Obesity can shorten your lifespan by decades and also limit and reduce the quality of your life. Obesity cannot always be controlled by dieting and exercise and thus more complicated means such as bariatric surgery has to be employed.
Types of bariatric surgery
Most bariatric surgeries either limit your ability to consume food and thus make you feel fuller quickly or limit the absorption of nutrients from the food you eat. Certain surgeries use a combination of the two in varying degrees. Mentioned below are the most commonly employed forms of bariatric surgery –
- Gastric Balloon – This is a form of surgery wherein a specially made balloon is inserted into the stomach. In certain cases even two balloons are inserted into the stomach to reduce the room left for food. This causes you to have less food resulting in weight loss over a period of time.
- Gastric Sleeve – This is a form of surgery wherein a major portion of the stomach is removed through the procedure. Also known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, the surgeon creates a pouch within the stomach which essentially becomes a connecting tube between the esophagus and the large intestine. The reduced stomach size causes fewer hunger related enzymes and hormones to be secreted, causing less hunger and also reducing your food intake capability. This results in weight loss over a period of time.
- Gastric Bypass – Gastric bypass uses the combination of two techniques, lesser absorption of minerals as well as reduced intake capacity. In this method, a part of the stomach is rearranged akin to the gastric sleeve. However the leftover portion of the stomach is not removed as it can continue to secrete stomach acids. Because of the reduced size of the stomach, you would eat less and if you happen to over eat, it would cause dumping syndrome (quick and repeated bowel evacuation) which would deter you from eating more.
- Lap band surgery – This is one form of surgery where the stomach is not reduced or cut but rather limited by a band that is put around it. This band constricts the stomach and causes the upper part to become smaller. Hence you would feel fuller from eating less, thus resulting in weight loss.
- V-bloc therapy – This is a very modern approach to bariatric procedures which works in a very similar way to a pacemaker. A device is placed just under your skin and two leads or wires are connected to the vagal nerve. This nerve is responsible for sending the hunger signals to the brain from the stomach. This device acts as a block to the nerve signals and thus ensures you eat less.
- Duodenal switch – This surgery is also known as a Biliopancreatic Diversion wherein the surgeons cut out the part of the stomach similar to a gastric sleeve surgery but also make adjustments to the pancreatic chain and the small intestine to reduce the absorption of minerals.
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