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Is Bariatric Surgery Worth with the Associated Side Effects?

Severe obesity is one of the ills of modern society as people’s intake of calories far exceeds their calorie expenditure. Excessive fat accumulation is difficult to burn with diet or exercise alone and increases the risks for type II diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular issues and many other devastating health conditions. Bariatric surgical procedures have been successful in treating severe obesity when alternate interventions have failed by restricting stomach size and altering intestinal tract. People with milder obesity along with type II diabetes and other serious obesity disorders also get benefitted from such clinical practices. Bariatric surgery when accompanied by exercise and healthy diet can have transformative effects leading to various benefits including sustained weight loss, control of blood sugar levels and even reversal of type II diabetes.

Combined with a comprehensive treatment plans bariatric surgery offers great results for long term weight loss helping patients with an improved quality of health. The surgery helps people to get over obesity related conditions such as high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases, type II diabetes and more. Reduced weight frees individuals from obesity related health issues and eliminates the need to take countless medicines to treat related health problems.

Bariatric surgeries including gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric band, and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch focus on changing the anatomy of gastrointestinal tract or making changes to the body physiology to create energy balance and fat metabolism change. Weight loss and healthy body is not totally dependent on thesesurgeries alone as it also requires necessary efforts towards improving your nutrition, exercise, mental agility and behavioral modifications. These surgeries work by changing gastrointestinal anatomy to alter the production of intestinal hormones in order to reduce hunger and appetite by creating feelings of fullness and reduction in desire and frequency of eating.

In contrast to bariatric surgery, dietary weight loss programs lead to energy expenditure lower than the levels of predicted weight loss and often leads to weight regain. According to various studies it is found that patients who undergo bariatric surgery tend to maintain a loss of 50% or more excess body weight. It also leads to improved longevity in patients who undergo bariatric surgery as it averts threat of life-threatening diseases associated with severe obesity. Transformative weight loss leads to increased self-esteem, social interactions, sexual functions and mobility. The symptoms of heightened anxiety and depression associated with severe obesity are significantly reduced.

Side Effects

With all the benefits of bariatric surgery, it also comes with some side effects which needs to be accounted for before opting for the procedure. Here, we enlist the side-effects of bariatric surgery.

The most common complication of weight loss surgeries is the development of abdominal hernia. These are obstructions or holes in stomach lining which are generally found in patients who undergo open surgeries than laparoscopy. Some of the patients have also found to develop gallstones which are clumps of cholesterol and other matter that develops in the gallbladder. Rapid shedding of weight increases the chances of developing gallstones. Gallstones can bechecked with the intake of supplemental bile salts to be taken for six months post-surgery.

Reduction in the need of food intake would mean that patients will practically decrease the amount of food they eat, and the body hence may undergo deficiencies of essential micronutrients if not properly taken care of and supplemented. There are also few cases of marginal ulcers in patients undergoing surgery which can cause abdominal pain, nausea, stomach obstruction, vomiting or even perforation.

Post-surgery, there are likely chances of food entering the small intestine rapidly as the food quickly empties from the stomach. This may lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excess fatigue and dizziness in patients. This dumping syndrome can usually be prevented and treated by avoiding simple carbohydrates and eating protein-based meals.

Bariatric surgeries may cause bowel obstructions in the form of abdominal distension, vomiting, gassiness etc. that can lead to real threats to patients warranting urgent medical attention. Bowel obstructions are common in patients who undergo laparoscopic gastric bypass.

You can help lower some of the risks and possible side effects by decreasing your Body Mass Index (BMI), increasing your amount of exercise and stopping smoking.

Bariatric procedure does present a set of possible complications and may require long term supplementation. However, the positives of Bariatric surgery even with the side effects far outweigh the negatives. The surgical procedure is still the most effective option that offers great results for patients suffering from excessive obesity and related problems. Patients need to explore and consider all options available at hand before arriving at a decision. In the end, bariatric surgery can be most effective only if it is followed by a healthy diet and way of living.