Understanding bariatric surgery
Bariatric surgery is on the rise. Obesity rates in Australia are reaching epic proportions, which in turn is increasing the number of Australians lining up for surgery. But what does bariatric surgery involve, what types of surgeries are there and is it for everyone?
Bariatric surgery is a form of weight loss surgery for the obese. It is generally recommended for those who have a high Body Mass Index (BMI) and other health problems such as heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol. It is considered for patients who have attempted other means of weight loss (such as changing diets and exercise) but have not reached any positive outcomes. Their weight may also be affecting their quality of life and emotional stability.
Bariatric surgery cannot be seen as a quick weight loss solution. In order for bariatric surgery to be successful, a patient needs to undertake other lifestyle changes to increase its chance of success including following a healthy diet and incorporating daily exercise.
Types of bariatric surgery
1. Gastric sleevingWhere the size of the stomach is reduced and converted to a sausage-shaped tube, reducing the amount of food that can fit into the stomach. This therefore helps you to eat less. This is now the most prevalent form of bariatric surgery.
2. Gastric banding Where a silicone band is placed around the top of the stomach, restricting your food intake.
3. Gastric bypassA gastric bypass involves dividing the stomach and creating a pouch connected to the small intestine, bypassing the lower stomach altogether.
Typically, patients who have undertaken any of the above surgeries will see a decrease in body weight. However, to ensure its long-term success, one must also incorporate healthy lifestyle changes and a shift in their mindset and relationship with food.