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Surgical Weight Loss

According to the Centers for Disease control, the incidence of obesity in the United States has dramatically increased within the past 20 years.  Obesity is considered to be an excess amount of accumulated body fat.  Obesity continues to be of major concern as it increases the risk of developing or complicating many other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and certain types of cancers.  Keeping this in mind many people opt for a surgical method to control their weight and regain their health.  For those people who have been unable to lose weight through conventional methods of diet, exercise and/or medications, a surgical weight loss procedure may be their only option. 

Surgical weight loss is often referred to as Bariatric surgery and is generally reserved for those individuals who are considered morbidly obese.  Obesity results when an excessive accumulation of fat exceeds the body’s physical standards.  This means for a person to be considered morbidly obese they need to be at least 100lbs over the average for their height and weight and have a BMI greater than 40.  It is then that they will be considered to undergo a surgical weight loss procedure. 

Weight loss surgeries are considered either restrictive, malabsorptive or a combination of the two.  Restrictive procedures make the stomach smaller so a feeling of fullness causing less calories to be consumed. The lap band surgery is considered a restrictive procedure in which a device is placed around the stomach and can be adjusted to allow more or less of a caloric restriction.   Malabsorptive treatments alter the digestive process by bypassing the stomach to the small intestine, limiting absorption of calories.  This is known as a gastric bypass.  The most common and successful combined surgery is called the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.  And when the stomach is surgically sutured or stapled to prevent large quantities of food from entering it is called a Gastroplasty.  Consult with a bariatric surgery specialist to determine if one of the surgical weight loss procedures is right for you. 

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