Dr. Rachel’s guide to weight loss surgery

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Obesity is an epidemic in the US. If you struggle with your weight, have attempted numerous diets only gain the weight back and you feel trapped in a weight gain cycle then you might want to consider bariatric surgery or “weight loss surgery”.

Bariatric surgery is procedures for people who need to lose weight by decreasing the size of the stomach so that you cannot eat as much.  The procedures also affect the body’s metabolic hormones, such as ghrelin, which stimulate your appetite.

There are three common procedures used to decrease the size of the stomach.

With the gastric band or Lap Band, a band is placed around a portion of the stomach to create a smaller stomach. This band can then be tightened or loosened via a port under the skin on the abdomen.

With the Gastric sleeve, the stomach is reduced by removing a large portion of the stomach to leave it shaped more like a tube, or a sleeve, with a banana shape.

With Gastric bypass a small stomach pouch is created about the size of a golf ball.  This is then connected to the small intestine.  By bypassing most of the stomach, the digestive system is changed to reduce hunger and limit the amount that is eaten.

Weight loss surgery is recommended for obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40, and for people with a BMI 35 who have medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or hypertension.

Weight loss surgery does not just improve medical conditions; it improves your quality of life, by increasing your ability to be physically more active. Your self esteem improves; work, social interactions and sexual function improve.  People feel good about who they are after weight loss.

If you fall into one of these categories, go to a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® for a consult to see if you qualify. It may be the best thing that you can do for you.