Obesity, Surgery and a Healthy Lifestyle
WHAT IS OBESITY?
Fat tissue in our bodies is necessary, however when there is too much body fat (when we consume more calories than our body needs), the result is obesity. Obesity is a chronic disease that is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or above, which is about 30 pounds over the ideal body weight for your height. Obesity is a disease, not a sign of a person being out of control and according to the American Obesity Association; obesity is a serious medical disease that affects nearly one third of the American population. Clinically severe obesity has long-term effects and it increases ones risk of developing serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease and certain cancers. Obesity can also be associated with other medical conditions such as shortness of breath, sleep apnea, irregular menstruation or infertility, gallbladder disease (gallstones), and osteoarthritis. In addition to increased risk of health conditions, nearly 300,000 Americans die unnecessarily each year due to obesity-related health problems and obese people die younger than normal-weight people. Obesity and obesity-related conditions are causing healthcare costs to soar and costs reach approximately 100 billion dollars each year. It is very clear that obesity is a foremost healthcare issue for the United States.
Obesity also affects us socially and psychologically. Many people suffer social effects such as self-consciousness and discomfort in social situations, limitations in social activities because of limited mobility, frustration, and discrimination. Psychologically, obesity may cause depression, despair, low self-esteem, and negative body image. Morbid obesity prevents many people from living their lives to the fullest.
Morbid obesity is a chronic condition that has been proven difficult to treat through diet, exercise, and even physician supervised weight loss medications. Bariatric surgery is a treatment for clinically severe obesity. Bariatric surgery such as Gastric Bypass surgery or Lap Band surgery may be the next step for people who remain severely obese after trying non-surgical approaches, or for people who have obesity related health conditions.
GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY IS A TREATMENT FOR MORBID OBESITY
Gastric Bypass surgery is considered the most effective method of weight loss and weight maintenance of all surgical and medical techniques available, according to the American Society for Bariatric Surgery and the National Institute of Health. Gastric Bypass surgery is the “gold standard” of weight loss surgery and is the most frequently performed weight loss surgery in the United States. Gastric Bypass surgery can help a morbidly obese patient lose up to 80 percent of their excess body weight.
In order to qualify for Gastric Bypass surgery, a person must be about 100 pounds overweight, or about 80 pounds overweight with a qualifying weight-related health condition. After Gastric Bypass surgery, nearly 80 percent of patients with high blood pressure no longer required medication and over 90 percent of people with non-insulin dependant type II diabetes no longer required medication, either. A study of 500 patients in the year 2000 showed that 96 percent of certain obesity-related health conditions, including back pain, sleep apnea, and depression) were improved or resolved after surgery.
Gastric Bypass surgery via the Roux-en-Y technique is considered the best surgical treatment for morbid obesity. In this procedure, stapling creates a small 15 to 20 cc stomach pouch. The remainder of the stomach is not removed, but it is stapled and divided from the stomach pouch. The outlet from this newly formed pouch empties directly into the lower portion of the jejunum, thus bypassing some calorie absorption. This is done by dividing the small intestine just beyond the duodenum for the purpose of bringing it up and constructing a connection with the newly formed stomach pouch. The other end is connected into the side of the Roux limb of the intestine, creating the “Y” shape that gives the technique its name. The procedure reduces the functional portion of the patient’s stomach causing the patient to feel full after eating only a small portion of food. It also creates a small opening between the stomach and large intestine, allowing the patient to feel full longer after each meal.
Gastric Bypass surgery is a medical procedure that requires careful consideration. Surgery to produce weight loss is a serious undertaking. Anyone thinking about undergoing this type of operation should understand what it involves. Gastric Bypass is not a miracle cure for obesity and success is possible only with maximum cooperation and commitment to behavioral change and medical follow up. This cooperation and commitment must be carried out for the rest of your life. Diet and exercise remain essential to the treatment of obesity, even for patients who choose weight loss surgery.
Life After Gastric Bypass Surgery
After Gastric Bypass surgery, you will slowly and progressively change your diet from liquids, to soft or pureed foods, to solid foods. The rate of this progression is up to your surgeon and it is very important to be very strict in following the early post-operative diet. If you try to advance your diet too quickly, you can disrupt your staple line or stretch out your new stomach pouch.
Once you have reached the solid food stage, your diet will be drastically different than it was before your Gastric Bypass surgery. Gastric Bypass surgery creates a small stomach pouch so you will feel full after just a few bites. After Gastric Bypass surgery, the food in the small stomach pouch empties very slowly into your intestines so you feel full longer, even with just a few bites of food. If you over-stuff your pouch you will cause significant discomfort, vomiting, or you can stretch your pouch. It is very important to listen to your body and when it reaches its new full-point, stop! After you have Gastric Bypass surgery, you will have to adjust to your new portion sizes and dietary restrictions, however it usually doesn’t take long to adapt to your new eating habits.
Along with the changes in your diet, exercise is especially important after Gastric Bypass surgery. It is important to keep as much muscle mass as you can while losing weight. The more muscle you have, the more calories you use in a day, speeding up your weight loss. In the early post-operative phase of Gastric Bypass surgery, many people opt for low impact exercising, such as water aerobics or low impact walking. To avoid unnecessary strain, you should begin slowly and gradually increase your exercise regimen.
Recovery time after Gastric Bypass surgery is a little different for everyone. The typical hospital stay for Gastric Bypass surgery is from 1 to 3 nights. Your pain tolerance and your job duties will help determine when you will be able to return to work. Some people return to work after a week and some people require 6 weeks. Your surgeon will discuss your return to strenuous physical activities and when those activities will be allowed after Gastric Bypass surgery.
Bariatric surgery is a general term for gastrointestinal surgery for weight loss. For people who continue to be severely obese after traditional weight loss approaches, bariatric surgery may be the next step. The two most commonly preformed bariatric surgeries are the Gastric Bypass surgery using the Roux-En-Y method and the Lap Band system.
The Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass surgery is considered the most effective bariatric surgery being preformed today. The procedure helps people reach their weight loss goals in two ways, restriction and malabsorption. The restrictive part of the procedure divides the upper portion of the patient’s stomach to create a new smaller stomach pouch. The malabsorpative component of the surgery has to do with the way the new stomach pouch is emptied. In order to create a place for the new pouch to empty, the small intestine is divided just beyond the duodenum for the purpose of bringing it up and constructing a connection with the newly formed stomach pouch. The other end is then connected into the side of the Roux limb of the intestine, creating the “Y” shape that gives the technique its name. Because part of the intestine on the Roux limb is bypassed, it reduces some of the calorie absorption, which is the malabsorption component of the surgery.
The Lap Band system, also known as adjustable gastric banding, uses restriction only. The Lap Band system has an inflatable ring to control the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. The band is placed near the top of the stomach, creating a small stomach pouch and the band creates a narrow opening for the food to drain slowly from the pouch. The result is that you feel full after a smaller amount of food, and because that food drains slowly through the narrow opening to the rest of the stomach, the feeling of fullness lasts longer. One advantage of the surgery is that the inflatable ring, which determines the size of the opening to the remainder of the stomach, is adjustable with a simple office procedure. The Lap Band system is also a minimally invasive procedure and does not involve any stapling or cutting of the stomach and it is fully reversible.
Commitment to a Healthy Lifestyle
Bariatric surgery should not be taken lightly and it is not considered the “easy way out”. A serious commitment is required with both the Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass and the Lap Band system. Diet changes and exercise programs must be implemented in order for bariatric procedures to be successful. It is also imperative that you see your surgeon or physician for regularly scheduled follow up care. Overall, the effectiveness of bariatric surgery makes it an excellent option for those who are ready to make a serious commitment to losing their excess weight and beginning a healthy lifestyle.
Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery
Obesity is a serious disease that affects millions of Americans. Obesity leads to health problems and obese people die younger than normal-weight people. Severe obesity is a chronic condition that is difficult to treat through diet and exercise alone. Bariatric weight loss surgery is an option for people who are severely or morbidly obese and cannot lose weight by traditional means. As in other treatments for obesity, the best results are achieved with healthy eating habits and regular exercise.
One of the most effective forms of weight loss surgery is the Gastric Bypass surgery. Gastric Bypass surgery via the Roux-En-Y technique works by creating a new small stomach pouch by dividing it from the main stomach by means of surgical staples. This causes a decrease in the amount of food that is tolerated at each meal and a feeling of fullness that lasts between meals. One of the common side effects of the Gastric Bypass surgery is called dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome occurs when foods that are high in sugar or fat empty into your intestine. The typical symptoms associated with dumping syndrome are, cold sweats, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, and nausea.
The Lap Band system is a less invasive alternative to the Gastric Bypass surgery. The Lap Band system does not involve any cutting or stapling of the stomach or intestines. With the Lap Band system, an inflatable ring is placed near the upper portion of the stomach. This ring controls the flow of food through the digestive tract. The Lap Band system is also adjustable with a simple office procedure and the flow of food can be reduced or increased depending on the patients individual needs.
Insurance Coverage for Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery
Many insurance companies do allow cover treatment of morbid obesity through surgical means. However, your employer may have chosen to exclude coverage for morbid obesity in order to lower their premiums. This is true even if losing weight could improve your overall health and well-being. If you are considering bariatric weight loss surgery, it is important to find out the specific details of your insurance policy.
Gastric banding, also known as the Lap Band system, is a restrictive weight loss surgery that restricts the amount of food a patient can eat at one time. In the gastric banding surgery, an inflatable ring is used to control the amount of food that can be consumed at each meal. The ring is placed near the top of the stomach and restricts the flow of food to the rest of the digestive tract. As a result, fullness is achieved after a smaller amount of food and the feeling of fullness lasts longer because it passes slowly from the top of the stomach into the rest of the digestive tract.
The gastric banding procedure is a minimally invasive procedure and it does not involve any dissection or stapling of the stomach. Gastric banding is reversible and easily adjustable in an office procedure.
Recovery time for gastric banding is shorter than that of other surgeries. Gastric banding is done laparoscopically, as are most other bariatric procedures, but because there is no dissection of the stomach or intestines, it has a shorter recovery time. Most patients are able to return to work within a week of gastric banding, however more time should be allowed if there are any complications or if the procedure is an open procedure.
Typical weight loss with gastric banding is a little slower than with a combined restrictive and malabsorptive procedure such as Gastric Bypass surgery. Expected weight loss with gastric banding is 5 to 10 pounds a month during the first year and a slightly slower weight loss after that. It is important to remember that although gastric banding has been very successful for many people, it is not a guarantee of success. Gastric banding is not a miracle cure and those who achieve the greatest success are completely committed to making changes in diet and lifestyle, including exercise. Research has shown that although weight loss with gastric banding is less than Gastric Bypass surgery during the first year, the weight loss results are almost equal five years after surgery. This shows that both procedures are effective options for weight loss and maintenance.
Gastric Bypass Doctor
Choosing the right gastric bypass doctor is imperative to your successful surgery outcome. Being morbidly obese carries its own health risks and being morbidly obese and choosing to undergo surgery can run greater risks to your health. Choosing the right surgeon can help reduce your risk.
When selecting your doctor, experience is the most important factor. Always ask your gastric bypass doctor how many surgeries they have personally preformed, what the outcomes have been, and what their qualifications are. Having a doctor with little experience in weight loss surgery can increase your risk of developing complications as much as 400 percent. Complications can include, but are not limited to, pulmonary embolism, bowel obstruction, leaks, internal injury, and infection. Complications such as these may require additional surgery.
Reputation is also an important factor. Patients usually talk about their experiences, whether good or bad, so it is important to talk to as many people as possible before choosing a gastric bypass doctor. When talking with previous Gastric Bypass patients, ask about complications, bedside manner, follow up care, and overall satisfaction with their doctor. Most doctors encourage you to talk to their previous patients to make sure you are absolutely comfortable with your decision to undergo Gastric Bypass surgery.
When you meet your gastric bypass doctor, don’t hesitate to ask questions. A doctor should be willing to answer any questions and explain it to you in a way you can clearly understand. A doctor you feel comfortable with will is very important.
A comprehensive bariatric program is an important part of the decision also. Choose a gastric bypass doctor that has a structured bariatric program. The surgeon and the support staff must be committed to meeting your needs and goals and compassionate to help you with any struggles. Follow up care and access to support group is key to the success of your surgery. A comprehensive program will make sure you are fully informed about the surgery and will offer advice and help direct you to make good lifestyle choices.
Gastric Bypass Information
Gastric Bypass surgery is becoming more and more popular and more accepted. Tens of thousands of people undergo Gastric Bypass surgery each year and less people are afraid to speak out about it. People are no longer ashamed of having surgery, but are celebrating the fact that they have improved their health and general sense of well-being. This has helped generate awareness of Gastric Bypass surgery, however it can be difficult to sift out the facts from the fiction while trying to educate oneself.
When conducting research on Gastric Bypass surgery, it is important to consider the source. While the Internet can be a great source of knowledge, remember that credible sites such as hospital sponsored or doctor sponsored sites are better resources than personal websites. There are many websites devoted to weight loss surgery and you can research the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure.
Previous Gastric Bypass surgery patients offer personal perspective on surgery and its effects. Support groups are a great resource for personal perspective and it is recommended to attend support group both before and after surgery.
Gastric Bypass Operation
If you are considering the Gastric Bypass operation, it is important to get the correct information. There are many myths associated with the Gastric Bypass operation. One of the most often heard is that surgery is the “easy way out”. The Gastric Bypass operation requires just as much, if not more, commitment than dieting. There must be a commitment to changing your lifestyle. The operation is a tool, and if not used properly it can fail. For those that continue the same diet they had before surgery, such as fried foods, sweets, and soda, the surgery will not be successful.
Many people think that the Gastric Bypass operation is a “miracle cure” and that the weight just melts off without any effort. Unfortunately, that is not true. The speed of one’s weight loss varies. While the most rapid weight loss occurs in the first 6 months following surgery, for some it can be a much slower pace. It is a lifelong commitment to changing your pre-surgery lifestyle that will make you successful.
Another myth about the Gastric Bypass operation is that it prevents proper nutrition. Although gastric bypass patients do have to take vitamin supplements, if the surgeon’s advice is followed, their health improves without compromising their nutrition.
Gastric Bypass Procedure
Clinically severe obesity has long-term effects and it increases ones risk of developing serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease and certain cancers. Obesity can also be associated with other medical conditions such as shortness of breath, sleep apnea, irregular menstruation or infertility, gallbladder disease (gallstones), and osteoarthritis. The Gastric Bypass procedure is an option for people who are 100 or more pounds overweight, or at least 80 pounds overweight with a serious medical condition.
The Gastric Bypass procedure is considered the best surgical treatment for morbid obesity. In this procedure, stapling creates a small 15 to 20 cc stomach pouch. The remainder of the stomach is not removed, but it is stapled and divided from the stomach pouch. The outlet from this newly formed pouch empties directly into the lower portion of the jejunum, thus bypassing some calorie absorption. This is done by dividing the small intestine just beyond the duodenum for the purpose of bringing it up and constructing a connection with the newly formed stomach pouch. The other end is connected into the side of the Roux limb of the intestine, creating the “Y” shape that gives the technique its name. The Gastric Bypass procedure reduces the functional portion of the patient’s stomach causing the patient to feel full after eating only a small portion of food. It also creates a small opening between the stomach and large intestine, allowing the patient to feel full longer after each meal.
The Gastric Bypass procedure has helped people lose up to 90 percent of their excess body weight and improve their overall health conditions.
Gastric Bypass Result
Gastric bypass results can be quite remarkable! The weight loss can vary, however patients can lose up to 90 percent of their excess body weight. Many health conditions improve or resolve as a result of the weight loss.
It is difficult to give an average weight loss per month because it varies from person to person. A person who is 200 pounds above their ideal body weight will typically lose faster than someone who is 100 pounds over their ideal body weight. Patients who follow the dietary and exercise guidelines given by their surgeon will be the most successful. Those people who do not make the dietary changes may never see a significant weight loss and those people who only follow the dietary guidelines for a short time may regain some of the weight that was lost.
Gastric Bypass Risks
There are health risks associated with being morbidly obese and any surgery is more risky for a morbidly obese person. There is research to show that 1 out of every 300 patients can die as a result of Gastric Bypass surgery, however your risk is greater to continue being morbidly obese without any treatment. Other risks associated with gastric bypass surgery can include blood clots, pulmonary embolism, bowel obstruction, internal injury, wound infections, or nutritional deficiencies. While there are risks associated with gastric bypass surgery, many people believe that it is worth the risk in order to live a longer, healthier life.
Gastric Bypass Success Story
There are many gastric bypass success stories out there and it is very effective in helping many people lose up to 90 percent of their excess body weight. It can be difficult for people to believe the results of the surgery, especially after failing many traditional weight loss methods in the past. But if used properly, this weight loss tool can improve health and well-well being and increase life expectancy.
Increase Your Odds of Success
Success with the Gastric Bypass surgery can be yours if you are committed to your victory over your weight loss battle. Commitment has to come in the form of dietary changes, exercise changes, and vitamin supplementation.
To increase your odds of success, dietary changes are necessary. Without changing the pre-operative diet of sweets, fried foods, and high calorie foods with little nutritional value like potato chips, this surgery will not be as successful as you may anticipate. You must begin to listen to your body and stop eating when full and you must follow the nutritional guidelines laid out for you by your surgeon.
Exercise plays a major role in your success with Gastric Bypass surgery. It is important to begin slowly with walking or water aerobics. These activities are not strenuous and have low impact on your joints. After a set period of time that will be recommended by your surgeon, you can begin to lift weights, play sports, or engage in more strenuous forms of exercise.
To become a gastric bypass success story, you must also follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding vitamin supplementation. After Gastric Bypass surgery, the absorption of nutrients from food is inhibited. A multivitamin, iron, calcium, and B-12 will be important to your well-being after surgery.