Obesity is one of the reasons individuals leave their countries in search of better places for weight loss surgery. Even though this seems amusing, the fact remains that some countries scare people away. For instance, a morbidly-obese individual will not be at home in a clinic that offers below-the-par medical services.
Recently, there are questions on the safest form of weight loss surgery. Developments in technology brought about medical angles to getting rid of extra kilos of flesh. At the last count, over six (6) bariatric surgeries are in existence. Out of this lot, four (4) are commonly in use. Each of these procedures offers reduced mortality rates and faster weight loss goals. However, patients prefer “the safest”. It is important to note here that none of these procedures is safer than the other. If safety is to be paramount, then the patient has to be held accountable. The success of each weight loss surgery depends on the patients’ commitment. To this end, you can only be safe during and after the procedure if you met some conditions. We’ll be looking at some factors that trigger the success of bariatric surgeries. Find out the part you’re to play and other aspects you have to note before scheduling a weight loss surgery.
The Role of the Patient
First, it is worth noting that there are several safe and effective methods for a bariatric surgery. There is no specific procedure that is safe than the other. The first step to the success of a weight loss surgery has to come from the patient. The patient plays vital roles that can positively influence the outcome of the procedure. Before that, the surgeon has to take into account some facts about you. However, the surgeon’s assessment of your Medical History and Past Records/Attempts at weight loss is exclusively for an NHS-funded procedure. A private clinic or surgeon does not take interest in these options before booking you for the procedure. In this section, the focus will be on the patient’s factors that will facilitate the safety of the procedure.
- Body Mass Index
Before getting a booking for bariatric surgery, the body mass index (BMI) of the patient will be taken into account. The range differs by clinics. For Weight Loss Riga, a patient qualifies for the procedure when the BMI is 30 and above (for gastric sleeve) or 35 and above (for gastric bypass and mini gastric bypass).
Once you make the decision to have the procedure, you submit yourself for checks. The first assessment will be your BMI. The range differs from clinics. Always find out the BMI requirements before undergoing the procedure. The purpose of ascertaining this is to suggest the best weight loss surgery. For instance, a patient with a BMI of 30 is not a good candidate for Duodenal Switch but can qualify for some other procedure.
- Weight Loss Goal
You were literally “fed up” with your obese body before settling for a surgical procedure. Also, you must have given thoughts to the weight you expect to have after the procedure. To this end, the safety of the chosen bariatric surgery relies on your long-term weight loss goal. If you wish to lose those kilos of flesh in two (2) months, it is the duty of the surgeon to recommend the best weight loss surgery. The critical role of weight loss goals is not under speculation. Once the weight goal you expect is known, choosing the right procedure will be easier.
- Medical History
If you’re undergoing the procedure in a private clinic or funding it yourself, you don’t necessarily need to present your medical history. This is typical for an NHS-funded surgical operation. A patient from an obese family needs counseling on the right procedure to take. Also, if you have obesity-related diseases like apnea, Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, the surgeon can recommend a “faster” weight loss surgery. Also, note that Type 2 diabetes can bring about reduction in your BMI requirements. For instance, if you’re having your procedure at Weight Loss Riga and you have Type 2 diabetes, we lower our BMI requirements for gastric bypass from 35+ to 30.
- Past Records
Before you walk into a clinic to demand a surgical operation for your obesity, you must have tried out some other avenues. For instance, you could have taken to regular exercises and healthy dieting. Also, attempts could have been made at a weight loss surgery. The surgeon will want to know your history of weight loss before making any suggestions. You should however note that this is not a must-have. Not having records of weight loss comments is not a brick wall to your undergoing a bariatric surgery.
The Surgery Type Influences Safety
Bariatric surgeries help morbidly-obese individuals do away with the excess kilos of flesh in their body. When looking for the safest form of weight loss surgery, it is important to pay attention to the type of procedure your surgery falls under. At the moment, there are three (3) main types but two (2) are commonly in use. They also feature in the overall safety of any procedure you settle for.
- Restrictive: With a restrictive bariatric surgery, the size of the stomach is shrunk. The idea is to limit the amount of food intake. In extension, the number of calorie intake will also be cut down. Apart from keeping down calorie intake, the restrictive surgery also slows down digestion. The stomach which hitherto holds three (3) pints of food will struggle to retain 3 ounces after the procedure. The proponents of the restrictive surgery opine that “the smaller the stomach; the less meal a patient consumes”. When food intake is low, the body mass also reduces. Some bariatric surgeries under this category are the gastric sleeve and gastric band.
- Restrictive/Malabsorptive: In contrast to the restrictive surgery, the combination of malabsorptive and restrictive surgeries removes (or bypasses) a part of the stomach and also reduces food intake. The bypass limits calorie intake. This procedure is not in much use as the restrictive because of the risks. So for patients that are looking for the safer of these surgeries, they’re likely to go along with the restrictive surgery. The gastric bypass, Duodenal Switch, and mini gastric bypass are some procedures that this surgery covers..
Bariatric Surgeries – A Mountain to Surmount
As patients embark on medical tourism to clinics like Weight Loss Riga, they should have in mind that all bariatric surgeries are not “safe”. Aside from the patient’s personal details that could negate the success of the procedure, the surgical operation is another mountain to surmount.
The risk factors for each of these procedures are influenced by the type of surgery (restrictive or otherwise). On the other hand, the patient’s health condition(s) and weight loss goal will also contribute to the safety of the procedure. We’ll be looking at some of the weight loss surgeries; their upsides and the risks they pose.
1. Gastric Banding
Many patients prefer to go along with “less-stressful” surgeries. If you’re a fan of restrictive surgeries, gastric banding is a good pick. Also known as “adjustable gastric band” or “lap-band” is a restrictive weight loss surgery that does not do away with the stomach. Instead, an inflatable band is squeezed into the stomach. The device partitions the stomach without dividing it.
The inflatable silicon tube is divided into two. The first part creates a top touch that only takes a small amount of food. Below it, another port is placed under the skin of the abdomen. A tube connects the port to the band. If you’re ready to go through the knife, have in mind that the gastric banding procedure restricts the amount of food intake and make you full sooner.
The gastric banding weight loss procedure is not very safe. We clearly recommend against it. If you’re looking at having the gastric banding at Weight Loss Riga, take time to go through our reasons for blacklisting the procedure. The procedure has a lot of complications such as acid reflux, indigestion, food intolerance and blood clots. You should also consider the risks of band malfunctions, gallstones, bowel obstruction and vitamin deficiency. These reasons and many more are why we at Weight Loss Riga oppose the gastric band procedure. For an alternative, you can choose from other lower risk procedures such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve.
- The Bad Sides
Patients are of the opinion that the procedure has less weight loss effect. Hence, it is not fast like gastric bypass. Also, the band could slip out of place or start leaking from the perforated hole. In the event of a complication, the patient’s life is at greater risk. Finally, there is the tendency of regaining lost weight after a few years.
2. Gastric Bypass
This is one of the fastest and “safest” weight loss surgeries. Gastric bypass “cuts off’ the intestine and duodenum from some parts of the stomach. The stomach is cut across two segments with the upper part connecting to the small intestine. The procedure combines the malabsorptive and restrictive techniques. The new shortcut skips the digestive tract; thereby making the body to absorb fewer calories. The upper section links to the small intestine while the remaining part of the stomach lies unused. Gastric bypass is fast and safe but is not free of complications.
There is a high rate of “dumping syndrome” which leads to faster digestion of food. Also, patients are at risk of losing nutrients. For instance, the limited supply of iron and calcium could lead to anemia and osteoporosis.
3. Vagal Blockade
This is not a new kid on the block of bariatric surgeries. However, it is not popular like other well-known procedures. Vagal Blockade specifies that a medical device gets implanted under the rib cage. The function is to send out electrical impulses to the vagus nerve. The brain receives signals that the stomach is full. An external remote control controls the device.
There are few complications in the procedure. Yet, infections can be gotten at the implantation stage. Also, the device uses batteries. When it gets drained, the doctor has to reprogram it to continue working. Other side effects include belching, nausea, and vomiting.
4. Gastric Balloon
In this procedure, a deflated balloon is placed in the stomach. The balloon passes through the mouth and on getting to the stomach; a saline solution fills it up. The procedure is not suitable for individuals that have had weight loss surgeries or suffering from liver failure. Patients typically lose 10% of the body after the procedure.
Gastric Balloon has allegedly caused deaths resulting from balloon over-inflation, perforation of the stomach and intestinal obstruction.
5. Gastric Sleeve
Sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve) is popular among weight loss surgery patients. About 75% of the stomach is removed and a banana-like (narrow tube/sleeve) gets connected to the intestines. The appetite-regulating hormone is not in much use and sometimes removed entirely. Gastric sleeve reduces pangs of hunger and limits food intake. The procedure does not interfere with the absorption of nutrients and calories.
- What You Won’t Like
Some patients often undergo another weight loss surgery after the first. If you have plans to do so, gastric sleeve is not a good option. The procedure is irreversible. Also, blood could clot around the spot of the procedure or the sleeve gets leaking.
6. Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
The procedure is not in much use but toes the same line as gastric bypass. The procedure involves two procedures. The first is the duodenal switch. About 70% of the stomach is removed. However, the duodenum (the smaller part of the intestine) and the valve that channels food to the small intestine are not touched. After this, the middle section of the intestines is called and the last part is attached to the duodenum. That is the concept of “duodenal switch”.
The second part is the “biliopancreatic diversion”. The separated section of the intestines is reattached to the end of the intestine. From this channel, pancreatic digestive juices and bile get access to the intestine. The procedure does not have many occurrences of common gastric bypass side effects such as dumping syndrome or malnutrition.
- The Bad Sides
Patients are at risk of a hernia. Also, there is less supply of nutrients and calories. Dumping syndrome also comes into the picture but not as common with gastric bypass.
Weight Loss Surgery is Safe
The fear of going through the knife keeps obese individuals away from bariatric surgeries. Also, risks of complications and safety of each procedure dissuade patients from taking the “bold step”. In spite of these, you can still get the desired weight loss surgery without risking as much as a strand of hair.
There is no safe bariatric surgery out there. All are at par. Also, they have the same aim – reducing the body mass index (BMI) and helping patients with long-term weight loss goals. Weight Loss Riga offers professional weight loss surgical operations under safe environments. It is important you take the above factors into consideration before making the decision of going through the knife.