Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Abroad
Obesity is one of the most prevalent causes of multiple diseases and conditions that afflict people in the United States today. Some people who are more than 100 pounds overweight may find it difficult to lose weight through traditional methods and look to weight-loss treatments and surgeries to provide the answer for long-term weight loss.
Common weight-loss treatment and obesity surgeries:
- Weight-loss medications.
- Bariatric surgery.
- Lap banding.
- Sleeve gastrectomy.
- Gastric bypass surgery for obesity.
Obesity and weight-loss treatment and surgeries are generally only an option for people who are more than 100 pounds overweight. Most physicians will first suggest a wide variety of treatments such as behavior modification, dieting, and exercise. Sometimes, a doctor will prescribe medications. When these fail, surgery is an option for those who have not responded to such treatments and who are severely obese.
Surgical procedures are generally divided into three categories: malabsorption, restrictive, and mixed, or combination. The type of surgery any patient will undergo will depend on how much weight needs to be lost. Lap banding and gastric bypass (gastric bariatric surgery) are two of the most common surgeries.
Bariatric surgery is a catchall phrase for several different types of weight loss procedures and surgeries. Candidates for any type of bariatric weight-loss surgery should not expect it to work miracles, as patients are expected to engage and maintain strict eating habits, as well as developing new lifestyle habits and behaviors.
Restrictive bariatric weight loss surgery procedures are designed to generally reduce the size of the stomach and to limit the amount of food a person can eat at one sitting. Several common weight loss procedures are described below.
Lap banding — Laparoscopic banding (LAGB) is a process through which a silicone band, much like a rubber band, is placed around the entrance to the stomach. One of the most popular choices of weight-loss procedures, patients undergoing this type of procedure can expect a 50 to 75% weight loss of 50 to 90 pounds after two years.
Vertical Banded Gastroplasty — This procedure is commonly known as stomach stapling or VBG. Surgical staples are used to section off a small portion of the upper part of the stomach. The other side of this pouch is fitted with a band that slows the amount of time it takes for food to leave this pouch, which results in feelings of fullness after eating small amounts of food. Most patients who choose this type of procedure are generally able to lose roughly 50% of excess weight after a two-year time period.
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy — This type of procedure is generally performed on patients who have a body mass index over 50. It involves removing a portion of the stomach to create more of a sleeve rather than the pouch shape that the stomach has. This type of procedure offers less weight loss expectancy after a typical two-year timeframe, and a person may anticipate losing between 30 and 35% of their initial body weight, or roughly 40 pounds.
Gastric Bypass surgery for obesity is a procedure that results in dividing the stomach to create a small pouch that is directly attached to the small intestine. This pouch can only hold 1 ounce of food, though it may stretch in time to allow a person to eat about a cup of food at a time. This type of procedure is considered the most drastic, although it contains the highest success rate with patients losing between 60 and 70% of excess body weight.