A Closer Look at The Success of This Simple But Effective Procedure
Overweight and obesity are major problems across the globe, especially in developed countries like Canada and the United States.
Excess weight is detrimental for our health as it increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancers, and other conditions. Weight loss is often easier said than done. Many overweight or obese people struggle to jumpstart their weight loss, and this is especially the case when you have a lot of weight to lose.
Bariatric surgery poses as a viable solution for many people who want to lose weight in situations when standard methods are not effective.
What’s this surgery all about? Is it effective?
Read on to learn more.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
The term bariatric surgery refers to the surgery on the stomach and/or intestines to help an obese person lose weight. The surgery is performed in cases where diet and exercise alone prove to be ineffective or when a patient has serious health problems because of their weight.
For many, bariatric surgery is the fastest and most effective way to slim down and maintain results for the long-term. Also known as weight loss surgery or obesity surgery, this procedure affects the stomach and how you digest food. The primary objective of the procedure is to make the stomach smaller. As a result, a patient feels full after eating a small amount of food. Since you eat less food, the number of calories you consume decreases.
Generally speaking, many men and women tend to overeat i.e., they keep eating even when the body is technically not hungry. This way, they introduce too many calories into the body, which leads to fat accumulation and weight gain.
Who is Eligible for Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is usually recommended to people who meet the following criteria:
- BMI is 40 or higher (extreme obesity)
- BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and you have a serious weight-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea,
- Inability to achieve weight loss and maintain the results for a longer period of time with diet and exercise alone
You can calculate your BMI here.
Bariatric Surgery Procedures
As mentioned above, bariatric surgery is a term that includes several procedures, such as:
- Gastric bypass – a small stomach pouch is created by stapling. The pouch is joined together with the small intestine. As a result, food bypasses most of the stomach which lowers the number of calories absorbed
- Lap band surgery – involves putting an adjustable ring around the top part of the stomach to create a small pouch which prolongs the time food remains in the upper part of the stomach
- Gastric sleeve surgery – removal of most of the stomach including the hormone that makes you feel hungry all the time
Bariatric Surgery Statistics
The number of bariatric surgeries in Canada is on the rise each year. As more and more people become obese, the need for these procedures increases. The typical age of a patient is 45 and about 78% of them are women.
Patients look for clinics and hospitals in Toronto or other areas hoping they’ll be able to jumpstart their weight loss, but it’s impossible not to wonder how successful these procedures truly are.
After bariatric surgery, most patients lose 30% to 50% of their excess weight in the first six months. In 12 months after the surgery, they lose up to 77% of the excess weight.
Patients who have undergone gastric band surgery lose about 30% to 40% of excess body weight i.e., one to two pounds a week or 25 to 50 lbs. in six months. With the gastric sleeve, you can expect to lose 70% of the excess weight loss.
Some studies show that weight loss averages 65% for most patients, while over 85% of patients lose and maintain 50% of their initial excess weight loss. Bariatric surgery is meant to provide long-term results. Patients could maintain a 50% to 60% loss of weight 10 to 14 years after surgery.
Generally speaking, the amount of weight you lose after bariatric surgery depends on lifestyle modifications and which weight you started at. Patients with higher initial BMI tend to lose more weight after the procedure.
Every person is different, so the results are unique for each individual. That said, one thing is for sure – bariatric surgery has a tremendous potential to change lives. The procedure allows patients to boost their confidence, prevent or manage various health conditions, make a huge difference in their lifestyle, and so much more. These surgeries not only jumpstart weight loss but also help people start a new chapter in their lives and experience the happiness they deserve.
Bariatric Surgery Pre-Care
Healthcare professionals give instructions on how to prepare for a specific type of surgery if a person is eligible. Various lab tests and exams before surgery may be necessary. Most patients will have certain restrictions regarding medications they can take, eating, and drinking. Smokers may need to quit smoking.
For most patients, it’s advised to start with their physical activity program. Making diet changes is also important at this point. It’s better to start with healthier eating right away than to do so after the surgery.
An integral part of obesity surgery is a thorough psychological evaluation to determine whether the patient is ready for the procedure and strongly wants to change their lifestyle.
Bariatric Surgery Post-Care
After the surgery, patients are usually not allowed to eat for one to two days. This way, their stomach has the opportunity to heal. Then, a patient needs to follow a specific diet for a few weeks.
At first, you may need to consume liquids only, then progress to pureed and very soft foods, and gradually start eating regular food. To ensure the surgery is a success, the doctor may recommend the specific number of calories you can consume during the day. In other words, you might have limits and restrictions on what and how much you eat.
The recovery process requires regular visits to the doctor, and you should strive to never miss an appointment.
Surgery post-care revolves around adhering to doctor’s orders and instructions. The goal is to help you establish a specific routine to follow so that you can recover fast and experience significant weight loss.
You should also strive to eat and chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. Keep your meals small and avoid unhealthy, fast food and other foods that your doctor advises you to avoid.
Tips for Success with Bariatric Surgery
- Avoid sugar-laden beverages and products
- Don’t drink fluids immediately before, during, and after your meal
- Keep your follow-up visits
- Don’t stop taking medications without doctor’s approval
- Avoid snacking and highly processed foods
- Eat protein
- Avoid alcohol
- Don’t take OTC drugs without doctor’s approval
- Exercise regularly, especially strength training and cardio
- Stay hydrated
- Don’t use straws when drinking
- Prioritize whole foods
Bariatric surgery is an effective long-term solution for obesity. Several procedures are available, and the weight you lose depends on the initial weight and adherence to doctor’s orders and lifestyle modifications. Patients not only lose weight but also manage to maintain it for the long-term.