What is Obesity Surgery? Who is Suitable for Obesity Surgery?
Obesity is a significant condition that can adversely affect various aspects of one’s health. Obesity surgery is a method developed for the treatment of this disease and is widely used today. These treatments, which have different types within themselves, can be performed by experienced surgeons.
What is Obesity Surgery?
Obesity surgery refers to weight loss surgeries performed on individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this is the simplest description that can be given.
Obesity surgery involves surgical methods to treat this condition. The primary goal here is to help patients lose weight. To achieve weight loss, certain adjustments are made in the digestive system, primarily the stomach.
Procedures known as gastric reduction surgery or weight loss surgery involve no procedures such as removing fat from the body. Instead, patients quickly shed pounds by consuming less food after the surgery.
Various methods are employed in these surgeries. In all of them, the primary aim is to reduce the eating capacity. In other words, patients’ stomachs are reduced in size through various techniques, allowing them to feel full with less food.
In some methods, in addition to reducing eating capacity, there is also interference with absorption in the intestines. This intervention leads to reduced absorption of consumed foods, thus reducing calorie intake. All of these measures enable patients to lose weight much faster and more permanently.
Who Is Suitable for Obesity Surgery?
As the name suggests, obesity surgery treatments are developed for obese patients and are not suitable for those who do not have obesity.
Obesity can be defined as excessive fat accumulation in the body, resulting in weight gain. However, the problem is not just about gaining weight. Excessive weight can lead to various health risks. Therefore, treatment for patients is not only about appearance but also closely related to their health.
These treatments are generally suitable for individuals with a BMI of 35 or higher. Additionally, individuals with a BMI between 30 and 35 who have conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension can also undergo obesity surgery procedures.
Methods of Obesity Surgery
Obesity surgery includes various treatment methods. If deemed suitable for the patient, these methods are often performed laparoscopically. This approach results in shorter recovery times for surgical incisions and reduces the risk of side effects and complications significantly.
Some commonly used treatment methods include:
Sleeve Gastrectomy: Also known as gastric sleeve surgery, in this procedure, about 80% of the stomach is removed, reducing its size. There is no alteration to the stomach’s entrance or exit.
Gastric Bypass: This procedure involves bypassing a portion of the stomach and intestines. It reduces both eating capacity and the absorption rate of foods. The entrance to the stomach remains unchanged, while the exit is completely modified.
Intragastric Balloon: This is a non-surgical procedure where balloons are placed inside the stomach to reduce eating capacity. Balloons are inserted either by swallowing or through endoscopic methods. This treatment is temporary, and the balloon is removed after a certain period.
The choice of which of these treatments to apply is made by the expert surgeon based on the patient’s condition.
Risks of Obesity Surgery
Obesity surgery is a surgical procedure, and as such, it carries some risks related to surgery itself. Additionally, there are potential risks associated with interventions in the digestive system. Risks associated with the surgical procedure may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Lung problems
- Anesthesia-related risks
- Blood clots
- Internal bleeding
Thanks to laparoscopy, these risks are minimal. When choosing an experienced surgeon, these risks are further reduced.
The risks associated with obesity surgery itself, which may arise from the procedure, include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dumping syndrome
- Intestinal obstruction
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Leakage or rupture of stomach sutures
- Digestive problems
- Revision surgery
It should be noted that the occurrence of these risks is also relatively low. However, when deciding on obesity surgery, it is essential to consider all these factors.