We live in a period characterized by instant gratification, whether it be through technology or fast food. Although strides in technology have helped us advance, fast food has held many of us back. In the United States alone, obesity rates top 40% as of 2020. These stats mean that 40% of Americans have too much body fat than what they should have at their current weight. An abundance of weight leads many to the gym and dieting; however, there is always a fantastic surgical option. Going through surgery may scare many to think about, but it’s essential to understand that procedures like liposuction and bariatric surgery have come a long way. More importantly, sometimes, methods like this are needed.
What many of us have heard about is liposuction. This procedure is intended to remove any existing fat through a cannula where the fat cells under the skin are sucked out never to grow back. Nevertheless, the fat cells left behind can still expand with weight gain, so this procedure will not address the issue of being overweight. Instead, this surgery is recommended for those who are not struggling with obesity, but rather have stubborn pockets of fat.
Bariatric surgery involves making changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight and is meant for overweight patients. Most can recognize the bariatric surgery version called gastric bypass, but there is more than one option. Gastric bypass surgery makes your stomach smaller and allows food to bypass, hence the name. This whole procedure is done by creating a pouch at the top of the stomach, which you can refer to as the small stomach. This tiny stomach is connected directly to your small intestine’s middle portion, which curves your hunger because you feel full sooner.
LAP-BAND surgery also reduces the capacity of the stomach. The LAP-BAND is literally a band that is fastened around the stomach, which leaves you with less space for less food. The final option is the gastric sleeve, and similarly to gastric bypass, it involves resectioning a portion of the stomach that produces grehlin. Grehlin is a hormone that is a significant contributor to the feeling of hunger. Through these procedures, you will feel fuller faster, helping you not overeat, something that many of us are guilty of.
In general bariatric surgery is the best option if your body mass index is 40 or higher; unfortunately, this means that you suffer from obesity. This index also means that liposuction will not be your best option; however, you do need to meet specific medical guidelines to qualify for a bariatric procedure. With an extensive screening process, you must also be willing to make permanent changes to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Risks at all times should be considered for any surgery. Short term risks with bariatric surgery can include infection, blood clots, breathing problems, or leaks in your gastrointestinal system. Having bariatric surgery also comes with long term risks, including bowel obstruction, dumping syndrome, hernias, acid reflux, or ulcers. The long term possible risks vary on which procedure you choose, so be sure to talk to your doctor before deciding on which surgery about what to look out for.
After the treatment, you won’t be allowed to eat for one to two days to allow your stomach and digestive system to recuperate. Bariatric surgeries can provide long-term weight loss, and the amount you lose depends on the changes in your lifestyle habits. There is also a bonus of possibly improving or resolving conditions that can come with being overweight such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and more!
Liposuction can give you instant gratification, but it is not intended to treat patients who suffer from obesity. Bariatric surgery is there to help you lose weight and keep it off. Talk to your surgeon and find out if this solution is right for you and what you are looking to achieve.