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Is Weight Loss Surgery a Good Option? What Could be an Alternative?

We often hear several celebrities perform surgery to get rid of excess body weight. If you are considering going under the knife to lose weight, then there are a few things you need to know. Your doctor might have told you the surgeries are just fine, however, it still gives some surprises after the surgery.

Weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery helps lose weight loss in two main ways; restriction and malabsorption. Restriction surgery is performed to physically limit the amount of food the stomach can hold while malabsorption surgery is performed to bypass the part of the small intestine.

Based on these two approaches, there are four different types of bariatric surgery that are:

  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Gastric Bypass
  • Adjustable Gastric Band
  • Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch

Let’s see the procedure, pros, and cons of these approaches of weight loss in detail.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a form of restrictive weight loss surgery. It involves removing around 75%-80% of the stomach, leaving a narrow tube or sleeve connecting to the intestine.

How does it Work?

After a sleeve gastrectomy, a person would have a small pouch-like stomach that holds a considerably smaller volume of food. On the other hand, the surgery affects the gut hormones that impact hunger, satiety, and blood sugar control.

Sleeve Gastrectomy is one of the surgical method used for weight loss

Pros

It is less risky to perform on the people for whom the other forms of surgery are a bit risky. It restricts the amount of food the stomach holds, giving the feeling of fullness. Besides, the surgery induces rapid and significant weight loss that is more than 50%.

Cons

The major disadvantage of this procedure is this is an irreversible process. Moreover, since it significantly reduces the amount of food in the stomach, it can lead to long-term vitamin deficiencies.

Gastric Bypass

The Gastric Bypass, aka the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery, is considered the best approach for weight loss. It is a combination of both restrictive and malabsorptive procedures.

In this process, surgeons divide the stomach into two parts. First, a pouch of around 30 millimeters volume is created by sewing off the top to the stomach. Then, the surgeons connect the upper stomach directly to the lower section of the small intestine.

Gastric bypass is one of the best surgical method of weight loss

After that, the remaining part of the stomach, which is still attached to the upper part of the small intestine, is then reattached farther down. This allows the digestive juices to flow to the small intestine. Since food is bypassed to the portion of the small intestine before reaching the stomach, fewer nutrients and calories are absorbed.

Pros

The main benefit of gastric bypass is it produces the long-term weight loss, helps lose up to 80% of excess weight. Further, it induces favorable changes in the gut hormones that help reduce appetite and enhance satiety.

Cons

It is technically a more complex weight loss surgery so that it can result in more significant complications. Furthermore, it can also cause several micronutrients deficiency like vitamin B12, calcium, folate, and iron. Due to this fact, one has to adhere to dietary recommendations and take life-long vitamin and mineral supplements.

Adjustable Gastric Band

It is a form of restrictive weight loss surgery. In this approach, surgeons use an inflatable band to squeeze the stomach into two sections; a smaller upper and a larger lower. The two sections are connected by a small channel that slows down the emptying of the upper stomach.

Adjustable Gastric Band

Pros

This procedure reduces the capacity of the stomach to hold foods that allows you to eat only a small portion of food at a time. Another benefit of the adjustable gastric band is it induces weight loss of approximately 40-50%. Likewise, this process is easy to implement and is reversible as well. Among all the procedures, it has the lowest risk for vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Cons

It is less effective in losing weights than any other method. Besides, a person needs to install a foreign device in the body. Moreover, it can slip or erode into the stomach in some patients. On the other hand, if the person who implemented a gastric band can dilate the esophagus if he overeats.

Biliopancreatic Diversion

It is a kind of extensive version of gastric bypass. In this procedure, surgeons remove even more proportion of the small intestine. At first, a small tubular stomach pouch is created, removing the remaining part of the stomach, and then a large part of the small intestine is bypassed.

Biliopancreatic Diversion is a bit risky weight loss surgery

Pros

The biliopancreatic diversion is even more effective in weight loss. It helps a person lose weight faster than gastric bypass surgery. Even though a larger section of the stomach is removed in this process, the stomach pouch is still bigger than in the gastric bypass. One of the major advantages of this surgery is a patient can eat normal meals after a certain time.

Cons

The biliopancreatic diversion is very risky for anyone and has a greater mortality rate than any other processes mentioned above. It also requires a patient to stay in the hospital for a longer period. It has a higher chance of leading a patient to macro and micronutrient deficiency.

Is Weight Loss Surgery Worth the Risk?

After going through the procedures and all the pros and cons of every approach, we can say that every method comes with some hazards or risks. So, it is better to try natural ways to lose weight. You, of course, need your doctor’s prescription for the surgery, however, you still need to considerate a bit more before you decide to go under the knife.

Meanwhile, almost all of the surgical process will leave your gastrointestinal system affected in some manner. This will lead to the scarcity of several vital micronutrients in your body. Besides, you might have to take minerals and vitamin supplements for the rest of your life. So, we recommend you to perform the surgery only if your body weight and fat is life-threatening.

Moreover, there are several other methods you can apply that can give almost the same level of benefits if followed for a significant amount of time. Here are some of them.

1. Do Exercise Regularly

Exercising is the best way to burn calories. Doing regular exercise combined with a good diet, gives you a greater weight loss in a short time. Running or walking is one of the best physical exercises to lose fat, especially belly fat. Besides, other exercises such as bicycling, vertical leg crunch, abdominal crunches, and cardiovascular exercises are good exercises to burn calories and lose weight in a short time.

2. Try Keto Diet

Keto or a ketogenic diet is a fat-rich and low-carbs diet. Consuming a low-carb diet for a long time puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. In this stage, your body utilizes the stored fat for the energy resulting in the fat loss followed by weight loss.

3. Eat Fiber-rich Food

Dietary fibers are complex carbohydrates that our body can’t digest. The fibers pass through our digestive system without the nutrients been consumed. The presence of fibers in your food can help you lose weight fast. It is because the fiber-rich foods make you feel full for a longer time, making you ingest fewer calories.

Fiber rich foods
Eating fiber-rich foods helps lose fat, Source: Truweight

Furthermore, the fibers make gel-like substances when they come in contact with water. The gel slows down the consumption of nutrients from the intestine and fast emptying of the stomach. It will reduce cravings and hunger, which will make you eat at a longer time gap.

4. Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water has a lot of benefits, and its help in weight loss is one of them. It doesn’t help you lose your body weight directly, however, it can keep your body at an optimum level to help you get rid of excess weight.

Drinking water regularly helps your body stop retaining water, which makes you lose a couple of pounds. Besides, water functions as an appetite suppressor, which makes you consume fewer calories.

Moreover, water keeps your metabolism robust and cleanse body waste. So, drinking water is essential if you want to lose weight effectively.

These were some techniques you can implement to lose your body fat and weight effectively without undergoing any risky surgeries.

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