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Diet And Weight Loss

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Diet And Weight Loss > Surgical Procedures


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Surgical procedures for weight loss are an option for people who are at least 100 pounds overweight, and who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of at least 40. Weight loss surgery may also be an option if you have tried to lose weight by dieting or other methods unsuccessfully for at least five years.

  • Weight loss surgery is not recommended for:
  • Patients who have suffered severe psychiatric illnesses
  • Patients with drug or alcohol addictions
  • Cancer patients who are not in remission
  • Women who plan to become pregnant within a year
  • Most patients over 65
  • Patients who have unrealistic expectations
Medical and psychological testing should be conducted prior to surgery to see if a patient is a good candidate for weight loss surgery.

Surgical procedures are not a quick fix. Diet and exercise should be made a part of the daily regimen for overall health benefits. FITTODO has compiled some of the most popular surgical procedures for weight loss and their possible complications.

Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is a performed on the stomach and intestine, causing a reduction of the patient’s food intake. The procedure can cause significant long-term weight loss, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, and recovery from diabetes.  

There are three basic ways that bariatric surgery works:

1. Through restrictive procedures that limit the amount of food patients can eat, which is accomplished surgically by creating a small stomach pouch. This helps the patient feel full after a smaller meal.

2. The surgeon changes the way food travels through the patient’s system by rerouting food past a large part of the stomach and a portion of the small intestine. This limits the body’s absorption of calories.

3. Bariatric surgery decreases the amount of ghrelin (a hunger-causing hormone) that the stomach produces, making the patient feel less hungry.

These methods help patients lose excess weight and lower their BMI. Bariatric surgery requires a hospital stay of one to two days. It’s performed under general anesthesia and takes at least an hour. Recovery times vary on the patient and the surgery. Most people can resume normal activities within six weeks of surgery.

Types of bariatric surgery include:

  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • LAP-BAND surgery
  • Gastric sleeve procedure
For the first three to six months after surgery, you may experience one or more of the following due to the slowing of the body’s metabolism from weight loss: body aches, flu-like symptoms, feeling cold, dry skin, hair thinning or hair loss, and mood swings. In time these issues will resolve.

Some of the complications include dehydration, bleeding, ulcer, gallstones, nerve problems, infections, protein deficiency, depression, blood clots in the legs, low blood sugar, complications from anesthesia, incision infections, hernia, anemia due to iron or B12 deficiency, kidney stone disease, kidney failure, bone disease due to mineral or Vitamin D deficiency, and death.  

Gastric Banding

Gastric banding is considered the least invasive and safest weight loss surgery. The procedure involves placing a silicone band around the stomach to reduce the amount of food eaten. The surgeon injects a saline solution into the band, which causes it to expand and tighten around the stomach.

Complications after gastric banding surgery include incisional pain and infection, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, death (death rates are about 1 in 2000). Unlike gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding does not interfere with food absorption, so vitamin deficiencies are rare after gastric banding.


Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery operation that removes fat from many different locations on the human body including:

Backs of arms

Liposuction does not remove cellulite – only fat. The procedure involves inserting a tube into areas that contain fat and using a suction device to draw the fat out of the body through the tube.

The procedure may be performed as an outpatient procedure at the doctor’s office or surgery center. If large amounts of fat are being removed, the procedure will be done in a hospital and may require an overnight stay. The length of the procedures will vary with the amount of fat being removed.

Recovery is usually quick. Most people can return to work and normal activities within two weeks. You should expect bruising, swelling and soreness for at least a few weeks. Each patient’s outcome will differ. Risks include infection, skin discoloration, fluid imbalances, skin damage, internal organ damage, blood clotting and in rare cases, death.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a restrictive surgical weight loss procedure where the stomach is reduced in size by 85 percent. A vertical “sleeve” of stomach is created, and the rest of the stomach is removed. The surgery takes about an hour to complete. Most patients can expect to lose 30 to 50 percent of their excess body weight over a six to 12 month period with the sleeve gastrectomy.

Some of the complications associated with sleeve gastrectomy include hernia, malabsorption of vitamins and minerals, hair loss, hair thinning, mood swings, and a general feeling of weakness.

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