Weight loss surgery is becoming more and more popular globally; but why are so many looking at this option instead of diets and lifestyle changes?

Obesity is a rising problem in many countries around the globe but no more so than in America, where 66 per cent of the population was recorded as being overweight in 2006 and this is projected to rise to 75 per cent by the year 2015!

Not good reading I’m sure you will agree, and although these figures are only representative of the US; the western world is usually hot on the heels of the American populus when it comes to these types of things.

Many people suffer from continually increasing weight no matter what they try to do to stop or stem the problem. Many people now consider the option of weight loss surgery as an answer to their problem, but is surgery really the best option and will it actually work at reducing your weight long term?

The simple answer to whether weight loss surgery is successful as a long term answer to weight reduction is yes, more so in extreme cases, but as to whether it is the best option remains open for discussion. As with any corrective procedure there is always a reason why the procedure was needed in the first place and it is this ROOT cause that really needs to be treated and addressed.

If this root problem is ignored, further weight reducing surgical procedures will be required as the problem will be back, time after time…and it will continue to return until you stop it.

Should the decision be made to have surgery, and it is not a decision that should be taken lightly, there are two approaches taken to reduce weight; the first is to restrict food intake and the second is to bypass part of the digestive system therefore reducing drastically the number of calories that are absorbed.

The main restrictive procedure and one that most people will know of, is gastric banding or stapling, or to give it it’s full medical name ‘Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG). This procedure works by decreasing the size of the stomach and therefore the amount of calories absorbed, you can view diagrams showing a step by step procedure here, these diagrams show clearly how this procedure is carried out.

Bypass surgery also reduces the size of the stomach but not as drastically as the VBG procedure. Where this procedure really differs is in its rerouting of digested food after it leaves the stomach, bypassing a large section of the small intestine where calories, fats, and many other nutrients are absorbed into the body. One such procedure is the Biliopancreatic Diversion Duodenal Switch.

In this procedure a section of the stomach is removed and the small intestine is shortened considerably, this results in less food being consumed, as the stomach feels fuller, sooner and for longer and the food that is consumed is only partially absorbed because of the much shortened small intestine, again you can view some explanatory diagrams here that will show you far more clearly than can be described with the written word.

These are the two main types of surgical procedures one could have but as mentioned earlier diet is highly important and through a good sustained weight loss program obesity, and therefore surgical procedures, could be avoided.

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