Obesity is no longer a marginalized problem as more and more people suffer from this disease. The constant rise in the number of people suffering from obesity is subsequently causing a rise in patients who are suffering from diabetes, heart disease (high blood pressure or high cholesterol), strokes and patients with increased risk to develop cancer, joint pain and lung disease.
The criteria for overweight is based on your personal BMI (body mass index) thus being individual. In general, a person with a BMI of 35 to 39.9 is considered obese and a person with a BMI of 40 and above is considered to be “extremely obese". If one reaches these levels, it is important they start a weight loss program that will benefit them as a healthy weight loss diet can contribute to our general health and feeling.
When a patient's BMI is 40 and above or that patient has a life-threatening condition related to their weight, they have reached a stage where a doctor will consider a weight lose surgical procedure. However, it should be known that a doctor will consider performing weight lose surgery when the patient hasn't succeeded losing weight after trying all other methods, diets and treatments.
One surgical option for weight loss is the Gastric Bypass operation. This procedure is considered a major surgery, in which the surgeon will create a bypass for part of the intestine which will make the patient feel full quicker than they normally would which leads to the patient reducing the amount of food they consume. The most common type of gastric bypass surgery is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, in which the stomach is made smaller by being stapled to create a small pouch and passage for food to go around the upper portion of the small intestine. Once the surgery is done, you will also be required to make changes in your lifestyle. The surgery is not enough for losing weight as the success of the surgery depends on the patient's life style changes.
The second main surgical option is the Gastric Banding with the usage of a Lap-Band. LAP-BAND® is the trademark for the FDA approved adjustable gastric banding device. This surgery is also performed in order to make the stomach smaller and limit the amount of food the stomach can hold. As opposed to the gastric bypass surgery, this operation is done using the laparoscopic technique. Through several small incisions, the surgeon will insert a silicone ring (the Lap-Band) and place it around the stomach. Once in place, the surgeon will fill it with saline thus tightening the ring and making the stomach smaller and tougher for the food to move through the ring, diminishing your desire to eat.
Another feature of this procedure is the additional ability to perform required adjustments post-surgery to maximize the patient's weight loss. During the operation a tube is connected from the band to a small access port located under the patient's skin. This will allow the surgeon to add or remove saline to the lap-band according to the patient's weight loss and feeling.
When approaching the option of weight loss surgery, It is very important to realize that losing the weight is just as important as maintaining it after the massive loss. Losing the weight and then gaining it right back is an unwanted and very unhealthy situation.