Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a group of procedures designed to help people who are severely obese. Doctors define “severely obese” as having a BMI of at least 40 or having a BMI of at least 35 and weight-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes or heart disease. The ideal candidate will also be someone who has tried and failed to lose weight through diet and exercise. Below is more information about these types of surgeries so you will have a good understanding before you visit our weight loss doctor in Orlando.
A candidate for weight loss surgery will also have to realize that weight loss will be an ongoing process. They will have to commit to various lifestyle changes in order to get and keep the excess weight off. Similarly, they will have to work with our weight loss doctor in Orlando who can help them stay on track.
Why Don’t Diet and Exercise Always Work?
Obesity is a progressive disease, and it eventually reaches a point where diet and exercise alone won’t help. As a patient becomes increasingly obese, their body undergoes a variety of hormonal and metabolic changes that increase its ability to store fat and make it very difficult for the patient to lose weight.
What Does Weight Loss Surgery Involve?
The four most common weight loss procedures are the following:
• Sleeve gastrectomy
• Gastric bypass
• Gastric band
• Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenum Switch (BPD/DS)
The various surgeries performed by our weight loss doctor either limit the amount of food the patient can eat at once, or they limit their digestive system’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
In a sleeve gastrectomy, for example, our weight loss doctor in Orlando will remove about 70 percent of the patient’s stomach – including the part that produces ghrelin or the “hunger hormone.” A sleeve gastrectomy thus also reduces the patient’s appetite.
In gastric bypass surgery, the surgeon will cut the stomach in two and convert the topmost part into a pouch that restricts the amount of food the patient can eat. They will then cut the small intestine in half and attach the bottom half to the stomach pouch.
The gastric band is the least invasive procedure, and it is the only reversible procedure. The surgeon will place an adjustable band around the patient’s stomach that will restrict the amount of food they can eat. The band will have an injection port attached to it that will allow the doctor to tighten or loosen it by adding or withdrawing a saline solution.
In the BPD/DS, the surgeon will remove the left side of the stomach. They will bypass much of the small intestine by attaching the distal or bottommost part to the remaining stomach.