Different treatment methods are applied for obesity, which is common in the world and in Turkey. In cases where weight cannot be lost despite diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, stomach reduction surgery comes to the agenda.
Stomach reduction surgery is the reduction of the stomach volume using different techniques and methods. The shrinking stomach now provides a feeling of satiety with less food. Thus, the calorie intake of patients decreases and the weight loss process accelerates.
There are different types of stomach reduction surgeries. These are
Mini gastric bypass
All of the operations here, except for the gastric balloon, are a surgical procedure and the stomach shrinks at the end of the procedure. However, they differ from each other in terms of both the way they are applied and their scope.
Gastric reduction surgery is performed by an expert surgeon in a medically suitable clinic. The method of implementation varies depending on the type of procedure.
Gastric reduction surgery is performed by an expert surgeon in a medically adequate clinic. The method of implementation varies depending on the type of procedure.
Sleeve gastrectomy is the first option that comes to mind when talking about gastric reduction. This is mainly because the primary and sole aim of this procedure is the reduction of the stomach.
The procedure is done under general anesthesia. Whenever possible, the closed (laparoscopic) method is preferred. In some cases, however, an open surgery might be necessary.
Several incisions, about 4-5, are made in the patient’s abdominal region, through which cameras and medical devices are inserted. The surgery is performed based on the images from the camera.
About 80% of the stomach is removed while preserving the entrance and exit. During this process, a calibration tube is used to prevent blockages or other issues. The remaining portion that the patient will keep is determined using this tube.
The remaining part is then closed off. Leakage and seepage checks are performed at this stage. Once it’s confirmed that there are no issues, the procedure is completed. After being kept under observation for 2 or 3 days, the patient is discharged.
Gastric bypass is considered the most comprehensive gastric reduction surgery. Around 90% of the stomach is removed, leaving a small portion. Additionally, about 2 meters of the small intestine are bypassed.
The procedure is carried out under general anesthesia and using the laparoscopic method. It results in significant changes to the digestive system.
Firstly, a small pouch is created at the junction of the stomach and the esophagus. Then, a portion of the small intestine is bypassed and connected to this pouch. This effectively creates a new stomach.
The larger part of the stomach is also connected to the small intestine. Lastly, the small intestines from both stomachs are connected. This process ensures that digestive fluids produced by the larger part of the stomach continue to be transferred to the intestines. However, the connection to the esophagus is completely severed.
Gastric bypass achieves both stomach reduction and decreased food absorption. This means patients feel full with less food, and only a portion of what they eat gets digested. The rest is eliminated without being digested.
Gastric Balloon (Swallowable Balloon)
Gastric balloon is a non-surgical method. Nevertheless, as it leads to stomach reduction, it is considered within the realm of gastric reduction procedures.
In this method, balloons are placed in the patients’ stomachs. These balloons are filled with air or different types of liquids. This covers a portion of the stomach volume.
Endoscopic methods are used for placing the balloons. An endoscope is used to insert a balloon into the stomach, which is then inflated with a special liquid. Another method involves swallowing the balloon. This method is only applicable for swallowable balloons.
Partially covering a section of the stomach with a balloon helps patients eat less and feel full more quickly. This positively affects the weight loss process.
Gastric balloon is a temporary treatment. Therefore, the balloon needs to be removed after a certain period. In some methods, the balloon is eliminated through the digestive system, requiring no additional procedure. Swallowable balloons have this feature.
Gastric reduction surgery is only performed on patients who meet specific criteria. It should also be understood that the treatments here are not weight loss methods, but rather obesity treatments.
Patients who are candidates for these procedures must possess certain characteristics. These characteristics are as follows:
Gastric reduction surgery is one of the most effective treatments for obesity. It provides patients with advantages that allow them to quickly overcome their excess weight. As a result, it eliminates the risk of health problems caused by obesity.
The advantages of the surgical procedure for gastric reduction are as follows:
Facilitates Stomach Reduction and a Sense of Fullness with Less Food: It enables the stomach to shrink, leading to a feeling of fullness with smaller meals.
Contributes to Rapid and Sustainable Weight Loss: It supports swift and maintainable weight loss.
Eliminates or Minimizes Obesity-Related Health Risks: It eradicates or reduces health risks associated with obesity.
Improves Quality of Life: It enhances patients’ quality of life through weight loss.
Enhances Overall Appearance and Boosts Self-Confidence: It leads to an improved physical appearance, thus increasing patients’ self-esteem.
Provides Long-Term Psychological Relief: It offers psychological relief in the long run and aids in overcoming psychological issues related to weight, fostering mental well-being.
This procedure is a surgical operation. Like any surgical procedure, there are certain risks of complications here as well. These risks are as follows:
Apart from the risks, there are also some disadvantages associated with the procedure. These are as follows:
Experiencing some level of pain after surgical procedures is normal and expected. This also applies to gastric reduction surgery.
In the initial days following the surgery, patients may experience some amount of pain. However, the severity of this pain is mitigated with prescribed pain relievers. As a result, patients may feel these discomforts at a low level or not at all.
There is an important point to note here. It is normal to have abdominal pain immediately after surgery. However, if this pain is accompanied by new pain and high fever, it is necessary to contact the doctor directly.
High fever and new pain are often signs of leakage in the stomach.
The amount of weight lost after gastric reduction surgery varies depending on the patient’s initial weight and their lifestyle after the procedure. Patients who follow doctor’s instructions typically lose around 40% to 50% of their current weight within a period of 6 to 8 months.
Weight loss is quite rapid when the instructions are adhered to. However, the sustainability and permanence of this weight loss depend entirely on the patients.
Adopting an active lifestyle, opting for low-calorie foods, and avoiding carbonated beverages can have a positive impact on the process. When these factors are taken into account, gastric reduction surgery will more than likely meet expectations.
Op.Dr.ErdemCan Yardımcı, Genel Cerrahi