More than two out of every three Americans is considered to be overweight, with more than one-third of those people considered obese. For many people, trying to diet and exercise can help, but it may not be enough to lose the weight. Other people have metabolic and thyroid conditions that make it very difficult for them to achieve any meaningful weight loss. For those people, a gastric bypass or gastric banding surgery may be a good weight loss surgery options.
Gastric bypass and gastric banding are two techniques aimed at making a person’s stomach smaller, which makes it harder to overeat. With gastric bypass, a surgeon actually cuts off part of the stomach and also bypasses the small intestine. This means a person can’t eat as much, and it also means less of the food gets absorbed by the body. In gastric banding, a band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, which also makes it smaller. The advantage of banding is that it is less invasive and also is more easily reversed.
To get either surgery, patients have to meet some gastric bypass requirements. These gastric bypass requirements usually involve being morbidly obese, which means having a body mass index of 40 or more, or having a BMI between 35 and 40 and having another serious health condition. Most patients also have to show that they have made a serious effort at dieting and exercise for weight loss without any success.
The main advantage of these medical weight loss solutions is weight loss. With a gastric bypass or gastric banding, you literally cannot eat too much because your stomach has been reduced. That causes you to lose weight pretty rapidly, which can drastically improve your health. Those who can adjust to their new situation can keep most of the weight off and live a healthier life.
Something to keep in mind with medical weight loss programs like gastric banding is that they have many disadvantages as well. Because the surgeries are invasive, there is a considerable recovery time, and complications such as excessive bleeding and infection are possible. There are other gastric bypass and lap band complications as well. One of the most common is the ability for the stomach to stretch over time, allowing people to eat more and more. Most people who have the surgery eventually gain some of the lost weight back, although most remain slimmer than they were before surgery.
Gastric bypass and banding surgeries can be a good weight loss solution if you are extremely overweight and meet the gastric bypass requirements. However, you should weigh all the pros and cons and talk to your doctor before embarking on this difficult surgical path.