Bariatric Surgical Treatment for Obesity: What You Should Know

Diet and exercise are often the things people do to combat and control weight gain. Extreme forms of these two methods are used for people who suffer from excessive weight such as obesity. The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2015, an estimated 700 million people will be obese based on the current lifestyle that they have.

Before, a majority of the people suffering from obesity come from first world countries. The standard of living and the level of technology available at their disposal have contributed to the continuous weight gain of the population. Now, there is significant statistics that suggests the increasing number of obese people coming from third world countries. Obesity affects everyone regardless of age, culture, sex and status in life.

However, treatment varies according to these same factors. For people who have more resources, bariatric surgery is an option. This is a procedure which aims at reducing the size of the stomach in order to control weight gain. It is an option for those who, after intensive dieting and exercise, fail to achieve their desired weight.

Not all obese or overweight people are candidates for the procedure. Only those diagnosed with morbid and sever cases of obesity are recommended for the surgical treatment. A patient is considered to have a morbid case of obesity when he or she has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 40kg/m2 to 49.9kg/m2. For severe cases, the BMI is higher. The BMI is the percentage of body fat that the person has. The higher the BMI ratio is, the more severe the case of obesity that one has.

Bariatric surgery involves different sets of procedures but all are aimed at helping the candidate address excessive weight gain and control it once the desired weight is achieved. There are three categories of this procedure. These are the predominantly malabsorptive, predominantly restrictive, and the combination of both.

Under the first category, the idea is to create malabsorption wherein the body is restricted from absorbing nutrients and other food that contribute to overall weight gain. Most of the procedures under this category are not anymore performed of have been altered because of the recorded cases of malnutrition that is experienced by the patient.

The second category, predominantly restrictive, is basically reducing the volume of food intake that the patient should and can tolerate. The size of the stomach is reduced, thus, decreasing the amount or volume of food that one can ingest and digest. This is unlike the situation under the malabsorptive procedure wherein the amount of food is not restricted.

The third category is a combination of the techniques of both malabsorptive and restrictive procedures. Gastric bypass surgery is an example as well as Sleeve Gastrectomy with Duodenal Switch. An Implantable gastric simulation is also under this category but its effectiveness at solving obesity or excessive weight gain is still in question.

Aside from the availability of resources, obesity sufferers who are at high risk of having aggravated conditions of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are advised to undergo bariatric surgery. This is to reduce their chances of complications which can lead to death. But this is not to say that the surgical procedure only has positive effects.

Complications can also arise as a result of undergoing bariatric surgery. Long term side effects are also possible since there is drastic change done on the physiology of the patient. Reoepration, malabsorption and gallbladder diseases are just some of the post bariatric surgery procedures that may be performed later. Just as there are physical side effects, there are also emotional and psychological consequences to the procedure. Even when the patient underwent psychiatric and psychological screening prior to bariatric surgery, he or she can still feel severe depression.

For those people suffering from obesity but are cash-strapped or have no access to the procedure, good old diet and exercise are the less inexpensive and tested treatments. Although diet and exercise are the conventional forms, they can be altered to fit the physical and emotional condition of the patient. The consumption of less energy-dense food that are high in fat and sugar levels is discouraged for people with obesity. Instead, high intake of fiber-rich food is given.

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