Winner winner, Chicken dinner! A friend wins a bet and KFC chicken zinger is on him tonight! You order some fries and coke to go with the burger and top it off with a delicious ice cream. A weekend doesn’t get better, does it? Sounds like every other weekend?

Is your weighing machine living proof to this lifestyle? Are you at your highest weight ever? Maybe its not fluff anymore, maybe its time to consider weight loss now.

Obesity is a long term condition that has a direct impact on the health of an individual which occurs due to a web of environmental, dietary and genetic factors. It brings along with it the vicious devils of diabetes, cardiac illnesses, hypertension and psychological disturbances that decrease your work efficiency.

In these dire situations, where time is money and with no moments to spare for exercise, bariatric surgery is often thought upon as a quick way to get rid of the excess fat. Many with the necessary resources opt for this procedure without blinking an eye. Choosing the procedure of bariatric surgery as a medical solution should be carefully contemplated over considering all its risk factors.

How effective is bariatric surgery as a long-term option?

A study published in the prestigious journal JAMA Surgery found that bariatric surgery for obesity could be a cost effective solution in the long term for adolescents and teens if properly assessed for five years. In contrast, another study published in the same journal cited that, though the short term results of bariatric surgery are ‘dramatic’, for long term, it might not be very impressive. It confirmed that such surgeries do have definitive results when it comes to Type 2 diabetes and obesity rather than medical weight loss.

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Who is the right candidate for Bariatric surgery?

  • BMI more than 40.
  • A low BMI, but have accompanying illnesses like obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension could be likely candidates.
  • Women having trouble conceiving.
  • Unsuccessful at other weight loss methods.

What  are the types of bariatric surgery?

Once you have been identified as a candidate for weight loss surgery, your bariatric surgeon will use one of the following methods:

  • Gastric Bypass

In this method, the surgeon only leaves a small part of the stomach (called pouch), so it won’t store much food. The food bypasses the stomach and reaches the small intestine quickly. It is also known as the ‘Roux en Y’ or RYGB in medical terms. A similar procedure called mini gastric bypass is also performed using a laparoscope. You can check out this video on how it is done.

  • Gastric Band surgery

The surgeon places a small band at the top of the stomach which has a balloon that controls the tightness of the band. This band controls the amount of food that will go in the stomach. This procedure is done with the help of a laparoscope. See a video here.

  • Duodenal switch surgery

This complicated surgery involves removing most part of the stomach and using a gastric sleeve surgery to bypass the food directly to the intestine. Though it limits the food eaten, many nutrients do not get absorbed in the process leading to nutritional deficiencies in the long run. Find out how it is performed in this video.

  • Electrical implant

This acts as a pacemaker to the stomach sending impulses to nerves between the brain and stomach. This device sends impulses in such a way that the brain sends signals that the stomach is full. The device is implanted within the abdomen and has a remote control to be adjusted from outside.

Bariatric surgery side effects:

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Commonly after bariatric surgery, people complain of nausea, vomiting, dizziness; serious complications like breathlessness, clots, and infections could also arise. Gallstone formation is also seen after weight loss/bariatric surgery. Your doctor may recommend medicines to take care of this situation. Nutritional supplements are often prescribed to improve absorption. As the nutritional upset and weight loss is not very beneficial for women in childbearing age groups, pregnancy should be avoided until weight gets stable.

Weight loss surgeries are just a tool. Making the right lifestyle choices to avoid surgery is a very important decision too to help reduce obesity. Make an appointment at an obesity clinic, weigh your options regarding your surgeon, cost of the procedure, insurance and post surgical care when thinking about weight loss surgery in the future.

How do you check if you are obese and need bariatric surgery?

To know whether your weight is excess for your height, an international standard measurement called Body Mass Index (BMI) is used.If your BMI is beyond 30, you are said to be obese and might well be putting your health at risk.

Find your BMI using this BMI calculator. To check BMI in children ages 2-19 years, use this. This BMI chart review will help you weigh your risks of obesity and obesity related illnesses.

Also read about Top fitness trackers of 2016.

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Consulting Physician and Prolific healthcare writer, MD Medicine, 6+ years experience

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