Bariatric surgery is a major topic for discussion these days. It seems you can’t turn a radio on without hearing advertisements for Lap-Band. Or hear mention in the elevator of a Duodenal Switch or Vertical Banded Gastroplasty. With obesity at an all time high bariatric surgery is relied upon to reduce mortality rates with the mordidly obese.
People suffering with obesity are getting excellent results with bariatric surgery. Mortality rates have significantly reduced. People are recovering from diabetes after surgery. Improving cardiovascular health and enjoying their lives. There’s no more fear of being buried in a piano case. The formerly obese are learning how to eat well, exercise and to support their increased weight loss post bariatric surgery.
Bariatric Surgery encompasses a variety of surgical procedures to help manage food intake and obesity. Morbidly obese individuals weighing more than 100 pounds above ideal body weight or with a body mass index of 40 or higher are excellent candidates for bariatric surgery. However, before a consideration of any surgery, you’ll want to get unbiased, medical-fact based information.
Three main categories of bariatric surgery are:
- Restrictive Malabsorptive
Restrictive Bariatric Surgery works by reducing the size of the stomach with a device. Implanting a medical device such as a vertical band or horizontal band or using staples to reduce and resize the stomach (Sleeve Gastrectomy) will restrict food intake capacity and desire. It is automatic. A sensation of “fullness” is quickly reached after restrictive bariatric surgery.
Combined Restrictive is a restrictive surgery such as stapling or banding in conjunction with a malabsorptive surgery such as gastric bypass. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a combined surgery of stomach stapling with a gastric bypass and is considered the gold standard in bariatric surgery. Hundreds of thousands of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgeries are performed yearly.
Malabsorptive surgery is rare owing to post operative malnourishment issues. Malabsorptive surgeries create an environment that “absorbs” less – including essentials like minerals. This type of bariatric surgery is harder to monitor post operatively. Bileopancreatic Diversion (BPD) is rarely performed. However, a Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS) however as a combination is popular.
Bariatric Surgeries range in price from $20,000 to $50,000 and average around $25,000. Some surgeries are reversible. Some are not. Bariatric surgeons specialize in these procedures. Higher volume of surgeries yearly equals a more experienced the surgeon. Seek only the most experienced bariatric surgeon for your procedure. Your medical team will include a bariatric surgeon, behavioral specialist and nutritional specialist. Bariatric surgery is a life altering procedure. It requires careful research and preparation in advance and close monitoring from your medical support post operatively. So, is bariatric surgery the right choice for you?