Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Losing extra weight promptly is not the only potential benefit of bariatric surgery — those who undergo the procedure may also enjoy improvements in sexual function, several weight-related medical conditions, and have an overall better self-image.
Here I am, once again! While we're on the weight loss band wagon, bariatric surgery seemed to be the obvious sequel to last week's blog on diets. So, what is bariatric surgery? Bariatric surgery is a procedure performed on the stomach or intestines to induce weight loss. Weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach, or by resecting and re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch.
If you're considering bariatric surgery, you've probably done a lot of research yourself, or have received a lot of information from your doctor. Here are a few things you should know and consider before making a final decision.
- diarrhoea, constipation, and loud foul-smelling gas are common bowel-related complaints after surgery, unless you keep away from refined sugars, fried foods, and some fats or dairy. Some people can have mild-to-severe symptoms that also include sweating, flushing, lightheadedness, desire to lie down, nausea, cramping, and active audible bowel sounds
- No more carbonated beverages. Fizzy drinks are to be strictly avoided because they introduce air into your belly, creating gas that can put pressure on your stomach and cause it to expand unnecessarily, thereby undoing the surgery results.
- post-surgery weight loss may be gradual enough for the body and skin to adjust to it, however, many people are left with such an excess that it requires cosmetic surgery to fix (not covered by OHIP)
- the surgery, post-operative care and physical transformations can lead to a variety of emotional changes that can affect not just you but your relationships as well. Be prepared to deal with emotional stress
- while the majority of patients who undergo bariatric surgery do experience an overall improvement in their well-being after surgery, feelings of depression can worsen for some
- historically, weight-loss surgery has a reputation for being risky. But, over the years the procedures have improved and are a lot safer now. Research says the likelihood of major complications from weight-loss surgery is 4%, which is significantly lower than the risk of living with obesity
Though the surgery may sound like a quick fix and an easy way out, it's not! It is a slow process requiring absolute commitment from the patient. In my experience, most people who have had bariatric surgery do not repent it, and highly recommend it. Many people report that after a successful surgery and consequent weight loss, they feel better, are more active, and need to take fewer medications to treat the complications of obesity — all of which can greatly improve a person's quality of life.
Hope this helps in making a life changing decision. As always, feel free to reach out to me by posting a comment or via email.
Healthcare Consultant, in4MED
The author of this blog post is a Physician with over 10 years of experience working in the healthcare system as a clinician, researcher and educator. She is passionate about healthcare for older adults and strives to be a resourceful inspiration to caregivers.
*No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.