For some people battling obesity, surgery can be the best solution.
Obesity is a growing medical concern in the United States. For some people who are severely obese, weight-loss surgery provides a way for them to lose weight.
Who Is a Candidate?
Also called bariatric surgery, weight-loss surgery is meant for people who:
- Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more or have a BMI of 35 or more and also have one or more health conditions related to their obesity, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
The U.S. government has also approved one form of bariatric surgery, a gastric bypass, for people with a BMI of 30 or more and a health condition associated with obesity.
People who fit the guidelines above need to consider several other things before deciding to pursue bariatric surgery. They should:
- Be committed to losing weight to improve their health
- Believe they can’t lose and keep off weight using other methods
- Be prepared for changes in their lifestyle, which can include:
- No longer eating large meals
- Having to chew all foods thoroughly
- Giving up certain foods they once enjoyed
- Committing to regular physical activity
- Having regular medical checkups
- Taking extra vitamins and minerals
- Recognize the risks of surgery and that the surgery does not guarantee weight loss
- Realize they may regain weight they do lose
Types of Bariatric Surgery
Depending on the patient, a surgeon might recommend one of several types of bariatric surgery:
- Adjustable gastric band
- Gastric bypass
- Vertical sleeve gastrectomy
- Duodenal switch
Laproscopic surgery, using small incisions to operate, is most often used today, but in some cases patients might need to undergo open surgery, which results in longer hospital stays and slower recovery times.
As Sparks Regional Medical Center, our surgical staff routinely helps people struggling with obesity and related health issues. Bariatric surgery at Sparks goes beyond the operating room, as we also offer nutrition and fitness education to give patients the tools they need to maintain long-term weight loss. Check with your doctor if this surgery is right for you. For help scheduling an appointment with one of our doctors, call (479) 709-DOCS (3627) or (877) 709-DOCS.