Weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) involves surgically reducing the size of your stomach so that your body absorbs less of the food you eat. Common types of bariatric surgery include laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (also called the lap band), gastric bypass, a sleeve gastrectomy, and biliopancreatic diversion. Many of these procedures are laparoscopic surgeries, also known as minimally invasive surgeries. This means that they are performed through small incisions using a laparoscope (a small, thin tube with a camera on the tip that is used to see the inside of your body). Laparoscopic surgeries lead to less pain and a quicker recovery time than more invasive surgeries. Bariatric surgery is not for everyone who is overweight or even obese. Before you can qualify for surgical weight loss, you must have health conditions that are related to your obesity. For example, you must also have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the best ways to avoid weight-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease. But what exactly is a healthy body weight?

A measurement based on your height and weight is called your body mass index, or BMI. It is considered to be a better measure of health risk than just your weight in pounds. In fact, the medical terms “overweight” and “obesity” are based on BMI values. A BMI between 25 and 30 is defined as overweight. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. The higher your BMI, the greater your risk of developing a weight-related illness. Online calculators can help you figure out your BMI. If you want to lose weight, the first thing you should do is talk to your family doctor. Your doctor will help you develop a healthy eating and exercise plan. This plan can help you lose weight, improve your fitness, and decrease the chances of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes. However, in severe cases, diet and exercise alone may not be enough to help you lose weight.

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If you have a BMI of more than 40 or serious weight-related health issues, your doctor may talk to you about whether you might be a candidate for weight-loss surgery. What is bariatric surgery? Weight-loss surgery (also called bariatric surgery) can help you lose large amounts of weight if you are obese. Weight-loss surgery is most successful when used as part of a long-term healthy lifestyle change, including diet and exercise. After surgery, weight loss is often rapid, and then it begins to slow down over the next two years. Weight loss can be maintained over many years after surgery. What are the different types of weight-loss surgery? There are several different types of weight-loss surgery. Surgery will reduce the amount of food you are able to eat, reduce the amount of food your body is able to absorb, or both. One weight-loss surgery that works by restricting the amount of food you can eat is called laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (also called the lap band).

In this surgery, your doctor will make several small incisions in your abdomen (lower belly). In one incision, a laparoscope is inserted into the incision. Your doctor will place a band, like a belt, around your stomach, separating it into two pouches. There is a small passage between the two pouches. The food that you eat slowly passes through the narrow passage on the way to the intestine. A tube is attached to the band, and at the end of the tube is a port, or an access point, that is left just below the skin. This access point allows your doctor to adjust the tightness of the band by injecting saline (saltwater) into the tube. Making the band tighter will make the passageway smaller, which makes the upper pouch fill faster. This will make you feel full faster. Other common weight-loss surgeries work by reducing the amount of food your body can absorb. Gastric bypass surgery. During this surgery, your doctor will make a small pouch at the top of your stomach.

This reduces the amount of food you can eat before you feel full. The connection to your small intestine is then moved from the bottom of the stomach to the new pouch. When you eat, the food that you swallow goes into the new pouch and then into the small intestine, “bypassing” your stomach and the upper part of your small intestine, where absorption usually takes place. Sleeve gastrectomy. This procedure permanently reduces the size of your stomach. The “sleeve,” or tube-like structure, that’s left will be about 15% of the original size of your stomach. It is performed laparoscopically. Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. During this surgery, your doctor will remove most of your stomach. This type of surgery is rarely used because of possible side effects, which include being unable to absorb all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. If you do have this type of surgery, your doctor will closely monitor your progress to make sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs. If you are interested in weight-loss surgery, to talk to your doctor.

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