If you are carrying excess weight, you may be concerned about the effect that it is having on your health. Most of us know that being overweight or obese can have negative affects when it comes to our overall wellbeing. Obesity is a major risk factor for a variety of chronic diseases, including diabetes, arthritis, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease and even cancer.
Unfortunately, carrying excess weight is extremely common with more than 70% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Many of those who fall under this category are trying to lose the extra pounds using some sort of weight loss solution and fortunately, there are several different weight loss solutions to choose from. These solutions fall into one of two categories – non-surgical weight loss solutions and weight loss surgery. The following information will help you to better understand each option and decide which is the right one for you.
Nearly every patient tries to lose weight using the traditional formula of diet and exercise. To be able to shift the excess pounds, patients must consume fewer calories than their body burns each day, leaving them in a calorie deficit. This might sound simple, but creating a calorie deficit each day can be very difficult, especially if your obesity is caused by a poorly controlled diet. Many of us regularly eat larger than recommended portion sizes, consume too many calories, and make poor food choices. When you develop poor eating habits, the weight can creep on very quickly.
There are countless different diet plans to choose from, so it may take some time to find the one that is effective for you. However, many people find it impossible to lose a significant amount of weight or keep the weight off with diet and exercise alone. This is because if you choose a non-surgical form of weight loss, you can expect to have to commit to eating healthily and exercising regularly for a prolonged period to see results, and then of course to maintain them. This requires a great deal of willpower – which is something that many people don’t have.
If you are unable to lose weight the conventional way, or if you need to drop a large amount of weight in a hurry either for health reasons or cosmetic ones, you may prefer to consider surgical weight loss.
There are several different surgical weight loss solutions, but they all work in pretty much the same way –by restricting the amount of food that you can eat. The most common types of surgical weight loss include:
Gastric band: This is where a band is placed around the stomach so that you don’t need to eat as much to feel full. However, if you begin overeating, you could potentially stretch the band and require a surgical procedure to replace it in the future. Additionally, gastric bands can be removed in the future if you wish.
Gastric sleeve: During this surgery, your surgeon will remove most of your stomach, leaving only a banana-shaped section that is closed using staples. Again, you will not be able to eat as much before feeling full. The removal of part of your stomach may also affect your gut hormones, appetite and metabolism. It is important to be aware that this surgery cannot be reversed since part of the stomach is removed.
Gastric bypass: This surgery involves joining the top part of the stomach to the small intestine to make you feel fuller sooner. It also ensures that you don’t absorb as many calories from your food.
Weight loss surgery can achieve dramatic weight loss, but it is by no means an ‘easy’ fix. Nearly all patients have to make permanent changes to how they eat and drink. For example, you may be unable to drink carbonated drinks and only consume small amounts of carbohydrates and fiber. You will also need to commit to making permanent lifestyle changes after surgery to avoid putting the weight back on.
Every patient is comprehensively assessed before surgery to ensure that it is the best option for them and that they are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. You will need to prepare for a significant post-surgical recovery in most instances which can mean starting on a liquid or soft food diet for several weeks before gradually adjusting to a normal, balanced diet. If you are female, you will also need to avoid becoming pregnant for at least 18 months following your surgery.
If you would like to learn more about weight loss surgery, our discreet and knowledgeable team would be happy to help. Please contact our offices to schedule your confidential consultation.