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Weight Loss Surgery

There are a number of weight loss surgical options that can help you gain control of your weight. However, surgery is a risky option for overweight or obese people to take, not just because of its intrusive and often irreversible nature, but because anaesthesia is considered to be much more dangerous for seriously overweight patients. Weight loss surgery should only ever be considered as a last option when it comes to weight loss.

If you are trying to lose weight, these permanent operations are not a quick or easy option. You should first try to lose weight through dieting or exercise. If you are struggling to do this, you could use a prescription weight loss pill, such as Xenical, to help you lose weight. These have been shown to help people lose more weight more easily when dieting and exercising. It is only when these methods have failed that you should consider weight loss surgery.

Overweight – BMI 25+ Obese – BMI 27+
Lifestyle changes (diet & exercise) Prescription medication Weight loss surgery

The gastric band operation

Having a gastric band fitted reduces the number of calories you can physically eat on a daily basis. To be considered for this type of weight loss surgery, you would need to have a BMI which is greater than 40. Alternatively, if your BMI is over 35 and you have conditions associated with your weight such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol, you might also be considered for this type of surgery.

Gastric band operation

The operation involves a surgeon putting an inflatable band around the stomach and splitting it into two. This makes the active part of the stomach smaller, creating a small pouch so that you need significantly less food to feel full. The gastric band can be inflated further using saline solution to decrease the volume of food you can physically eat.

After you have had gastric band surgery, you may need to have the amount of saline in your band adjusted several times to find the right amount of restriction to suit your body. After the operation, you will usually have to spend two weeks recovering, and may have to visit your doctor for follow-up appointments. Though this surgery helps you to lose weight, some people's skin may become saggy which can only be removed with further surgery.

The gastric bypass operation

Gastric bypass surgery requires a surgeon to use a stomach stapler to split your stomach into two parts, creating a small pouch at the top. This will mean that you will need to eat much less food to feel full. This lowers your daily calorie intake, and should lead to weight loss.

The gastric bypass operation also means that the food you eat no longer passes through the stomach, so that your body cannot absorb the calories and nutrients it contains. After your operation, it will take around six weeks for your body to completely recover. You can expect to lose on average a stone every month after the operation, but you will need to take supplementary vitamins so that you stay healthy for the rest of your life.

Gastric bypass operation

The gastric balloon operation

Gastric balloon surgery is most suitable for people with a BMI of 30 of more. However, unlike the other types of surgery, this procedure isn't permanent and the recovery time is significantly shorter than other operations. Most people only endure one to two days of discomfort after having the operation, and have the gastric balloon taken out after approximately six months.

The operation involves a surgeon placing a small soft balloon made of silicone into the stomach, which is then filled with saline solution. The balloon reduces your appetite by filling your stomach, so that you feel much fuller without eating a lot of food or consuming many calories. This helps you to develop healthier eating habits, restricting your portion sizes and preventing you from snacking. When the balloon is removed, it's vital that you maintain your new healthy eating habits to avoid regaining the weight.

Gastric balloon operation

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