It can be difficult at times to lose weight, even sometimes with dietary changes and exercise. In some cases, excess weight or underlying conditions can make it extremely difficult to lose and keep weight off. In these cases, you may be considering bariatric surgery.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery, also known as metabolic surgery or weight loss surgery, involves removing or reducing the size of your stomach or part of the intestine. With this procedure, you are able to limit the intake of food and induce weight loss.
In addition to treating patients with obesity, bariatric surgery has proven effective in helping patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol.
With a smaller stomach, you are able to feel satiated easier and change how your body absorbs nutrients. This procedure coupled with dietary changes and exercise can achieve significant results in weight loss.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
We offer several types of bariatric surgery. All of our options are considered minimally invasive surgeries which allow for patients to experience less pain, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery compared to other treatment options. Some of our treatment options are performed laparoscopically or with robotic assistance.
During your consultation, we will conduct a thorough examination, review medical history, and discuss personal preferences to determine which option is best for you.
Also known as vertical sleeve surgery, it is almost always performed laparoscopically as a minimally invasive procedure and performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, about 80% of your stomach is removed in a vertical fashion. The remaining 20% is stabled or sutured together creating a smaller stomach.
The surgery is often performed within an hour. The incisions are small and typically heal fairly quickly. Patients are often monitored for a few days before being able to go home.
The smaller stomach enables you to eat less and feel full sooner, meaning you won’t feel as hungry or eat as much, helping you to lose weight.
This procedure is non-reversible and may increase your risk of reflux.
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB)
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, also known as a Gastric Bypass Surgery, is often performed laparoscopically with small incisions made in the abdomen.
During this procedure, various portions of your stomach are affected. The upper part of your stomach is reduced significantly to about the size of an egg and stapled together, limiting the amount of food you can eat. The lower part of your stomach is bypassed and no longer stores or digests food.
The new upper stomach pouch is then connected to a part of your small intestine known as the Roux limb, and forms a Y shape.
Surgery can take several hours to perform and is performed under general anesthesia. After surgery, you may be required to stay a few days to be monitored.
The food you eat will now bypass the rest of your stomach and part of your small intestine, reducing the amount of fat and calories you absorb. Unfortunately, this may also reduce the amount of nutrients you absorb in some cases.
This type of procedure can be helpful for those with an excess of 100 pounds of weight. This procedure may increase your risk of bowel complications, ulcers, and lead to dumping syndrome.
How Will My Life Change After Surgery?
Before surgery is performed, it is common to ask patients to agree to specific lifestyle changes. These changes are recommended to help you achieve significant weight loss and maintain results.
Some of these changes include a strict liquid diet for two weeks after surgery, followed by pureed food, then soft foods for some time to give your body time to adjust and heal. The limited diet means it is important to take multivitamins and supplements as needed to stay healthy. Patients are often able to eat regular food after a few months.
Regular blood tests will also be recommended to monitor your health and make sure you aren’t experiencing any low blood iron or high blood sugar levels.
Though surgery can be permanent the results may not be. It is possible to regain weight even after surgery. As such, it is important to follow a healthy diet and regular exercise routine.
Many Insurances Cover Bariatric Surgery
Each insurance company has different preoperative requirements that we go over at the initial consultation.
For more information on our bariatric surgeries or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Leggett & Dr. Lee today at (281)580-6797.