Bariatric surgery, also called weight loss surgery, can deliver life-changing and even life-saving results. However, bariatric surgery is not a decision to make lightly. Like every procedure, bariatric surgery poses certain risks. And your success is dependent on your readiness, your commitment, and your access to support before, during and after the surgery.
You may be a candidate for weight loss surgery if:
- You're an obese adult, especially if you have a weight-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes.
- You have at least 100 pounds to lose to be at a healthy weight.
- You understand the risks and benefits.
- You're ready to adjust how you eat before and after the surgery.
- You're committed to making lifestyle changes to keep the weight off.
There are three common types of minimally invasive weight loss surgery.
Gastric Bypass Surgery (Roux-en-Y):
This surgery leaves only a very small part of the stomach (called the pouch). That pouch can't hold a lot of food, so you eat less. The food you eat bypasses the rest of the stomach, going straight from the pouch to your small intestine.
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy:
This surgery removes most of the stomach and leaves only a narrow section of the stomach, called a gastric sleeve. The surgery may also curb the hunger hormone ghrelin, so you eat less.
Gastric Band Surgery:
This surgery included the instillation of a small band around the top of your stomach. The band has a small balloon inside it that controls how tight or loose the band is. The band limits how much food can go into your stomach.
If you're thinking about weight loss surgery, talk to your doctor about whether it's a good option for you. The Bariatric Surgery program at El Camino Hospital offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss surgery, with unparalleled support.
This article first appeared in the September 2014 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.