Friday, July 05, 2013

Basic Information On Weight Reduction Surgery

By Kathy Kaufman

Weight reduction surgery or bariatric surgery describes a series of surgical procedures that are performed on obese persons. In the process the stomach is reduced in size by removing a portion. This is achieved by use of what is referred to as sleeve gastrectomy or a simple gastric band. Another option involves the resection and diversion of the small gut to the stomach. Such a procedure is very beneficial to persons that have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. It reduces the risk of complications in these persons.

The bariatric procedure is recommended for persons that have a minimum BMI of 40. It is also helpful in persons that have medical conditions that are exacerbated by excess weight. It is important to emphasize that this option should only be considered when all the conservative options have failed.

Pros and cons of such a procedure should be taken into account before the procedure is done. Certain post-operative complications such as gall bladder disease and malabsorption may arise. Psychiatric screening should also be done as there is possibility of patients falling in to depression after the operation.

There are three surgical options that one may choose from. The common thing about them is that they are aimed at minimizing the recurrence of obesity and to encourage loss of weight. These are broadly classified into malabsorptive, restrictive and mixed type. In the malabsorptive procedure, the aim is to encourage malabsorption of some components in food. Such a procedure includes, for example, what is known as billiopancreatic diversion that is usually accompanied with a duodenal stitch (BDS/DS). The main downside is that some essential nutrients may not be absorbed and this often results in metabolic diseases.

Predominantly restrictive procedures aim at minimizing oral intake by restricting gastric volume. This produces early food satisfaction. Vertical banded gastroplasty involves permanent stapling of the stomach to create a small stomach to handle the food. It is regarded as one of the safest operations carried out today.

Another effective technique that is restrictive in nature is what is referred to as sleeve gastrectomy. As much as 15% of the stomach can be resected by use of this technique. Most of this portion is taken from the greater curvature. This technique transforms it into a tubular shape. Laparoscopes are often used to improve on the accuracy.

The diet of the patient after surgery becomes restricted to liquid foods such as broth, fruit juice and gelatin desserts that are sugar free. This kind of diet is maintained until the alimentary canal recovers from the surgery. The next diet is composed of blended substances which are sugar free, consisting of foods such as cream soup, skimmed milk, protein drinks among others.

As with any surgical procedure, there are a number of side effects associated with weight reduction surgery. Persons that have had this operation frequently have difficulties absorbing calcium. As a result, they often get various forms of metabolic bone disease of which osteopenia and secondary hyperparathyroidism are clinical features. The fact that loss of weight has occurred suddenly predisposes these individuals to gall stone formation. Other complications include reduced absorption of essential nutrients such as folate, iron, vitamin B12 and thiamine.

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