The Pros and Cons of Weight Loss Surgery

It seems that there is a form of cosmetic surgery that addresses almost any bodily feature that a person may wish to change about themselves. However, unlike your more common rhinoplasty case or hair transplant procedure, weight loss surgery is a huge lifestyle choice that is typically only recommended for cases of extreme obesity. If you have been wondering whether weight loss surgery – such as gastric restrictive surgery and gastric malabsorptive surgery – is right for you, we have compiled a short pro’s and con’s list to help you decide. Please keep in mind that this information is not a substitute for the opinion of a licensed medical professional.

First, here are the definitions of the two most common forms of weight loss surgery available today:

Malabsorptive surgery: Because almost all food product absorption and digestion takes place in the small intestine, physicians became aware that shortening the length of this organ or changing the place at which it connects to the stomach will limit the amount of food that is absorbed and thus force a person to lose weight.

Restrictive surgery: This refers to the procedure in which the stomach is artificially made smaller by either removing a section or closing it off. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the patient feels full and eats much less.

Pros of Weight Loss Surgery

  1. The most obvious is that of weight loss. Most patients continue to lose weight up to 2 years after surgery with a large portion of that being lost in the first several months.
  2. Dangerous symptoms related to severe obesity will most likely improve. Those at high risk for diabetes will most likely witness that danger dropping rapidly.

Cons and Possible Side Effects of Weight Loss Surgery

  1. Complications are always possible when undergoing surgery. With weight loss surgery, complications can include infection, hernias, stretched stomach outlets, and unsuccessful staple lines (where the stomach is made smaller).
  2. Anemia, metabolic bone disease, and osteoporosis are all nutritional deficiencies that can occur due to decreased nutrition. These can usually be prevented with mineral and vitamin regimens.
  3. Sometimes after malabsorptive surgery, patients can experience “dumping syndrome” which occurs when the stomach contents pass rapidly through the intestines.
  4. Directly after the surgery and in the first few weeks, patients may experience vomiting sessions do to overly stretching their stomachs because they are not acclimated to the small size yet.
  5. Over 1/3 weight loss surgery patients develop gallstones, which are clumps of cholesterol and associated matter that solidify in the gallbladder.
  6. Other side effects can include vomiting, bloating, excessive sweating, diarrhea, gassiness, and dizziness.

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