Obesity Surgery – What is it, and Can it Help Me?

The price that comes with having obesity surgery may be high, but the price of not having it could be even higher. The health problems that accompany being overweight could ultimately be more costly than an operation that could save your life.

What It Is?

The most common obesity surgery type is gastric bypass, which reduces your available food intake by making your stomach smaller. The bypass is done by attaching the small intestine to the smaller stomach, which ultimately bypasses the duodenum and extends to the first part of the jejunum. This will decrease nutrient absorption, and control how much you eat by curbing your appetite and helping you lose weight in a healthy way.

Discerning Candidacy

Are you eligible for this procedure? You probably already know if you have seen your doctor about losing weight. Generally, if you’re at a high disease risk or have some type of serious condition, you are most likely a candidate for obesity surgery. Also, if your body mass index (or BMI) is considered to be exceptionally high or you have been considered obese for over 5 years, your doctor may recommend a gastric bypass.

Usually, patients under 18 are advised to continue trying to lose weight on their own, but in some cases, teen obesity cannot be corrected with regular diet and exercise. Once a patient reaches the age of 18, they may become eligible if he or she was previously denied. Patients as old as 65 are eligible as well.

Risks of the Procedure

Obesity surgery comes with many possibilities of complications, as does any operation. It is best to know what they are and be prepared for how to deal with them should they happen to you. You surgeon should explain these risks to you as part of your pre-operational consultation.

One of the more common risks is infection, and it will more than likely be at the point of incision. Another possible problem is a pulmonary embolism, which is a blocking of the blood-flow in the lung area. Peritonitis, or a leak of fluid into other parts of the body that originates from the stomach, is not so common anymore because of the extra precautions doctors take, but it is a possibility.

Staples sometimes loosen, but this is an easy fix. A risk involving the link between the stomach and intestines becoming much smaller is stomal stenosis. Lastly, dumping syndrome may occur if the food you eat begins to move too quickly through your digestive system.

Knowing your level of eligibility can help you to decide if it’s time to have obesity surgery. This could be your second chance to get healthy and stay healthy.