You’ve likely have seen it in the news, social media, TV commercials, even on billboards. Weight loss surgery is a part of the modern healthcare landscape. In 2018 alone, 252,000 Americans underwent weight loss surgery, and that number keeps growing by tens of thousands every year. Are you starting to wonder if weight loss surgery might be right for you?
The decision is not to be taken lightly. Weight loss surgery —also known as “bariatric surgery” — is still surgery, with the risks that accompany any surgical procedure.
Weight loss surgery comes in two basic types restrictive and malabsorptive. The first surgically (and permanently) reduces the size of the stomach to limit the amount of food you can eat before feeling full, this procedure is known as the sleeve gastrectomy. This procedure has become the most popular bariatric procedure in country. The second type of procedure also restricts the stomach’s size but also involves rerouting of the small intestines to reduce absorption of sugars and calories, this procedure is known as gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y). Both techniques are done laparoscopically, which means smaller incisions, less scarring and a faster recovery. Surgery can be completed in as little as an hour and many patients go home the day after surgery. You will work with your bariatric team to determine which procedure may be the best fit for you and your lifestyle.
It is important to remember that bariatric surgery does not work on its own. Both surgery options require you to make lifelong commitment to changing your eating habits and increase physical activity. The goal of the surgery is to improve your overall health, not to be a quick fix.
To see if weight loss surgery might be an option for you, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to each, see your doctor for more information.
- Have you repeatedly tried diets and exercise, or worked with a weight loss counselor?
- Do you have an obesity-related medical condition such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, or hypertension? Do you experience difficulty walking, working or caring for your family?
- Is your Body Mass Index (BMI) 40 or above? To determine your BMI, take your weight in pounds and multiply by 703.1. Divide that by your height in inches, then divide by your height in inches again
- Are you prepared to make a lifetime commitment to a healthy diet and physical activity in the name of health?
Learn more about Parkland Medical Center’s weight loss program at Parkland Weightloss or call (603) 421-2264.