Weight Loss Surgery Procedures

There are multiple types of surgeries designed to lose weight. These operations are not cosmetic procedures. They are designed to control the medical problems that are caused by morbid obesity.

To understand how surgery works, it is necessary to review some of the basic functions of the digestive tract. The esophagus moves food from the mouth to the stomach. The stomach serves as a container for the food. It also starts the digestive process by mixing and churning the meal and adding acid and enzymes to facilitate digestion. The churned food passes into the intestine for further mixing with digestive enzymes and bile. Also there is absorption of nutrients throughout the intestine. In the first portion of the intestine, called the duodenum, calcium and iron are absorbed. This area also is responsible for the absorption of a significant amount of vitamin B12 in the diet.

Do I Qualify for Bariatric Surgery?

If your BMI is 40 or greater, you may qualify for surgery. If your BMI is 35 to 40, you may qualify for surgery if you suffer from one or more of the following medical problems: Type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension, sleep apnea or other serious cardiac or pulmonary problems related to obesity.

Surgery is an option when other medical attempts at weight loss have failed. Thus bariatric surgery is an acceptable alternative when more conservative treatment has failed. It is very important to have detailed documentation of long-term diagnosis of morbid obesity and of attempts at weight loss by non-surgical means.

Finally, you have to be ready to make a life-long commitment to change your lifestyle.  You have to alter your eating habits, develop a routine exercise regimen, and commit to life-long medical follow-up. The final determination to proceed with surgery has to be made after a detailed evaluation by your surgeon.

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

The main goal of the surgery is to prevent the devastating health effects of severe obesity.  Lap Band patients can expect to lose, on average, about 50% of their excess weight. The average gastric bypass patient can expect to lose about 70% of the excess weight. This excess weight is the difference between your actual weight and your ideal weight.

The marked and lasting weight reduction leads to a significant improvement in quality of life. The pain of carrying a large amount of extra pounds, the embarrassment of having to ask for a seat belt extension in the airplane, the frustration of having to tell the children I can’t play or having to shop at plus size stores tend to go away following weight loss surgery.

Another benefit of surgery is a significant improvement in self-esteem.  It is well known that obesity is one of the last disorders in which discrimination is still socially accepted; therefore, the morbidly obese patient is frequently the target of discrimination at work, in their social group and in other areas of social life.

The most significant effect of bariatric surgery is an overall improvement in health.  Essentially all medical problems associated with obesity are improved or resolved in close to 90% of patients. After weight loss surgery, 90% of patients with Type II diabetes mellitus have improvement or resolution of their disease. A similar effect has been observed for high blood pressure. Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease improves or is resolved in more than 90% of patients. There are significant benefits as well for patients with asthma and obstructive sleep apnea. Heart disease, high cholesterol, joint problems, fertility issues, certain types of headaches, fatty liver all improve following successful bariatric surgery.

Gastric Bypass

This operation causes both restriction and malabsorption. On the one hand, the operation creates a small pouch of  about 1 ounce capacity. This causes a rapid and prolonged sensation of fullness. On the other, there is a bypass of the rest of the stomach and the duodenum to limit some of the absorption of nutrients. The result is a rapid and significant weight loss that occurs mainly in the first 9 to12 months after surgery.

Gastric Banding

The LAP-BAND® System is an adjustable gastric band designed to help you lose excess body weight, improve weight-related health conditions and enhance quality of life. It reduces the stomach capacity and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time.

Gastric Sleeve

Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive bariatric surgery. During this procedure, Dr. Castro creates a small, sleeve-shaped stomach. It is larger than the stomach pouch created during Roux-en-Y bypass-and is about the size of a banana.

Sleeve gastrectomy is typically considered as a treatment option for bariatric surgery patients with a BMI of 60 or higher. It is often performed as the first procedure in a two-part treatment. The second part of the treatment can be gastric bypass. Recently, however, with the success of the gastric sleeve as a standalone procedure, the second operation may not be necessary.

Almost all co-morbid conditions we improved in 6 to 12 months after sleeve gastrectomy including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea. Resolution rates are similar to those of other restrictive procedures such as gastric banding.

Risks & Side Effects

Like with any other major operation, bariatric surgery carries risks that may occur during or shortly after the procedure. Some of these can be severe and life-threatening. A thorough preoperative evaluation helps determine the risk of surgery. Furthermore, the extensive preoperative preparation we provide helps minimize this risk.

There are also long-term problems related to bariatric surgery. Nutrient deficiencies may occur if inadequate supplements are taken after gastric bypass.

Some patients may experience dumping syndrome which is a negative response to refined sugar intake following gastric bypass. Some patients may regain some or all of the weight, usually due to development of poor habits long after surgery. Most patients become very sensitive to the effects of alcohol after gastric bypass. Therefore, the risk of alcohol-related problems increases significantly after this operation. Some patients may develop depression if they are unable to adapt to a new eating pattern. The development of excess skin is almost universal in bariatric surgery patients. The degree to which this occurs varies from patient to patient. Reconstructive and plastic surgery may be necessary to remedy this problem. Having a good preoperative preparation, frequent attendance to support group meetings, paying attention to diet and exercise issues and having long-term follow-up with your surgeon will minimize these negative issues.

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New Beginnings Surgical Group

3920 W. Wheatland Road
Suite 124, Dallas, TX 75237

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