It’s the surgeon who cuts out the calories, not you, in a bariatric surgery – a procedure through which your stomach is downsized!
What is Bariatic Surgery?
Bariatic Surgery or weight loss surgery includes a variety of procedures performed on people suffering from obesity. The size of the stomach is reduced through one of the following techniques:
- With a gastric band (tying a band around the stomach to reduce its volume temporarily)
- By removing a portion of the stomach
- By gastric bypass surgery (the route of food passing through small intestine is changed)
Studies have shown that the procedures cause significant long-term loss of weight, recovery from diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular functions, and a mortality reduction. However, some doctors believe there is no survival benefit associated with bariatric surgery among older, severely obese people as compared to younger patients.
Who is a candidate for undergoing bariatic procedure?
The following people may require a bariatic surgery:
a) Obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, or more than 100 pounds overweight.
b) Obese people with BMI ≥35 and at least one or more obesity-related health risks such as type II diabetes (T2DM), hypertension, sleep apnea and other respiratory disorders, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart disease.
But some recent studies suggest that anyone above the BMI of 30 can undergo a bariatric procedure. One must consult a doctor before taking any decision.
What are the types of Bariatric procedures?
There are two basic types of bariatric procedures:
1) Restrictive surgeries: Restrictive surgeries physically restrict the size of the stomach and slow down digestion of food.
2) Malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries. Malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries are more invasive surgeries that, in addition to restricting the size of the stomach, physically remove parts of the digestive tract, interfering with absorption of calories.
Thus, the various bariatric surgeries that can be performed are:
- Gastric Sleeve – makes the patient feel less hungry & full sooner while eating
- Gastric Bypass – makes the patient feel full sooner while eating & absorb fewer minerals
- Duodenal Switch – makes the patient feel less hungry & full sooner while eating, absorb fewer calories and minerals
- LAP-BAND – makes the patient feel full sooner while eating
- Gastric Balloon – makes the patient temporarily feel full sooner while eating as the balloon removed after 6 months
- vBloc Therapy – the patient feels full between meals & less hungry while eating
- Aspire Assist – a portion of the stomach’s contents is drained after eating
What happens after the surgery?
Immediately following a bariatric surgery, the patient is restricted to a clear liquid diet, which includes foods such as clear broth, diluted fruit juices and sugar-free drinks until the gastrointestinal tract has recovered somewhat from the surgery. This is followed by a blended or pureed sugar-free diet consisting of high protein, liquid or soft foods such as protein shakes, soft meats, and dairy products for at least two weeks. Carbohydrate-rich foods are usually avoided during the initial weight loss period.
Overeating is curbed after surgery because exceeding the capacity of the stomach causes nausea and vomiting. Subsequent diet restrictions depend on the type of surgery. There is a possibility that the patient may need to take a daily multivitamin pill for life in order to compensate for reduced absorption of essential nutrients.
It is very common, within the first month post-surgery, for a patient to undergo dehydration. Patients have difficulty drinking the appropriate amount of fluids. In order to prevent fluid volume depletion and dehydration, a minimum of 1.4-1.9 litres per day should be consumed.