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I’ve tried EVERYTHING – how can I lose weight?

Are you one of those people who have been dieting for years, exercising all the time, and finding that you are not achieving any – or little weight loss?  Have you been going from one crash diet to another and finding that you are getting no or little weight loss? Do you find that you have no other health issues, and cannot explain why, then surgery may be your last, and best, resort!

So what surgeries are available? The most common types of surgery include Gastric Sleeve surgery and Gastric Bypass Surgery. They both have been found to help overweight people lose weight in the short and long terms and, along with lifestyle changes and exercise, can be a way to improve lifestyle. So, what do these surgeries (known collectively as bariatric surgery) entail?

Gastric Sleeve surgery is the removal of a large part of the stomach. It is a keyhole surgery performed under general anaesthetic where a surgeon uses a stapling device to create a ‘sleeve’ or small tube in the stomach, then removes the rest of the stomach. After this surgery is performed the stomach is only able to hold about a tenth of what it did before.

Gastric Bypass Surgery is the other type of weight-loss surgery.  It makes surgical changes to your stomach and digestive systems.  This can create quite fast weight loss, at least to start with.

Another alternative is the Gastric Balloon procedure which involves placing a silicone balloon in the stomach.  Doing this limits the amount of food that can be eaten and helps making the stomach feel fuller faster.

All bariatric surgeries lead to changes that mean that your body is limited to how much food it can eat and the number of nutrients it can absorb and this what leads to weight loss.  For them to work effectively over long-term depends on your ability to make permanent changes in your lifestyle.  These changes can include, but are not limited to;

  • your diet – you cannot continue eating fatty foods, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or soft drinks or consuming large amounts of sugary foods,
  • your exercise – little or no exercise can cause the same effects that created the problem in the first place,
  • your mental health

Therefore, you will often meet with a doctor, dietitian, psychologist and surgeon before undergoing this procedure.  Before recommending surgeries, they will look at:

  • Your previous efforts to lose weight with diet and exercise have been unsuccessful. The team reviews your weight trends, diet attempts, eating habits, exercise regimen, stress level, time constraints, motivation and other factors.
  • Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher
  • You have a serious weight-related health problem. Surgery is performed to try and lower your risk of serious weight related problems such as Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea and diabetes.
  • Your medical condition. Other health problems could increase the risks of having surgery.
  • Your psychological status. Sometimes mental health can contribute to weight gain.
  • Your motivation. It is important when you complete the surgery that you continue doing the correct things like eating correctly and exercising.
  • Your age.

Risks of bariatric surgery can be pain and nausea for several days after the procedure but can be managed, in most cases, with standard medications.

After surgery you are well on the way to the new slimmer you.

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