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Weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery is increasingly becoming popular in our part of the world. As Indians become morbidly obese, which means having a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35, you are recommended this surgery to stem lethal health problems due to obesity.

You are a candidate for weight loss surgery if:

  • You are morbidly obese.
  • If you have weight-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes.
  • You are ready to make changes in your diet and lifestyle after the surgery to keep the weight off.

Once you decide to take the plunge, it’s time to consult a fat-loss surgeon who will finally determine if this surgery is a good option for you.

4 types of weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgeries are major surgeries and they change our digestive system, especially the stomach and small intestine permanently.

This change happens in four major ways-

  1. Gastric bypass– The doctor crafts a small pouch in your stomach so that when you eat, the food goes into this pouch and you feel full faster.
  2. Adjustable gastric band– This procedure has the surgeon inserting a small band around the top of your stomach. The band has a small balloon on the inner side to control how much food you can eat.
  3. Gastric sleeve– This surgery removes most of your stomach. In fact, it leaves only a narrow section of the upper part of the stomach, called a gastric sleeve.
  4. Duodenal switch– This is a complicated surgery that removes most of the stomach and also bypasses most of your small intestine. This limits how much food you can eat as well as your nutrient intake.

Pros and cons of weight loss surgery

Most people lose weight for 18-24 months after this surgery, and their diabetes improves drastically. This is the biggest plus.

On the other hand, the ‘cons’ can be many, like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Gas
  • Dizziness
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Leaks from stitches
  • Blood clots in the legs that can move to the heart and lungs.

There are a number of long-term problems also associated with this surgery, especially with gastric bypass, like “dumping syndrome,” where food moves too quickly through the small intestine. This can lead to severe diarrhea after eating.

All in all, weight loss surgeries are a success only if you can make major changes to your diet like excising junk food, sweets, and colas; eating slowly and having small portions.

If you can’t follow these directives, you will put on the weight you had lost and have medical conditions to boot.

Also, never go for a weight loss surgery if you have an eating disorder like binging, bulimia or anorexia. If you deny your eating disorder symptoms and get the surgery, you will eat your way back to obesity with even more medical challenges. This will cause more severe guilt and shame and will stop you from seeking psychological help for this dangerous mental disease.

Just remember that as much as we might wish it, there are no shortcuts to health. In fact, shortcuts can undermine your healing path.

Always consult your physician before taking any step. The content here is just for general information and should not be considered as an expert medical advice.