Losing weight is a challenge, and it can’t always be accomplished through diet and exercise alone.

Depending on the circumstances, you may need to choose from several weight loss procedures to help you reach your goal.

Before you make a decision, read this helpful guide that discusses the best procedures available today so you can choose the option that will work for your weight loss needs.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Although this option may be extreme for some patients, it also produces extremely impressive results. The procedure divides the top of the stomach from the rest of the stomach to make it smaller.

The first part of the small intestine is divided and then the bottom part is connected to the smaller stomach pouch. Since the newly-created stomach is smaller, it results in much smaller meals.

The patient will feel fuller faster, resulting in less food consumption throughout the day. It’s important to note that it will be more difficult to absorb vital nutrients after this surgery. Proper aftercare and follow-ups are highly recommended.

Overall, gastric bypass surgery can provide significant weight loss to most patients. This surgery is generally reserved for the seriously obese, but the long-term weight loss results can be as high as 60 to 80-percent of the person’s body weight.

After surgery, most patients can keep most of the weight off as long as they follow a good diet plan. The surgery is highly complex and does come with some risks.

Many patients can experience vitamin deficiencies, and a strict diet is necessary to maintain good nutrient levels.

The Gastric Sleeve

An alternative to gastric bypass surgery is the gastric sleeve, which involves removing around 80-percent of the stomach. The surgeon creates a tubular pouch that serves as the rest of the stomach.

The new stomach pouch holds a much smaller volume of food than a normal stomach, which can significantly reduce the amount of food consumed. This surgery also impacts gut hormones, which affect feelings of hunger, fullness, and controlling blood sugar.

Some studies show that the gastric sleeve procedure is just as effective as gastric bypass surgery with a lot lower level of risk. It may also help to improve type 2 diabetes thanks to the hormonal changes after surgery.

Since you will reduce the amount of food your stomach can hold, you should experience rapid, significant weight loss. The required hospital stay after gastric sleeve surgery is short and averages around two days.

Over time, you will easily begin to feel full for longer periods which reduces your total caloric intake. It’s important to note that this procedure is not reversible.

There may also be a risk of long-term vitamin deficiency, so talk to your doctor about your options and plans for the future. Overall, these weight loss procedures have been shown to be safe and highly effective.

Weight Loss Procedures: Adjustable Gastric Band

If you’re looking for something different, the Adjustable Gastric Band may be a good solution. Often referred to as “the band,” this procedure uses an inflatable band that is added around the upper portion of your stomach.

Once the band is added, it creates a small stomach pouch above the band, and the rest of your stomach is located below the band. 

The Adjustable Gastric Band – often called the band – involves an inflatable band that is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small stomach pouch above the band and the rest of the stomach below the band.

Once the gastric band is placed around the stomach, you’ll have a smaller stomach pouch that allows you to eat less food in order to feel satisfied. The size of the stomach can be adjusted by filling the band with saline. The solution is injected through a port placed under your skin.

As the doctor adjusts the band, you can expand or contract the stomach size to allow for more or fewer volumes of food. As the size is adjusted, it is typically reduced gradually over time.

You’ll visit your doctor for a new adjustment that can help you reduce the amount of food you consume depending on your weight loss needs. This weight loss procedure helps to reduce feelings of hunger, therefore reducing the caloric intake.

Important Facts About the Band

Most patients see a weight loss percentage of around 40 to 50 percent after getting the gastric band. There is no cutting of the stomach or rerouting of the intestines required, which makes this option a popular choice for many patients.

The adjustable gastric band is fully reversible and adjustable, giving you more control over the process and the outcome. Recovery time is short as just 24 hours on average.

Another perk to this option is that it has the lowest risk for vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. On the other hand, you will likely experience slower and less weight loss than you would with other procedures. 

You should schedule follow-up visits with your doctor after this procedure so they can work with you on a post-op diet plan. They will also check for any mechanical problems with the band just in case.

Choosing Surgery for Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight quickly, these weight loss procedures can be a good option. Always consult with your doctor before you elect to have any kind of surgery.

With some research and a good understanding of the pros, cons, and risks, you can find a surgery that will help you achieve your weight loss goals.

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How to Trick Your Brain into Making Better Decisions (Backed By Scientific Studies)

What are some tools to use for effective decision making? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing site where questions are answered by people with unique insights. This answer was shared by Charles Duhigg, staff writer for the New York Times and author of Smarter Faster Better, on Quora:

Here is what scientific studies say will help you make better decisions:

Thinking through various, contradictory possibilities, and then trying to force yourself to figure out which ones are more or less likely, and why. (This is known as probabilistic thinking, and studies show that it significantly increases the quality of people’s decision making.)

Say, for instance, that you are trying to decide whether your group of rebels should attack the Death Star. Seems like an easy decision, right?

After all, the Death Star is filled with jerks, and it has a big glaring weakness (that apparently no architect considered when designing the ship): one well placed shot can blow up the entire thing.

If you are some hillbilly from Tatooine, you’ll charge off into space. You’ll think about this decision in binary terms (“The Empire=bad. The rebels=good. What can go wrong?”)

But, if you are practiced at decision making, you’ll probably do something a bit differently: you’ll sit down with Adm. Ackbar, and you’ll try to envision the dozens of different outcomes that are possible. (“We could get defeated before we make it to the ship. We could make it to the ship and not have enough X-wings.

We could have enough X-wings but then miss the shot. We could make the shot but our intel could be wrong. We could have good intel and make the shot and the Death Star blows up, but our reward is Jar Jar Binks…” You get the point.)

Now, here’s the thing: you aren’t going to be very precise at assigning probabilities to all those possibilities. (“What are the odds that our intel is bad?”) But forcing yourself to think through all the possibilities and then simply TRYING to assign odds will be really helpful in revealing what you do and don’t know.

So, maybe you are pretty certain that your intel is good, and maybe you are pretty certain that, if they can get close to the Death Star, your pilots will hit the target (because, after all, you’ve got the force on your side), but you aren’t particularly certain that you have enough X-wings to make sure that you’ll get close to the Death Star.

Now you know which parts of your plan are weakest, you know what you need to learn more about and what problems you need to solve to increase the odds of success.

Our brains, left to their own devices, prefer to think about choices in binary terms. (And, from an evolutionary standpoint, this is really efficient.)

But to make better decisions, we have to force ourselves to think probabilistically – AND THEN WE NEED TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE FACT THAT PROBABILISTIC THINKING TENDS TO REVEAL HOW MUCH WE DON’T KNOW.

It is scary to confront uncertainty. It can make you crazy and anxious. That’s why it is so much easier to look at choices as binary options (“I’ll either succeed or fail”) or deterministic outcomes (“I ended up married to her because she was my soulmate.”)

But if you genuinely want to make better decisions, you have to fight that instinct, and make yourself think about multiple possibilities – both the good and the bad – and be really honest with yourself about what you do and don’t know (and what is knowable and unknowable.)

And then you have to take a leap, and make a decision, and see it as  an experiment that gives you data, rather than a success or failure that you should congratulate yourself on/beat yourself up about.

Because, unfortunately, the force doesn’t really exist. But probabilities do.

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