Obesity is one of the diseases that threaten public health. Different methods are used for the treatment of this disease. Obesity surgery is a method that comes into play when medical treatments fail to yield results and provides effective outcomes.
Obesity can be defined not only by excessive weight but also by its implications on patients’ mobility. However, this definition would be incomplete.
Excessive weight increases the risks of various diseases, primarily cardiovascular diseases. Serious conditions like type 2 diabetes and hypertension are closely linked to obesity. Therefore, effective and permanent treatment of obesity is necessary.
Obesity surgery refers to surgical treatment methods applied for individuals who are overweight and experiencing various health problems due to excessive weight. Also known as bariatric surgery, these treatments are carried out for patients who haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise.
The primary goal of obesity surgery is to help patients feel full with less food and experience delayed hunger. This leads to the intake of fewer calories and rapid weight loss.
In certain methods within this scope, the focus is solely on reducing the size of the stomach, while in others, the aim is to additionally reduce food absorption. Patients who eat less and have lower food absorption can lose weight comfortably and quickly.
Obesity surgery involves surgical procedures for patients as well as post-operative dietary habits. After the surgery, acquiring new eating habits and adopting an active lifestyle are crucial for the results to be long-lasting.
Obesity surgery is a field comprising various surgical procedures. The choice of procedure depends on patients’ conditions, needs, expectations, and overall health. The appropriate method is selected by an expert surgeon. During the decision-making process, patient expectations and health are always taken into consideration.
Below are details of commonly used obesity surgery methods today:
Sleeve Gastrectomy: Sleeve gastrectomy involves removing about 80% of the stomach. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia using laparoscopic techniques. A calibration tube is inserted into the stomach to determine the part to be removed and the retained portion. Using this tube is crucial to prevent potential blockages.
Gastric Bypass: One of the most effective obesity surgery methods, gastric bypass involves bypassing around 90% of the stomach and a portion of the small intestine. This results in patients feeling full with less food and also discarding a portion of the consumed food without absorption.
Gastric Balloon: Although considered a non-surgical treatment, gastric balloon is part of obesity surgery. A balloon is placed in the patient’s stomach, filling a significant portion of its volume. This leads to patients feeling full with less food.
Mini Gastric Bypass: Similar to traditional gastric bypass, mini gastric bypass involves making the stomach smaller and fewer adjustments to the intestines. This leads to patients feeling full with less food and reduced food absorption.
Each procedure has its own advantages and considerations. Adhering to doctor’s instructions, maintaining a proper diet, and following exercise programs are vital for successful outcomes in these surgeries.
Obesity surgery is not a method for weight loss. These procedures are used to treat severe conditions like obesity. Therefore, they are only applied to patients who meet specific criteria.
The required criteria vary for each procedure in this field. However, generally, these conditions can be listed as follows:
Upon reviewing these criteria, it’s evident that significant responsibilities are placed on patients during the post-operative period. Obesity surgery methods are not applied to those who cannot fulfill these responsibilities.
Obesity surgery enables overcoming this disease and the health issues arising from it. At this point, it provides patients with numerous significant advantages and benefits. The prominent ones among these are as follows:
While obesity surgery yields effective results in treating this disease, it does come with some disadvantages and risks of complications. These can be listed as follows:
Challenges in Nutrition: The initial days following the surgery can involve difficulties in nutrition. Some patients experience severe nausea and vomiting.
Diet and Exercise Commitment: To achieve weight loss and ensure lasting results, adherence to post-procedure diet and exercise regimens is necessary. Changing dietary habits can be challenging for some patients.
Nutritional Deficiencies: Procedures that reduce food absorption can lead to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.
Loose Skin: Rapid weight loss can result in sagging skin around the abdominal area.
These are the disadvantages of the procedures. As for complications, they encompass the typical risks present in most surgical procedures, such as infection, bleeding, and anesthesia-related issues.
The recovery process following obesity surgery varies depending on the performed procedure. For instance, in treatments involving gastric balloons, patients return to their daily lives directly, while in gastric bypass surgery, patients typically resume their daily routines around 7-10 days after the surgery.
Experiencing some degree of pain in the initial days after the procedure is considered normal. Painkillers prescribed during this period ensure a comfortable recovery for patients.
Patients who undergo surgery are typically kept in the hospital for 2-3 days and are then discharged. It’s important to spend the first few days resting at home.
By the end of the first week, patients can start easing back into their daily routines. However, it’s important to avoid strenuous and heavy activities. Moreover, following the instructions provided by the doctor during this period is crucial.
In terms of nutrition, patients are limited to consuming only liquids in the initial days. As the recovery progresses, they transition to pureed foods and then to soft solid foods.
After this gradual transition, patients can consume regular foods. When it comes to post-obesity surgery nutrition, it’s important to follow the doctor’s instructions.
Op.Dr.ErdemCan Yardımcı, Genel Cerrahi