WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY OVERVIEW
Also known as bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery works by altering the physiology of the stomach region. Primarily three techniques are used: Gastric Bands, where the size of the stomach is reduced; Sleeve Gastrectomy where part of the stomach is removed; and Gastric Bypass where the small intestine is rerouted. There are other similar procedures that are marginally less invasive such as the insertion of a gastric balloon. A gastric balloon is a soft, silicone sack filled with sterile saline that gives a feeling of fullness. It is usually left in place for a maximum of six months. Bariatric Surgery is very serious surgery, recommended only for people with a BMI over 40.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Expect an intensive pre-surgery consultation and an assessment to ascertain if the procedure is suitable for you. Surgery will involve a full general anaesthetic with post-operative care and medication required. Full recovery may take up to 6 months and leave scarring.
It is a very effective method of weight reduction for the morbidly obese. The effects can be permanent and require no further interventions. It reduces the effects or chances of diabetes developing while mitigating the associated health risks of obesity.
All forms of Bariatric Surgery are complicated procedures carried out under general anaesthetic and therefore there is a statistical chance of death. It permanently alters the way the digestive system works and further interventions may, in some circumstances, be needed. Changes in eating habits are still necessary to continue the weight loss achieved.