Gastric weight loss surgery is becoming so much more popular that it's now seen as one of the standard strategies for obese people to achieve weight loss. But is this type of surgery really one of the best ways to lose weight?
More and more overweight and obese people are now choosing surgery to help lose weight. But the problem is that it's obviously a really extreme solution and the reality is that, for most people, weight loss surgery may involve a seriously increased risk of health problems.
So what exactly is Gastric Weight Loss Surgery?
This type of procedure takes a number forms, the most common of which is gastric bypass surgery, which involves separating the stomach into two sections. Any food which is eaten, then bypasses the larger stomach section and instead, passes straight from the smaller stomach section to the intestines. The result is a reduction in the quantity of food patients can eat which then leads to patients losing weight because fewer calories are consumed.
Who should have gastric surgery?
Personally, I don't think anyone should be having surgery to lose weight, especially before the real problems of how they become overweight have been dealt with. However, the medical guidelines preventing people from having the surgery are usually based on the following criteria:
Morbidly obese people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40, or those with a BMI of 35-39, and a weight- related health problem. Those who haven't been able to lose weight by dieting and exercise.
And what are the risks of gastric weight loss surgery?
All surgery is dangerous and major surgical procedures like a gastric bypass usually carry a danger of complications such as an increased chance of post-surgery infections and severe strain on an already overworked heart. And the surgeons usually forget to tell you that weight loss surgery is very often fatal.
Remember also that this surgery is extremely expensive and also patients will still need to change their attitude to food and exercise in order for this surgery to be effective - the same things they could and should do even without the surgery!
All surgery is risky and surgery for weight loss can lead to complications arising during the procedure (associated with the use of anaesthetic, etc) and the post-surgery possibilities of infection. Recovery can also be agonizing and it can take a very long amount of time to heal fully and return to normal, day to day life - which creates difficulties for the majority of people.
Add the fact that not all overweight people are eligible for the surgery, the high costs and the fact that the patient will still have to dramatically adjust their eating habits and it's easy to see why gastric weight loss surgery can be considered a bad idea.