Bariatric surgery is the term used for weight loss surgery procedures that either use restriction, malabsorption, or both. Restriction limits how much food you can eat. Malabsorption skips the complete digestion of food which reduces the number of calories absorbed by your body. The benefits of weight loss surgery along with its effectiveness is causing the demand to increase substantially.
For instance, gastric bypass uses both restriction and malabsorption. There is a small pocket where all food will go, thus decreasing how much you eat during each meal. The malabsorption element bypasses the intestines, so the food is not fully absorbed in the stomach. Gastric sleeve surgery only uses restriction by removing 85% of the stomach without changing the patient’s anatomy. The lap-band procedure is similar, though less invasive because a band is placed around your stomach to create the smaller pocket. It only uses restriction, limiting the amount of food that you can eat.
No matter what procedure you choose, you will find a wide array of benefits in the short term and long-term.
The first benefit is not just weight loss alone. It is effective, rapid weight loss. If you have had problems losing weight in the past due to not knowing what to eat or how much, the surgery handles much of that for you. While you will still need to choose healthy food options, the amount you eat during each meal is significantly reduced. You feel full faster and your appetite changes. Suddenly you are no longer able to binge and you lose weight very fast, especially in the first six months. Within the first year after surgery is when forming healthy habits is critical to long-term weight loss.
Due to the surgery and the weight loss, most of your obesity-related medical conditions will be improved. You will also prevent serious complications as a result of your obesity. Some medical conditions that are improved with bariatric surgery are type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, acid reflux, osteoarthritis or joint pain, stress urinary incontinence, infertility and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), depression, eye problems and migraines. You are also reducing your risk for things like stroke, heart disease or heart attack, all of which are triggered by obesity.
Your overall quality of life is also going to be improved. You are learning how to eat right and that eating less doesn’t negatively impact your life. With dieting, individuals can often feel miserable from starving themselves. The challenge seems too huge. You feel full and satisfied, and learn to get the right amount of nutrition even with less food. As you begin your journey to recovery, you will start making good choices for your body.
This helps you lose more weight and keep it off. Another way your quality of life is improved is by motivating others around you to follow the same type of lifestyle. Family and friends will see your level of success and want to join you, whether it is eating the same foods or exercise along with you.
Also think about the improvements emotionally and psychologically after surgery. When you start losing weight and changing your lifestyle, you will suddenly feel better mentally. You feel more confident, have higher self-esteem and in turn, treat your body better. You may have noticed that when you are struggling with obesity and trying to lose weight, you end up binge eating every time a “diet” isn’t working how it should. This leads to lower self-esteem and emotional overeating. Bariatric surgery helps you lose weight and gain your confidence back, which in turn helps you to continue on a path to a healthier body and mind.
One benefit many individuals don’t consider is how much money over your lifetime that is saved by getting bariatric surgery. You are going to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by not needing repeat doctor visits or surgeries for your obesity-related medical conditions, as well as fewer prescriptions and diet drugs. Less food to buy overall and less money spent on specialty diet products. It’s fixing the obesity issue before it gets overbearing.
Bariatric surgery has many benefits, as you can see, that you should think about when deciding if this is the right path for you. Weight loss surgery offers rapid weight loss that has a high rate of success. It’s important to choose the best bariatric procedure for your individual needs. But also consider the risks and potential complications of getting surgery and discuss them with your doctor. See the key bariatric indicators (KBI’s) to find out if weight loss surgery is the best treatment option for you.