Obesity is loosely defined as being 100 pounds over ideal body weight or body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater – or between 35 – 40 with those who have co-morbid factors. Co-morbid factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and sleep apnea.
Body mass index is defined as the individual's body weight divided by the square of their height.
Over the past decade, there have been several techniques of weight loss surgery, most common of which are gastric bypass and gastric banding (Lap Band or Realize Band). The latest procedure of weight loss surgery is called gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy. During gastric bypass surgery, a portion of stomach is excised in order to create a smaller stomach pouch; the reduced size stomach is then attached to the small intestine.
In the gastric banding procedure, a small adjustable silicone band is inserted through a thumb size incision and via an operative camera, around the stomach which creates a reduced size stomach. A gastric sleeve procedure is performed by excising a portion of stomach and reducing and reshaping the stomach into a banana shape pouch.
The result of all procedures is a smaller stomach. A smaller stomach will not only restrict the food intake, but also it will send signal to brain that the stomach is full and no more food is needed.
The advantage of gastric bypass is there will be a significant amount of weight loss achieved in a short period of time. The disadvantages of gastric bypass include a more invasive surgery, requiring several days of hospital stay, and a higher risk of mal-absorption and vitamin deficiency. The advantages of gastric banding include a minimally invasive procedure, shorter hospital stay and faster recovery period, and ability to adjust the band as needed by the surgeon.
The right procedure is the one that is recommended by your bariatric surgeon. The procedures are also covered by health insurance if the patient's BMI is over 35.
About a year after weight loss surgery, the patient will be able to remove up to 30 pounds of excess skin and fat. The common procedures after weight loss surgery include a thigh lift, tummy tuck (panniculectomy), body lift, a breast lift, breast reduction and an arm lift (brachioplasty).
A weight loss procedure will not only improve ones self image and self esteem, but also improves one's lift style, quality of life and life span.