Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric or metabolic surgery, is used to treat people who are severely overweight.

It can result in significant weight loss and help improve many obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

However, it is a major procedure that in most cases should only be considered after trying to lose weight through a healthy diet and exercise.

Risks of obesity

It is very important to take steps to combat obesity, as it not only causes obvious physical changes, but can also lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions.

These include:
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Some types of cancer, such as breast and colon cancer
  • Stroke
  • Obesity can also affect quality of life and lead to psychological problems such as depression and low self-esteem

Is weight loss surgery right for me?

In deciding which method is best for you, you will be advised by your bariatric surgery specialist.

Many factors will be considered, including your BMI, dietary habits, health problems, previous surgeries and your weight loss goals.
You may be considered for gastric reduction or gastric bypass surgery if:
  • You have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more
  • You have a BMI of 35 or more and have other medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure that can be improved by weight loss.
  • You are fit enough to undergo general anesthesia and surgery.
  • You are determined to lose weight and maintain your weight loss through lifestyle and diet changes with bariatric surgery.
  • You have tried to lose weight with healthy eating and exercise for at least six months and it has not worked.

Calculate your BMI

Weight loss treatments

Weight loss procedures

Gastric Sleeve

During stomach reduction, about 75-85% of the stomach is permanently removed, leaving a narrow stomach. This means that you will only be able to eat small meals and will feel full faster. The feeling of hunger is also reduced, as the cells containing the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin are removed.

This surgical option allows for dramatic weight loss of about 60% of your excess weight, provided you adhere to the new recommended dietary changes. This is usually an option for patients with a BMI over 35 who want to lose a greater amount of weight. It is a permanent change that allows you to eat normally, but in smaller portions, and reduces the risk of nutritional deficiencies often associated with full gastric bypass, although you will still need to take vitamins for life.

Gastric Bypass

In a gastric bypass, the stomach is divided in two and the resulting smaller upper portion is connected directly to the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach, duodenum and upper intestine.

Because some of the food is not fully digested, food intake is reduced and so are the number of calories consumed. Gastric bypass patients can usually lose about 70% of their excess weight after surgery, provided they follow postoperative guidelines.

This procedure may be an option if you have a BMI over 35 and an associated medical condition, or a BMI over 40 and are seeking significant weight loss. Gastric bypass carries the risk of nutrient deficiencies, so special supplements are needed to make sure you get everything you need.

Gastric Balloon

A soft silicone gastric balloon is inserted into your stomach and partially fills it, giving you less room to eat. A gastric balloon is temporary and is usually removed after a maximum of six months. This makes it an option for starting a long-term weight loss and maintenance plan without committing to a permanent procedure with higher risks.

A gastric balloon may be appropriate for patients with a BMI between 27 and 35 who do not meet the criteria for other bariatric procedures, or who are preparing for another procedure that requires a lower BMI. Gastric balloon insertion is a non-surgical procedure and takes only 15 minutes. This means you will be discharged the same day and it is the most cost-effective weight loss procedure.

Gastric Botox

Just as it acts on the facial muscles, it neutralizes the motor nerves and muscles of the stomach wall over a period of up to 6 months and causes relaxation of the stomach, which suppresses appetite, makes the feeling of satiety last longer and leads to a reduction in the amount of food consumed, and through this mechanism it helps patients with obesity to lose weight. Botox injection into the stomach is a completely painless procedure performed with the help of an endoscope through the mouth and mild sedation. Gastric Botox may be appropriate for patients with a BMI between 27 and 35 who do not meet the criteria for other bariatric procedures.

What are the risks of gastric bypass?

Gastric bypass surgery can be extremely successful in helping patients suffering from obesity lose weight. But there are certain risks associated with any surgery. Your doctor can tell you about the risks and complications associated with gastric bypass so you can decide if surgery is the best decision for you.

Risks and complications associated with gastric bypass include:
  • Narrowing of the stomata
  • Internal bleeding
  • Leakage
  • Perforation of the stomach or intestines
  • Pouch/anastomosis closure or bowel obstruction
What are the risks of stomach reduction?

As with any surgical procedure, there are surgical and long-term complications and risks associated with gastric reduction, but in experienced hands the procedure is very safe and the risks associated with the surgery are relatively low. The surgery itself is technically very simple, as it does not require the intestines to be cut or connected, unlike other weight loss procedures such as gastric bypass. The risks of stomach reduction include:

  • Hemorrhage (bleeding)
  • Leakage of the clamp seam, which can lead to infections
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia and/or medications
  • Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis in the legs / pulmonary embolism
  • Gastric constriction

Life after bariatric surgery

Surgical weight loss can result in dramatic weight loss, but is not a cure for obesity on its own.

You must commit to permanently changing your lifestyle after surgery to avoid gaining weight again. This is what you should keep in mind:
  • Change your diet - for the first few weeks after surgery, you will consume a liquid or soft diet, but then gradually move to a normal, balanced diet that you will need to maintain for the rest of your life
  • Exercise regularly - once you have recovered from surgery, you will be advised to set up an exercise plan and maintain it for life
  • Regular follow-up to check how you are doing after surgery and to get advice and support if you need it

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