Weight Loss Surgery: Are You A Candidate?

If you're considerably overweight, you've probably considered weight loss surgery. This is especially if you've seen various celebrities positively describing their experiences in recent years. The results of weight loss surgery can be truly remarkable, but you need to be sure it's right for you.

Weight loss surgery is no quick and easy fix. It's the procedure of last resort for people who are very overweight (morbidly obese), and is only done after other methods of weight reduction have proved ineffective.

The first step to finding out if you're a suitable candidate is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). You do this by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres. Then divide the resulting number by your height once more. Optimum weight ranges from around 18 to 25. Obese runs from 30-40 and morbidly obese from 40-50.

Generally, if your BMI is above 30 and you've been unable to loss weight via diet or exercise, you should consider weight loss surgery. This is especially so it there are serious health complications resulting from your excess weight.

After decided you're a suitable candidate for weight loss surgery, you should now understand the procedure. Weight loss surgery is of two main types - restrictive and restrictive/malabsorptive.

Restrictive weight loss surgery works by restricting the amount of food that enters your digestive system by reducing the size of the stomach. The main method for doing this is with 'banding' in which a band is applied around the top part of the stomach. Thus the 'pouch' formed by the constriction fills quickly and the stomach sends a message to the brain announcing that it's full. Lap band is the most popular procedure of this type.

Lap band surgery involves constricting you stomach by attaching an adjustable gastric binding in the form of a silicone ring. This is connected to an access port by a length of fine tube. The access port is located under the surface of your skin at the top of your abdomen and allows your doctor to adjust the size of the silicon ring until it's optimal for you.

The lap band procedure involves laparaoscopic (keyhole) surgery. The surgeon operates through small openings in the abdomen so it's relatively noninvasive. No radical surgery is carried out on the digestive organs and the actual process of digestion is not affected.

Restrictive/malabsorptive is involved. The most common procedure is the gastric bypass operation. A pouch is formed at the top part of the stomach. Meanwhile the small intestine is cut and a section attached to this new pouch. Following this procedure, the flow of food bypasses most of the stomach and the duodenum completely. This massively reduces the volume of nutrients absorbed.

Gastric bypass can be a highly effective operation with a reduction of 80 per cent of excess weight in the first year. However, it is major surgery with attendant risks and complications.

Obesity brings with it a litany of ills and dangers such as diabetes and high blood pressure, not to mention a low quality of life. So the benefits of normalising your weight are enormous. Not only are there tremendous health benefits but also you can choose the clothes you want, you can get behind the wheel of a car again, and the boost to your self-esteem is life-changing. Weight loss surgery can truly makeover your physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

If you've decided weight loss surgery could be for you, the next step is to consult with a surgeon. He will determine if you're a suitable candidate. This will depend on your motivation as well as your physical condition. Make sure you find a surgeon that specializes in bariatrics (obesity cure). This way you'll get the expert advice you need before undertaking this important procedure.


Marcus Landauer is an expert consultant with over 12 years experience in plastic surgery and weight loss surgery.

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