What Are The Surgical Options For Weight Loss

Surgical Treatment of Obesity

Operations Available, Benefits and Risks, Success Rates of Treatment

Surgical Treatment of Obesity

The obesity epidemic is on the rise worldwide and as per the latest statistics revealed in the National Health Survey carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics more than 12.5 million (67.5%) Australian adults are overweight or obese. Obesity is a major cause of a number of serious and chronic health conditions such as heart disease, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and many different types of cancer. Furthermore, obesity is also associated with significant economic burdens. It is estimated that the economic costs of obesity in Australia would double and touch $120 billion per year by 2025. Keeping in mind the adverse health and economic consequences of obesity, it is no wonder why so many people are now looking for various weight-loss interventions. Surgical treatment of obesity, also known as bariatric surgery, is currently the most common intervention with tremendous results and high success rates.  

Surgical Treatment of Obesity

While excess weight is quite easy to manage using dietary interventions, lifestyle changes, and simple exercise regimes, for those who are morbidly obese or suffer from other serious health issues related to their excess weight, weight-loss surgery also known as bariatric surgery may prove to be the best answer. 

Bariatric surgery is a collective term used for different types of weight-loss surgeries. The basic aim/objective of these surgeries is to make changes in the digestive system to achieve weight-loss goals quickly. The digestive tract/system can be altered/changed/modified in the following two ways to achieve this goal:

  • Restriction – surgery is used to alter/modify/change the shape of the stomach in order to limit its ability to hold food, which in turn limits the intake of food.
  •  Malabsorption – surgery is used to modify/alter/change part of the small intestine in order to reduce the absorption of nutrients. 

Operations Available

Following are some of the most commonly performed weight-loss operations available at this time:

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

Each type of weight-loss surgery comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages and specific requirements. Let’s have a look these options one-by-one to help you understand them.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

In this type of surgery, a new, small stomach pouch at the top of the stomach is created by using surgical staples. This small pouch is then linked with the small intestine, missing out (bypassing) the main stomach. This significantly reduces the amount of food or drink you can comfortably eat or drink at any given time which causes fewer calories to be absorbed. 

Benefits 

  • 60-80% excess weight loss can be achieved within 12-18 months
  • normalizes high blood pressure and high cholesterol level
  • relief from sleep apnea

Risks

  • natural anatomy is altered
  • chances of dumping syndrome
  • chances of ulcer

Success Rate

  • very successful 

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure and it is not reversible.

Sleeve Gastrectomy | Surgical Treatment Of Obesity

In this type of surgery, the surgeon removes a large part (almost 80%) of the stomach, considerably limiting its ability to hold much food. However, this procedure does not affect the absorption of calories and nutrients in the intestines. 

Benefits

  • 50-60% excess weight loss can be achieved within the first 2 years
  • normalises high blood pressure and high cholesterol level
  • can improve conditions like type 2 diabetes, arthritis, asthma

Risks

  • natural anatomy is altered
  • weight loss is slower

Success Rate

  • moderately successful

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a restrictive surgical procedure and it cannot be reversed.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

In this procedure, the surgeon places a band around the top of the stomach. The band – which is an inflatable silicone device – helps to slow down the consumption of food. 

Benefits

  • 40-60% excess weight loss can be achieved within the first 3-4 year following the surgery
  • simple procedure
  • lower risk and complications
  • less time consuming

Risks

  • weight loss is much slower

Success Rate

  • moderately successful

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is a restrictive surgical procedure and it is can be reversed.

Southbank Medical Centre
Doctor Melbourne