Fighting Obesity through Weight Loss Surgery

Obesity is a growing health problem in many developed countries as it comes with serious and life threatening diseases. Some people are genetically predisposed to being overweight, and if they do not make lifestyle adjustments to prevent this, they might suffer from a variety of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and even cancer. With the availability of fast food, junk food, and “instant meals” everywhere, it is really no wonder why the rate of obesity has skyrocketed over the past decade.

In the United States, Oklahoma City used to have one of the highest rates of obesity. Much like the rest of America, the residents of Oklahoma were consuming too much fast food and not getting enough exercise. What’s even more alarming is that children are suffering from morbid obesity as well – and the parents are mostly to blame. When a person reaches a grave degree of obesity, losing the weight becomes more difficult. To jumpstart the weight loss process and lower the risk of obesity-related diseases, obese patients can turn to weight loss surgery Oklahoma City.

Eligible Candidates

Bariatric surgery is not something that anybody can request from their doctor. Extreme obesity is not a cosmetic problem but one that concerns a patient’s entire physical and psychological well-being. According to the guidelines of the US National Institute of Health, patients eligible for bariatric surgery must possess a BMI greater than 35 kg/m² and have a documented failure of nonsurgical weight loss regimens. They must also be psychologically stable and have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery. They must be motivated, well informed, and have the support of family and friends.

Surgery patients usually fall between the ages of 18 and 60, although older patients can be allowed to undergo bariatric surgery if s/he fulfills the aforementioned criteria. Being realistic and well informed means knowing the lifestyle changes that must be made after the procedure. These changes include vitamin supplementation, proper diet, and regular exercise.

Bariatric Weight Loss Procedures

There are several bariatric weight loss procedures being applied to obese patients, and they are classified based on their respective mechanisms of action. These categories include malabsorptive, restrictive, and a combination of the two. Malabsorptive procedures involve the bypass of a specific portion of the small intestine so that the patient absorbs less food. In a restrictive procedure, the surgeon creates a tiny gastric pocket with a narrow outlet that basically restricts the patient’s food intake at a given time. The two most popular restrictive procedures performed are laparoscopic gastric banding and vertical banded gastroplasty. Combination procedures like the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass utilizes both mechanisms to achieve drastic weight loss.

Patients of bariatric surgery typically lose more than half their excess weight post-surgery. Laparoscopic procedures lower the chances of having surgical complications and reduce medical costs significantly. According to studies, more than 90% of bariatric patients successfully maintain long-term weight loss and overall life improvement. Apart from the obvious weight loss that comes after the surgery, patients also experience fewer migraines, lower propensity to heart disease and diabetes, and a more positive outlook in life.