If you’ve tried a laundry list of diets and exercise regimens and had no luck losing weight, you might be interested in finding an easier way to lose weight. Weight loss pills are an option, but for some, those do not work either. Often, the next thing that comes to mind is surgical weight loss.

Surgical weight loss is not for everyone. It is primarily for those who have attempted to control weight through more traditional means but failed. Patients must, in most cases, have a body mass index, or BMI, of 40 or more. Those with a BMI of 35 or higher, however, may be considered if they have health problems that are exacerbated by being overweight.

There are three common types of weight loss surgery:

* Adjustable gastric band, or Lap Band surgery – Lap Band surgery has become very popular in recent years. It is minimally invasive and completely reversible. A band is placed around the stomach near the top, creating a small section to store food but allowing it to slowly pass into the larger section. The band can be adjusted to control the amount of food that is allowed to pass through. This creates a feeling of fullness after the consumption of smaller amounts of food.

* Duodenal switch – This involves the removal of a large portion of the stomach. The lower part of the small intestine is bypassed, decreasing the absorption of fat, calories and nutrients.

* Gastric bypass – Gastric bypass surgery involves stapling the stomach, creating a smaller pouch into which food enters and a larger pouch that is blocked off. The small intestine is then rerouted to the smaller pouch. This technique allows the patient to feel full after eating less food, while keeping the stomach intact.

After all types of weight loss surgery, it is necessary to follow your doctor’s orders carefully. You will probably have to make major adjustments to your eating habits, and you may need to take vitamin supplements. These things are crucial in order to reduce the risk of complications.

Risks of Weight Loss Surgery

Any kind of surgery carries risks, and weight loss surgery is no exception. The worst of these risks are heart attack, blood clots, and leakage at the connection between the stomach and small intestine. All of these conditions could potentially lead to death.

Other possible complications include infection, hernia, pneumonia, and ulcers. It is also likely that gallstones will form after surgery, possibly necessitating removal of the gall bladder. Gastric fistula, a condition in which the parts of the stomach reconnect, can also happen after gastric bypass.

Losing weight by surgical means is not for the average person. But for those who are obese, it is sometimes the most effective option. Weight loss surgery should be carefully considered due to the risks and lifestyle changes necessary, but it can produce astounding results. Your doctor can help you determine whether weight loss surgery is right for you.

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