Weight Loss Surgery Can Be a Life Saver

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With the American obesity epidemic in full swing, it should come as little surprise how many people are turning to bariatric surgery to lose weight. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 79 million in the United States are considered obese. That is nearly 35%. To combat this, many people are turning to surgeries such as the gastric sleeve surgery.

The procedure was first developed in the early 2000s and is considered and alternative to gastric bypass, which is more extreme. It is also considered to be a good alternative to the gastric lap band, which requires a lot more long term maintenance. It is also considered to be a more safe procedure, especially for ?super morbidly obese? patients who have a hard time getting through any surgery.

In gastric sleeve surgery, a bariatric surgeon will reduce the stomach size to about 25% of its original size, which reduces the bariatric patients? appetite. It has become the most popular weight loss surgery and is the fastest growing in the world. This is due to its success in achieving weight loss.

During the gastric sleeve surgery, bariatric surgeons make a vertical resection in the stomach and seal it with what is called a bougie. The remaining stomach is reduced to a size of about 15 milliliters. It is performed with a laparoscope and cannot be reversed. It is called a gastric sleeve surgery because what remains of the stomach resembles a sleeve.

During the same time that obesity skyrocketed in adults, the same thing was being seen in children. In the past 30 years, obesity in children has more than doubled. It has quadrupled in adolescents during that same time frame. As a result, the procedure has started to be used on children and adolescents and has been shown to be both safe and effective. These younger people seem to achieve the same weight loss as adults.

As with any surgery, the gastric sleeve surgery can have complications. The sleeve can leak. These is always the possibility of blood clots or infections. Sometimes it results in a total aversion to eating anything. It can also injure the vagus nerve, which leads to frequent or constant nausea.

The weight loss that occurs as a result of the surgery happens for several reasons. First, the patient?s stomach simply cannot hold the same amount of food as before so they eat less. It also seems to have an impact on the hormones in the stomach that tell the body when it is full and controls the hunger instinct and blood sugar levels. Another positive impact this has had is a reduction in Diabetes among obese people.

Weight loss surgery is not for everyone and anyone considering it should consult with a gastroenterologist or bariatric surgeon to see if it would benefit them. The results are permanent and because the surgery cannot be undone it is a big decision.

Since passage of then Affordable Care Act, insurance companies in several states do cover it.

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