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Science-Backed Facts About Weight Loss Surgeries

Many people find that surgical options provide invaluable assistance to achieve a healthy weight. It may feel overwhelming to decide whether or not you should undergo this type of procedure, so it’s important to have all the facts about both the potential benefits and risks before making your decision. We’ve compiled some science-backed facts about these options to help you decide.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

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Surgeons usually perform five types of procedures in the US: liposuction, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band, and biliopancreatic diversion.


Liposuction can help break up fat from the body. It’s often used on the stomach, butt, back of arms, or calves to enhance your beautiful curves. Liposuction does not remove cellulite or dimples, though it can enhance the contours of your body by removing fat deposits from targeted areas. It can also be recommended for certain medical conditions, such as lymphedema (fluid retention).

The risks of liposuction include infection or scarring; the likelihood of these outcomes are generally low. While it’s not uncommon to experience swelling after undergoing liposuction, you should start noticing the area looking less bulky within a few weeks, and within several months you should have the leaner look you desire.

Gastric Sleeve

Also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery removes a section of the stomach to make it easier for people who struggle with their appetite and restricted food intake. This smaller stomach then produces less of the appetite-regulating hormone, ghrelin, making you feel full sooner and helping to reduce hunger between meals. Unlike other surgeries, it doesn’t affect the calories and nutrients absorption. This surgery is also irreversible.

Gastric Bypass

This surgery is one of the most commonly used in treating obesity or obesity-related diseases. It involves splitting one portion of the stomach away from the rest of it. As your stomach becomes smaller, you become full more quickly. Food will also bypass most of the areas where calories are absorbed. This adjustment alters the hormones that influence your metabolism, resulting in weight loss. This surgery can be difficult to reverse, but it is possible if medically necessary.

Adjustable Gastric Band

The gastric band is like a mini-stomach wrap that ties around your stomach and makes you feel full after eating only small amounts of food. Gastric banding is adjustable, which means it has a more gradual effect than other types of surgeries. 

After the surgery, there are follow-up consultations to adjust the opening’s size in your stomach and make sure everything’s okay.

Biliopancreatic Diversion

This surgical procedure is essentially a mixed operation with a two-step process. The first is similar to gastric sleeve surgery, while the second step allows you to bypass most of the small intestine, which reduces the number of calories and nutrients absorbed from the food that is consumed. You can lose more weight with this type of surgery, but it also comes with the highest number of risks and complications. As a result, it’s not advised for many people. However, in some cases, your surgeon may recommend it if they think the benefits of this surgery in alleviating your existing health conditions outweigh the potential risks and complications.

Is Weight Loss Surgery for You?

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Weight loss surgeries provide an excellent solution for losing weight, but they may not be right for everyone. It may be an appropriate option for an adult with a BMI above 40 and may help lose weight and manage medical conditions, such as diabetes and stroke.

What Should I Expect Before Surgery?

Becoming more active and adopting a healthy eating plan may also lower your risk of complications. Your care team will also work with you on the treatment plan. They may identify things to address, such as medical or psychological concerns, before you’re ready to have surgery. They will help you identify if weight-loss surgery is an option for your current needs.

This helps with the best possible outcomes after surgery. 

What Should I Do After Surgery?

You will likely be placed on a liquid diet after the surgery and take dietary supplements for enough vitamins in your body. It may aid you to recover more quickly if you walk and move around your home. Keep the blood flowing to ensure that everything is working properly without being strained. 

Also, it’s crucial not to smoke or drink alcohol after any procedure. Alcohol compromises the body’s natural ability for proper blood flow, which in turn impairs the process required for healing. This can lead to other problems, such as the increased risk of infection. 

The best way to promote healing is by following your doctor’s orders and staying hydrated. When you drink plenty of water, it prevents scarring while speeding up the body’s natural healing process. To avoid complications after surgery, do not overexert yourself when resting or exercising too soon. Be sure to speak with your doctor about what exercises are allowed so as not to put stress on vulnerable areas during exercise sessions.

How Much Weight Can I Lose?

One study found that after 1 year, people undergoing these surgeries lost between 38-87 pounds on average. Gastric bypass produced greater weight loss than the other procedures; however, more complications tended to occur in the month following surgery. Weight loss is a unique process for everyone. The healthier your food choices post-surgery, the greater your chances of success in reaching your goal!

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The weight loss surgery process is challenging, but the results can be life-changing. It’s important to remember that with any type of medical procedure, there are risks and potential side effects that need to be considered before deciding on a course of treatment. We hope the information we’ve provided has helped to answer some of your questions and guide you in the right direction as you consider which type of procedure might be most beneficial for you. Keep these facts fresh in your mind so that when it comes time to make a final decision, you’re confident and excited about what lies ahead!

Author bio:

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.

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