The reluctance of public healthcare systems and health insurers to fund weight loss surgery means that more and more people are seeking to reduce the cost of obesity surgery by travelling to another country for weight loss treatment.
Heather Wicklow, Manager at Travel For Care, a medical travel agency in Monterrey, Mexico provides an insight into the options for weight loss surgery, and the types of surgery available.
Opting for weight loss surgery
Weight loss surgery is an extremely popular option for achieving significant weight loss when other weight loss efforts have failed. According to the American Obesity Association, the most effective treatment for morbid obesity is bariatric surgery. Surgical options for obesity surgery include the gastric band, gastric bypass, mini gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. Once the decision has been made to move forward with weight loss surgery the next choice thus becomes which surgical approach is best. One must take extra care to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of each surgical technique, and with the help of their doctor find the method that is best for them. Most important is choosing a surgery that will help to keep the weight off, not just for a little while, but forever.
Types of weight loss surgery
There are two basic types of weight loss surgery - restrictive surgeries and malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries. Each one helps with weight loss in a different way. Restrictive Surgeries work by physically restricting the size of the stomach and slowing down digestion. A normal stomach can hold about three pints of food. After surgery, the stomach may at first hold as little as an ounce, although later that could stretch to 2 or 3 ounces. The smaller the stomach, the less you can eat. The less you eat the more weight you lose.
Malabsorptive/Restrictive surgeries are more invasive surgeries that work by changing how you take in food. In addition to restricting the size of the stomach, these surgeries physically remove parts of your digestive tract, which makes it harder for your body to absorb calories.
Gastric bypass / gastric band abroad
Gastric bypass is the most common type of weight loss surgery. It makes up about 80% of all weight loss surgeries in the U.S., and combines both restrictive and malabsorptive approaches. It can be done as either a minimally invasive or open surgery. In the operation, the surgeon divides the stomach into two parts, sealing off the upper section from the lower. The surgeon then connects the upper stomach directly to the lower section of the small intestine. Essentially, the surgeon is creating a shortcut for the food, bypassing a section of the stomach and the small intestine. Skipping these parts of the digestive tract means that fewer calories get absorbed into the body. There is a variant called the mini gastric bypass in which the procedure is believed to use less staples and take less time, however it is currently not widely performed and therefore has controversial results.
The gastric sleeve is a relatively new form of restrictive weight loss surgery. In the operation, which is usually done with a laparoscope, about 75% of the stomach is removed. What remains of the stomach is a narrow tube or sleeve, which connects to the intestines. Usually, a sleeve gastrectomy is a first step in a sequence of weight loss surgeries. It's typically followed up by gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion, which will result in greater weight loss.In many ways, the gastric sleeve surgery is an interim measure to help very obese individuals lose weight to the point where a more definitive surgery can be performed.
Gastric banding is among the least invasive weight loss treatments. This surgery uses an inflatable band to squeeze the stomach into two sections: a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower section. The two sections are still connected; however the channel between them is very small, which slows down the emptying of the upper pouch. Gastric banding physically restricts the amount of food one can take in at a meal, which means that most people can only eat a half to one cup of food before feeling too full.
Aftercare for weight loss procedures
After having any of these weight loss procedures, patients must embrace diets low in sugars and carbohydrates. In the case of gastric bands and gastric sleeves, such a diet must be followed given the fact that these types of foods pass easily through the surgically created digestive restrictions, therefore delivering high calorie doses to the intestines and defeating the purpose of weight loss surgery. If these guidelines are not followed, lost weight can be easily gained back. On the other hand, the diversion of nutrients called the gastric bypass cannot be cheated in this way. Due to a very strong and unpleasant sensation called â€œdumpingâ€ that occurs when such individuals consume sugary foods, the objective is achieved in order to avoid these side effects.
Consulting a bariatric surgeon can be very helpful when trying to consider which surgery is best for you. For example, a gastric bypass surgery has an excellent track record for keeping weight off, however it is more expensive and invasive than the others. The lap band surgery on the other hand offers fewer complications and is also less expensive, however might not work as well long term. What canâ€™t be denied is the overwhelming number of people whose lives have been changed due to the positive outcome of their weight loss surgery. For someone struggling with weight loss, the question isnâ€™t â€œshould I have surgery?â€ but instead, â€œwhich weight loss surgery should I have?â€ Researching the options and talking with your doctor are steps that can help to make the dream a reality, and your trusted surgeon is ready to help.
Why Our Healthcare System Isnt Healthy
Most people are well aware that an estimated 45 million Americans currently do not have healthcare, but is the crisis simply the lack
Stopping Hospital Infections
Each year hospitals end up killing twice as many people than automobiles, some 90,000 deaths in the United States. It is not from malpractice, i
Protect Yourself Against the Flu Vaccine!
The vaccine industry insists that their vaccines against the flu serve as the key to a healthy winter. Although there has
Chinese Medicine, over 2000 years old, is an ancient form of medicine. Consisting of acupuncture, moxibustion (moxibustion - using material made up of
Medical Billing Specialist
As Pres. Bush was touring the Midwest, shortly before he was re-elected as President, and even after, he spoke of medical reform centering on
Nasonex And You: Breathe Easy, Not Sneezy
While everybody else is wandering around enjoying the spring weather, are you hiding out in your hermetically-sealed house? Do you dread the star
Chronic Headaches and Pain Often Can Be Eliminated By A Special Dentist
DENVER ? Sometimes as Freud once said a good cigar is just a smoke. A headache, on the other hand, occas
Physicians, Chiropractors and Physical Therapist Agree on a New Treatment for Low Back Pain
One of the most prevalent and difficult health conditions to treat in the physical medicine is low back pain. The difficulty in tre
Web Therapy: Enhancing Patient Communication with Web Access
According to Jennifer Lyons' chart, she's just a bad slip and fall who's lucky enough to be on her way to a full
Increasing Patient Care and Reducing Liability in Seven Simple Steps
When an unconscious patient arrives in the ED, every hospital agrees that timely next of kin notificat
Cetyl Myristoleate Seperating Fact From Fiction
I am a strong believer in Cetyl Myristoleate for the treatment of arthritis. For the last three years I have been res
Medical Tests: What Does a Normal Range Mean?
We have a marvelous array of medical tests available to us. Many of them-typically blood-tests-even come with results expressed
CT and MRI Scans in Neurological Practice
Before computed tomographic (CT) scans became available in the 1970s, there was no good method for imaging the brain. The a
Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers - Take An Informed Decision
Alcohol rehabilitation centers in the United States offer a wide range of treatment programmes for your recovery f
Contact Lenses and Eye Glasses
How is Your Vision?
Notice friends getting contact lenses and pulling out eye glasses?