If you are currently overweight or even obese then you maybe contemplating bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery is when the size of your stomach is reduced using one of the following methods:
- A gastric band
- The removal of a portion of your stomach (either via a sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch)
- Or via gastric bypass surgery (resecting and re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch)
Bariatric surgery maybe a proven way to lose weight, but it is not without risk. To ensure you see the best and safest results I would recommend you check through the following list.
#1: Do you qualify for bariatric surgery?
There are plenty of factors that go into deciding whether you qualify for this type of surgery.
One of the main factors unsurprisingly is your BMI (Body Mass Index):
- Those with a BMI of over 40 are likely to be accepted
- A BMI between 35-40 are also highly likely to qualify
- Those with a BMI between 30-35 are less likely to qualify
If you have an existing condition, but have a lower BMI then this could also be a deciding factor.
To work out your BMI you should divide your weight in kg by your height in metres. You should then divide this answer by your height once more.
There are also a number of BMI calculators online, in fact there is one on this very website.
#2: Do you understand the different types of surgery?
While all of the different types of surgery will help you to lose weight, each method is slightly different and some may not even be permanent.
Lets look at the different types of bariatric surgery:
A gastric band or balloon
While this is less common nowadays there are still some who opt for this type of surgery.
It involves implanting a balloon or using a band to cut the size of your stomach, unfortunately this is not a long-term solution as when the band or balloon is removed the patient will likely regain weight.
That is unless of course they were able to change their eating habits during this time.
A sleeve gastronomy
This is one of the most popular types of bariatric surgery and involves the removal of 80% of your stomach.
Unsurprisingly your appetite will be reduced and weight loss will occur.
A gastric bypass
This type of surgery involves the bisecting of your stomach into two sections, with the smaller sections linked together your ability to consume large amounts of food will be reduced.
#3: Which option do you choose?
This is up to you, but for those who are obese with a BMI of over 40 then it is usually recommended that a gastric bypass is best.
The sleeve gastronomy option is best for those at a slightly lower BMI (between 35 and 40) and is the one chosen by 70% of all patients.
#4: Is bariatric surgery safe?
While all surgeries are not without risk, it is considered to be one of the safest medical procedures.
If you are obese then the benefits gained will surely be worth the risk of surgery.
#5: Are you comfortable with your surgeon?
If you have decided to undergo bariatric surgery then the final thing you need to be happy with is your surgeon, after-all this is the person who will perform the surgery.
First and most importantly they should be qualified and have the experience and expertise needed for this type of surgery.
You maybe tempted by a low-cost option abroad, but this may not be the best approach.
Your surgeon should be able to explain everything to you so that you are comfortable to go ahead with your surgery. If you are not comfortable remember you don’t have top go ahead.