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Facts On Weight Reduction Surgery

By Kathy Kaufman

Weight reduction surgery is stepwise procedure that is done to correct obesity in persons that are struggling with excess weight. It is also termed bariatric surgery. During the procedure, it is often necessary to reduce the size of the stomach as well through a number of techniques. This may be done either by use of sleeve gastrectomy or by use of a special gastric band. The former cuts off some portion whereas the latter only shrinks the volume. The bariatric procedure greatly benefits people struggling with conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

The bariatric procedure is recommended for persons that have a minimum BMI of 40. It is also helpful in persons that have medical conditions that are exacerbated by excess weight. It is important to emphasize that this option should only be considered when all the conservative options have failed.

Pros and cons of such a procedure should be taken into account before the procedure is done. Certain post-operative complications such as gall bladder disease and malabsorption may arise. Psychiatric screening should also be done as there is possibility of patients falling in to depression after the operation.

Surgical procedures are grouped in to three main categories. These are malabsorptive, restrictive or mixed. The most commonly performed is the malabsorptive procedure. Malabsorptive operations aim at creating a physiological state of malabsorption. Biliopancreatic diversion combined with duodenal switch (BDS/DS) is one such undertaking. A section of the stomach is resected, creating a smaller pouch which is then directly connected to the ileum, bypassing the duodenum and jejunum. The malabsorption that results can be severe enough to cause serious deficiency diseases such as osteoporosis and anemia unless vitamins and mineral supplements are administered.

The restrictive procedure is one that minimizes eating by restricting the stomach volume. Persons that have undergone this type often get satisfied earlier than normal. Vertical banded gastroplasty is one of the procedures that can be used here. It involves the permanent placement of staples on the stomach in a manner that results in the creation of a smaller pouch. It is the safest.

In sleeve gastrectomy, the stomach is reduced to 85% its original size. A huge portion of the stomach following the greater curvature is removed. This makes the stomach look more like a tube or shaped like a banana. It is a permanent procedure done under laparoscopy. Although the volume of the stomach is reduced, it still works normally and the patient can be able to take in small amounts of food at a time.

The diet of the patient after surgery becomes restricted to liquid foods such as broth, fruit juice and gelatin desserts that are sugar free. This kind of diet is maintained until the alimentary canal recovers from the surgery. The next diet is composed of blended substances which are sugar free, consisting of foods such as cream soup, skimmed milk, protein drinks among others.

As with any surgical procedure, there are a number of side effects associated with weight reduction surgery. Persons that have had this operation frequently have difficulties absorbing calcium. As a result, they often get various forms of metabolic bone disease of which osteopenia and secondary hyperparathyroidism are clinical features. The fact that loss of weight has occurred suddenly predisposes these individuals to gall stone formation. Other complications include reduced absorption of essential nutrients such as folate, iron, vitamin B12 and thiamine.

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