6 Facts ABout Weight-Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgeons

Weight loss surgery, professionally known as bariatric surgery, is the general term for a number of different procedures used to induce weight loss. This can include gastric bypass (rerouting the small intestine), gastric lap band (reducing the size of the stomach), and gastric sleeve (rmoving a portion of the stomach). Bariatric surgery can be a controversial subject, so people need to know their facts before making judgments.

1) Obesity costs money

One of the problems that comes with uncontrollable weight is increased medical expenses. While not all people who are overweight suffer from increased medical trouble, it is an observable trend.

2) The youngest bariatric surgery patients are around 12

It sounds extreme, but many pre teen children are undergoing these procedures. The reasons vary — often it seems a lack of education and/or control from the parent causes the child to willfully and dangerously overeat. Class and medical conditions can play a part as well — fast food is by far cheaper and easier to get than fresh, healthy food, so those in poverty are quite literally unable to have anything but empty calories. This also means they have little access to the medical care which could prevent conditions whose symptoms include weight gain.

3) There are many different surgeries

Restrictive and restrictive/malabsorptive procedures are the main types of weight loss surgeries. Restrictive surgeries are the lap band and sleeve — they physically reduce the size of the stomach. Restrictive/malabsorptive surgeries like gastric bypass work twofold. Along with physical restriction, chemically restricts what the body is even able to absorb.

4) Statistically, the U.S. is not the most obese country

The South Pacific Island Nauru has 94.5 % of its population overweight. Of course, the smaller the population, the fewer people it takes to tip the scales that way. The least obese countries are South Korea and Japan.

5) Some surgeries result in more weight loss than others

Gastric bypass surgery tends to have the most significant results, with an average of 60% of excess weight lost within the first year. Unfortunately, a lack of long-term studies means we don’t know for sure which surgery is the most effective overall. Lap band reduces weight more gradually, but is less invasive and results in just as much weight loss as bypass, if in a longer period of time.

6) Weight loss surgery isn’t a completely new concept

The first weight loss surgery was attempted in Greece on Dionysius the Tyrant of Heraclea. The details are sketchy, but they seem to involve long needles inserted directly into the hips and belly. Today’s surgical weight loss strategies were introduces in 1954.

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