Bariatric Surgery

People who are significantly overweight but want to make a change in lifestyle are good candidates for bariatric surgery. Moreover, studies authenticate benefits of weight loss surgery for people with BMI between 35 & 39.9 with obesity-related health conditions like type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea & other conditions relating with obesity. People meeting the following criteria are ideal candidates for weight loss surgeries.

  • More than 100 lbs. over ideal body weight
  • BMI Body Mass Index of 40 or above
  • BMI over 35 & experiencing severe negative health effects like diabetes or high blood pressure relating to being severely overweight.
  • Unable to achieve healthy body weight for sustained periods of time even after medically supervised dieting.

Why Undergo Bariatric Surgery?

Obesity is harmful to general health. People who are 40 percent overweight are twice more likely to die prematurely than people having normal average weight. This aspect is usually noticeable after 10 to 30 years of being obese. About 300,000 deaths every year can be blamed on obesity in the United States. Obesity is a serious risk factor for several life-threatening diseases including the following.

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Heart Disease

However, research shows that risk of death from the above conditions return to normal following weight loss. Patients generally are no longer required to take medications for these conditions within first six months of undergoing weight loss surgery. Additionally, women who were earlier struggling with infertility prior to undergoing weight loss surgery find that conception is now possible after bariatric surgery.

Good Candidates for Weight Loss Surgery

Candidates are carefully evaluated to be considered eligible for bariatric surgery. Behavioral & nutritional counseling are conducted & the patient is required to attend at least one weekly support group session prior to undergoing bariatric surgery. Candidates who are eligible for bariatric surgery must be between 16 to 70 years of age (with some exceptions) & morbidly obese (weighing 100 pounds over ideal body weight & having BMI 40). However, people having BMI between 35 & 39 may also qualify for bariatric surgery procedure if they are also having certain pre-existing co-morbidities like sleep apnea, hypertension, cardiovascular disease or diabetes. In the case of women who are planning a pregnancy or are of childbearing age, it is important to know that they must not get pregnant within the first 18 to 24 months following bariatric surgery. Nutritional deficiencies alongside rapid weight loss associated with bariatric surgery can make pregnancy quite dangerous for the person & for the developing fetus.

Types of Weight Loss Surgeries

Weight loss or bariatric surgeries help people lose weight & generally lower risk of medical problems which are associated with obesity. Weight loss surgeries contribute to weight loss in the following two main ways.

  • Restriction – This type of surgeries are used for physically limiting the amount of food which a stomach can hold & thereby limit the number of calories the stomach/body can take.
  • Malabsorption – These types of weight loss surgeries are used to shorten or bypass portions of small intestine in order to reduce the amount of nutrients & calories which the body can absorb.

There are four common types of bariatric surgeries.

  • Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass

    Bariatric surgeons create a small pouch at the top of stomach in Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. This pouch is the only part of the stomach which will receive food. This process greatly limits the amount of food which the patient can eat or drink at one time. The small intestine is then cut a short distance below main stomach & is connected with the newly created pouch. This is to enable food to directly flow from the pouch into this part of the intestine. The main portion of the stomach will, however, continue to make digestive juices, though a portion of intestine which is still attached to the main stomach is reattached further down. This is to allow digestive juices to flow to small intestine. Fewer nutrients & calories are now absorbed since food now bypasses a portion of small intestine.

  • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

    Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding procedure involves placing & fixing a band containing an inflatable balloon around the upper part of the stomach. This will eventually create a small stomach pouch above the band with a narrow opening towards the rest of the stomach. Subsequently, a port is placed under the skin of abdomen. There is a tube which connects the port to the band. Balloon can either be inflated or deflated in order to adjust size of the band by injecting or removing fluid through the port. Gastric banding procedure restricts the amount of food which the stomach can hold so that the patient feels full sooner, but it in no way reduces the absorption or nutrients or calories.

  • Sleeve Gastrectomy

    Sleeve gastrectomy involves surgically removing a part of the stomach from the body. Remaining section of the stomach is then formed into a tube-like structure. It is now a smaller stomach which is unable to hold much food. Moreover, it will now produce less appetite-regulating hormone called ghrelin & which would, therefore, lessen the desire to eat more. Sleeve gastrectomy, however, will not affect the absorption of nutrients & calories in intestines.

  • Duodenal Switch with Biliopancreatic Diversion

    Duodenal switch with biliopancreatic diversion begins with the bariatric surgeon removing a large portion of the stomach. However, the valve which releases food into the small intestine is left behind along with the first part of the small intestine known as duodenum. The surgeon will subsequently close off the mid section of the intestine & directly attach duodenum to the last part of the intestine. This is why this procedure is termed as the duodenal switch. However, separated section of the intestine is not removed from the body. Instead, it is reattached to the end of intestine so as to allow bile & pancreatic juices which help in digestion to flow into this portion of the intestine. This process is termed as biliopancreatic diversion. Food bypasses most of the small intestine as a result of these changes & thereby limits absorption of nutrients & calories. This eventually leads to weight loss when combined with the smaller size of the stomach.

Recovery Following Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgeons have an immense wealth of experience in weight loss procedures. When this is effectively combined with advances in the field of bariatric care, most obesity patients are able to recover quickly following weight loss surgery without any complications. Average time of hospital stay for patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is usually between two to four days. Patients undergoing laparoscopic gastric banding surgery typically stay in the hospital for one or two days before being discharged. Guidelines set out by the body mass index scale recommend BMI in-between 18.5 to 24.9 as normal. Patients can use the calculator so as to find out their current BMI & the ideal BMI in their case.

Support from Surgeons & Healthcare Team Following Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery health care team is generally there to guide patients following every weight loss procedure. Regular follow-up visits are generally scheduled during the first year following bariatric surgery in order to check nutritional status, metabolism & overall physical & mental health of the patient. Most bariatric surgery patients would lose between 66 to 80 percent of their excessive body weight, most of which is usually lost between 18 – 24 months following weight loss surgery.

Dietary Restrictions Following Bariatric Surgery

Patients will need to follow specific eating guidelines following bariatric surgery. Registered dieticians will directly work with weight loss surgery patients in order to help them plan appropriate & healthful meals. Moreover, patients will need to quit smoking & discontinue using NSAIDs.

Gaining Weight Following Bariatric Surgery

Although bariatric surgery has excellent long-term track records for enabling morbidly obese individuals lose weight, there are no guarantees with any weight loss surgery. Success is only possible when a person is committed to making dietary & lifestyle changes for the rest of life.

Risks Involving Bariatric Surgery

All surgical interventions involve risks, particularly when the person is morbidly obese. There are different bariatric procedures which involve different risks & therefore depending upon individual circumstances, risks may either be higher or lower than average. Moreover, it is also important to understand that bariatric surgeons with better experience in performing weight loss surgery techniques are found to report fewer complications. However, potential risks involving bariatric surgery procedures should be discussed with the bariatric surgeon so that the individual undergoing surgery will make an informed decision to undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss.

Is Bariatric Surgery Reversible?

Yes, laparoscopic gastric banding is reversible in a minimally invasive procedure. Gastric bypass surgery is also potentially reversible. However, reversal requires another operation of the same standard or greater in magnitude involving the same or greater amount of risks.

Requiring Revision Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is no magic bullet. While most patients feel successful & satisfied after bariatric surgery, there are some instances where revision bariatric surgery is required. Most often, reasons for seeking revision bariatric surgery are due to inadequate weight loss or weight gain, medical complications or in instances where weight loss surgery is required due to inadequate prior treatments. Common reasons seeking revision weight loss surgeries are due to inadequate weight regain. Revision bariatric surgeries, however, involve unresolved co-morbidities alongside medical complications which are possibly the crux & which are essential but involve revision surgeries in order to lose weight or regain weight. Nevertheless, there is a revision solution to these problems.

Revision Bariatric Surgeries

Regardless of previous surgery, revision bariatric operations are always challenging for surgeons. Revision bariatric surgery requires adequate expertise in order to achieve desired results. It needs a multidisciplinary team approach along with proper facilities for managing patients requiring revision surgeries. It is also highly recommended that patients requiring gastric bypass revision surgery or even any other type of weight loss revision surgery should find a bariatric surgeon & a bariatric center with much experience with revision bariatric procedures.

Insurance Cover for Bariatric Surgeries

There are several insurance companies nowadays who recognize obesity as a substantial health risk & are therefore paying for bariatric surgery. It would, however, be sensible to inquire with them before undergoing surgery.

Pregnancy Following Gastric Bypass Surgery

Bariatric surgery patient’s body would undergo several changes during the first 18 months following gastric bypass surgery. Although weight loss would be a major factor, the entire body would also be experiencing hormonal changes including increase in fertility levels. Women patients must, therefore, be cautious during this time & make use of birth control methods so as to ensure that they do not get pregnant. Pregnancy tests are also conducted prior to surgery in case this is applicable. Nevertheless, pregnancy is possible when women patients are able to manage well following bariatric surgery. Research also suggests that pregnancy in women with lower BMI is most often safer than pregnancy with complications associated with pregnancy. In any case, women who have undergone weight loss surgeries must consult the physician before planning a family. It would also be beneficial to mention this to doctors during consultation for bariatric surgery so that they can provide essential guidance & resources. It is sensible to wait until the first 18 months when the body is undergoing changes & the weight begins to stabilize following gastric bypass surgery. This is the reason as to why women are advised to wait before getting pregnant following weight loss surgeries since rapid weight loss immediately following weight loss surgical procedures may deprive a growing baby of important nutrients.

Rising Phenomenon of Medical Tourism across the World

With sky-rocketing costs of healthcare in the developed western countries, rising phenomenon of medical tourism across the world will eventually see better days. Several governments have in fact geared up to make hay while the sun shines. However, making of the world-class healthcare destination is a complex procedure where a variety of factors including the following need to be considered.

  • Both private & government sector investment in healthcare sector infrastructure is required
  • Commitment to transparency of outcomes, quality assurance & to international accreditation needs to be demonstrated
  • Flow of international patients is essential
  • Potential for savings in cost on medical procedures is central
  • Social stability & political transparency must be established
  • Availability of excellent tourism infrastructure is required
  • Sustained reputation for clinical excellence is critical
  • Should also ably maintain history of healthcare innovation & achievement
  • Adoption of best practices & state-or-the-art medical technology is required for success
  • Availability of experienced medical professionals who are internationally trained make a great amount of difference

Affordable Bariatric Surgery with Travcure Medical Tourism

Travcure Medical Tourism is one of the fastest growing healthcare tourism companies in a global perspective. Associated with top surgeons & best internationally accredited multispecialty hospital facilities across nations, Travcure is dedicated to provide a wide spectrum of excellent medical procedures at affordable costs for international patients. Maintaining presence in most of the globally favorite healthcare tourism heavens in order to give the most competitive treatment packages, Travcure has tie-ups with the best JCI internationally accredited hospitals in countries like Germany, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), India, & South Korea (Seoul) so as to provide the most convenient & affordable treatment to international patients. Seamless healthcare services offered by Travcure Medical Tourism are just a phone call away.

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