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Things you should know before undergoing weight loss surgery

Posted in fitness, Health by Erineus on February 3, 2009

Obesity can cause serious health risks to a person’s life. Some cases cannot be simply solved by traditional treatments like diet/behavior modification as well as regular exercises. which were found to be effective to an estimated five percent of all the patients who participated in traditional weight loss programs. The remaining 90 percent, according to the US National Institute of Health, regain their weight in a year or so.

Patients who have constantly tried losing weight, moving from one diet to another, do nothing but subject themselves to what is called “yo-yo dieting.” the lose-gain weight cycle which can do more damage to a person’s health.

For most people suffering from obesity, considering weight loss or bariatric surgery is a smart and practical thing to do. According to Dr. Hildegardes Dineros, a leading bariatric surgeon, choosing to suffer obesity is much more costly in the long run because of the expenses for continuous medications, loss of work, and need for more clothes, among others.

“Bariatric surgeries would not only give convenience to the patient, it will also restore the patient’s health and well-being,” says Dr. Dineros.

Bariatic surgery, though, is not for everyone. A person should be wholly prepared and know some basic facts about bariatric surgery before going for one. Below are questions most patients ask before undergoing a weight loss surgery.

What are the kinds of weight loss or bariatric surgeries?

Restrictive procedure like gastric banding works by placing a low-pressure soft band at the uppermost part of the stomach, dividing the stomach in two. This produces an early feeling of fullness as the small pouch created at the uppermost part of the stomach gets filled with food easily, creating an immediate feeling of fullness during food intake.

A malabsorptive principle is added to restriction in a bariatric procedure like the gastric bypass which comprises transecting the upper part (small pouch) of the stomach and connecting it to the small intestine bypassing the bigger remaining stomach.

Why should I undergo weight loss surgery?

Weight loss surgery’s prime purpose is not to make a person look good; the aim is to restore the person’s health. Obesity is a health problem which occurs when a person weighs 20 percent more than his ideal body weight, making him prone to weight-related health risks. Obesity also comes with co-morbidities like high-cholesterol, heart failure, infertility, and Type 2 diabetes. Safely losing weight, through a weight loss surgery, can result in the resolution of these co-morbidities.

How do I know I if I am fit to undergo a weight loss surgery?

Simply wanting to undergo bariatric surgery is not reason enough. Before undergoing the surgery, a person needs to have routine tests such as full blood assessment to serve as the preliminary assessment, glucose tolerance test as diabetes is a common ailment for obese patients. Pulmonary tests, ultrasound, sleep studies, and gastro-intestinal evaluation might also be required to make sure that a person is capable of undergoing the procedure.

How do these tests determine my capacity to undergo the surgery?

These tests will provide precise health evaluation to make sure that a person is indeed fit for the procedure. For obese patients also suffering diabetes, measures must be observed to make sure that there is adequate control of the blood sugar. Comprehensive examination of the heart is also essential because surgeries increase risk for cardiac arrest.

How do I prepare for the surgery?

Looking at the big picture is important. Mental preparation is a good start.

Do I really need to undergo a bariatric surgery? What convenient changes will it make pre- and post-surgery?

Understanding the benefits and risks would help in the preparation. Talking to a person who underwent the same surgery would help.

Physical preparation consists of strict compliance to the doctor’s guidelines, which might include low-calorie diet routines, smoking cessation, and other medications the doctor might give.

When can I return to my usual routine?

Most weight loss surgeries are done laparoscopically, a minimal access technique which makes recovery fast. Most clinics do the surgeries on an outpatient basis. An example is the LivLite Bariatric (Obesity) Center at the MegaClinic in Megamall.

Patients can immediately walk and move around after the surgery. However, taking quality rest is always advisable to give the body time to completely recover. There are also measures done to control the pain after the surgery to speed up recovery and help avoid complications.

For more information, visit http://www.hope4obesity.com or call 732-0101 local 2209. You may also visit the LivLite Bariatric (Obesity) Center at the MegaClinic, 5/F Bldg. A of Megamall.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=410646
Updated October 28, 2008 12:00 AM

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