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Health & Wellness

Bariatric Breakthrough: A Weight Loss Journey

Operation using laparoscopic equipment

Bariatric surgery has emerged as a breakthrough for those struggling with severe obesity. This medical intervention is not just a path to weight loss; it’s a gateway to renewed health. Bariatric benefits extend beyond the scale, offering a second chance at life.

Severe obesity, often defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35–39 kg/m² accompanied by other health conditions, or a BMI exceeding 40 kg/m², can present significant health challenges. BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.

Types of Bariatric Procedures

Bariatric surgery offers various procedures, each designed to tackle obesity in different ways:

1. Restrictive Procedures: These reduce stomach size, creating a sense of fullness and decreasing food intake. 

Examples include:

  • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB): A ring with an inflatable balloon is placed around the stomach to regulate food consumption. It can be adjusted in the clinic and removed later.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy: A significant portion of the stomach is permanently removed, reducing its size.

2. Malabsorptive Procedures: These alter the digestive process by rerouting the small intestine, limiting calorie absorption. 

Example:

  • Biliopancreatic Diversion: This operation diverts the stomach to the ileum, resulting in significant malabsorption and calorie reduction. It can be modified with a procedure called the duodenal switch.

3. Combined Restrictive and Malabsorptive Procedure:

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: It reduces the stomach size and redirects it to a distant section of the small bowel, restricting intake and calorie absorption.

4. Other Procedures:

  • Gastric Stimulation and Intragastric Balloon: These methods offer unique approaches to limit calorie intake by inducing a sense of fullness.

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery offers several advantages, including:

  • Weight loss, typically ranging from 14% to 25%, depending on individual motivation.
  • Reduction in obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes.
  • Lower mortality rates.

However, it’s important to note that bariatric surgery can also come with risks and complications, which can vary based on the specific procedure chosen. It’s essential to consider bariatric surgery only after consulting with your family doctor and a qualified bariatric surgeon to determine the best approach for your individual needs and health goals.

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