Bariatric Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery: What You Should Know About the Procedures

Jan 19, 2022

Are you looking at weight loss surgery to help you lose weight and stay healthy? You are on the right track! Because it is safe and has a life-changing effect, nearly 200,000 individuals in the U.S. opt-in for this surgery. But what should you know about this procedure? Let’s find out now!

How Weight Loss Surgery Works
In many procedures, weight loss surgery limits the amount of food a patient can consume. Other surgeries limit the body’s ability to absorb calories and can keep you from feeling as hungry. Generally, the three types of weight loss surgery are:

In Gastric Sleeve surgery, the most common procedure, about 75% of the stomach is removed, including the portion of the stomach that produces ghrelin, leaving a small pouch or “sleeve”. The size of the stomach is reduced, therefore the amount of food volume that can be comfortably ingested is also reduced. Patients also experience a reduced appetite and can lose up to 70% of excess weight after 12 months. Gastric Sleeve is a less invasive and a lower risk surgery.

With Gastric Bypass the stomach is made smaller by creating a pouch at the top of the stomach. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. This reduces the amount of food you can eat and the calories consumed. Bypassing part of the intestine also results in fewer calories being absorbed. A Gastric Bypass patient can lose 70-80% of excess weight after 12 months.

During adjustable gastric band or LAP-BAND® surgery, the band is fastened around the stomach, leaving the patient with a smaller stomach pouch. The band is then gradually filled with saline through the external port, placed just under the skin on the abdomen. These lap band fills are done in the clinic by one of the Nicholson Clinic providers. Each patient will learn when they are able to consume more than expected and then schedule to have more saline added to restrict consumption. This could take several visits to acquire the proper restriction as each person is different. The result is two-fold; there is now a much smaller limit on the amount of food that can be consumed comfortably, and the reduced stomach size causes the patient to feel fuller much faster. With LAP-BAND® surgery, a patient may lose an average of 50% excess weight after 1-5 years, making it now a less common choice.

Since there are several procedures, a highly trained staff and skilled surgeon will find the right weight loss surgery for you.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate For Weight Loss Surgery?
While both men and women of all ages have different weight and health goals, the general medical guidelines for weight-loss surgery are based on body mass index (BMI). BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. Weight-loss surgery might be an option for an adult with:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (which translates to about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds overweight for women). OR
  • A BMI between 30 and 39.9 with at least one serious obesity-related health issue such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, severe sleep apnea, hypertension, etc.)

Weight loss surgery may also be an option for an adult who meets these three conditions:

  • Have been classified as obese for at least five years.
  • Do not have a history of addiction or severe psychiatric problems.
  • Have a thorough understanding of the weight loss surgery you have chosen and the lifestyle changes that are necessary for it be successful.

Does Weight Loss Surgery Help with Weight-Related Health Conditions?
Yes! Weight loss surgery can help you lose weight and manage medical conditions related to obesity. These conditions include diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and risk factors for heart disease and stroke. In most cases, many patients considered obese will have weight-related problems.

Final Thoughts
A team of doctors, nurses and other specialists will help you determine whether weight loss surgery is an appropriate option and help you to make an informed decision. You will need to consider the benefits and risks, follow through with pre-surgery and post-surgery plans, and make a lifelong commitment to a new nutrition and exercise program. If you have further questions on weight loss surgery, contact us today!