Considering Weight-Loss Surgery?
Know Your Options
By Mimi Greenwood Knight
Hallie Rae couldn't remember the last time she felt good. "My feet, back, and knees hurt all the time," she said. "I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and gout. I was pre-diabetic, had no energy, and zero sex drive." Cover the years, Hallie Rae had tried every diet imaginable, often losing weight then gaining it back and then some. At age 40, she was 100 pounds overweight, taking a dozen medications, and feeling awful.
Two years ago, just after her 40th birthday, Hallie Rae underwent gastric bypass surgery. "I've lost a total of 92 pounds," she said. "My blood pressure is back to normal. I'm sleeping great. My cholesterol is down. I have boundless energy. My feet, knees, and back don't hurt, and my libido returned. I honestly wake up each day and can't wait to live life."
Like Hallie Rae, 250,000 men and women undergo weight-loss surgery each year. Most of them not only lose their excess weight but experience:
Improved cardiovascular health
Relief from depression
Remission for type 2 diabetes
Elimination of obstructive sleep apnea
Relief from joint pain
Enhanced relationships and lifestyles
Improved cholesterol levels
Alleviation of metabolic syndrome, pregnancy complication, gallbladder disease, and more.
Bariatric Surgery Options
Gastric bypass divides the stomach into two parts --- the upper portion of the stomach and the lower portion is the remnant. A surgeon connects the small intestine to this newly created stomach pouch, forcing you to eat smaller meals. Most patients lose significant weight when surgery is combined with long term lifestyles changes.
Sleeve Gastrectomy removes about 80% of the stomach, reducing the amount of food a person is able to eat. Reduced hormone production cal also help you feel fuller faster and decrease some food cravings. In addition, it can help reduce many weight-loss challenges and comorbidities.
Adjustable Gastric Band
This procedure wraps a band around the upper portion of the stomach, shrinking the usable part of the stomach. A doctor tightens the band over time, so the effect is more gradual than traditional surgeries that minimize the stomach. The adjustable gastric band is a reversible procedure and typically offers the lowest rate of early complications.
Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch Gastric Bypass
Usually called duodenal switch surgery, this procedure has two components. First, a surgeon creates a smaller stomach, similar to the procedure used for sleeve gastrectomy. Then the surgeon removes a portion of the small intestine, reducing the amount of food you can absorb. Patients typically lose more weight with the duodenal switch than they do with other types of bariatric surgery, offering the best chance of improving weight related complication such as type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea.
Schedule an appointment with one of the outstanding bariatric surgeons in your area to find out if you're a good candidate for one of these procedures and which might work best for you.