.
- Exercise: It is important to burn calories because a sedentary lifestyle leads to obesity. You must dedicate some time of your day for physical exercise. People who are not used to exercising or unable to perform activities must consult a doctor. If you are not in the habit of doing exercise, you should not start with strenuous activities as it may pose health issues.
- Weight-loss medicines: Weight loss medicines work when diet, exercise and behavior changes are working together. When the doctor gives you weight loss medicines, he takes care of health history as well as possible side-effects. Keep in mind that weight loss medicines may not work for everyone.
Nowadays, people have a lot of choices when looking at weight-loss options. The treatment varies from person to person, as there is not just one treatment for obesity. Although it is tough to know which programs will work best for you, you should work with your healthcare professional and discuss all these options before making a treatment choice. A doctor can best diagnose your weight issue and give you the options according to your health and lifestyle. It is important to work with your doctor on this big lifestyle change journey.