Bariatric surgery is indicated in patients who have a BMI of more than 35. Once a patient crosses a certain level of BMI, they are at a higher risk of developing serious medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnoea. These can give rise to more serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Now, there is a lot of evidence that bariatric surgery not only prevents the occurrence of these serious medical conditions, but also that weight loss surgery reverses them and can actually help patients live longer. Therefore it prolongs the survival of these patients when they have undergone surgery. Expert bariatric surgeon Mr Krishna Moorthy discusses how a patient can choose the best weight loss surgery procedure for them…
What are the types of weight loss surgery?
There are four common procedures performed using laparoscopic surgery. There is gastric banding, the gastric sleeve with a sleeve gastrectomy and the gastric bypass. In terms of endoscopic procedures there is the gastric balloon, and altogether these are the four most common procedures to help patients lose weight.
Which bariatric surgery is best for me?
All of these surgeries have a role to play as they are all effective in different ways for different patients. The two most common procedures that Mr Moorthy performs are the gastric sleeve and the gastric bypass. Both of these procedures are very effective in helping patients lose weight but also in the sustaining of their weight loss. The sleeve gastrectomy comes without the long-term sides effects of a gastric bypass. The easy part of the decision-making process from the patient is that they have decided to consider surgery to lose weight. The next challenge for a patient is to then choose the procedure that they think will work best for them. It is very important that the bariatric surgeon helps the patient to make that choice but that choice has to be theirs as the patient is the one who is going to live with this operation for the rest of their life.
Choosing the best weight loss surgery
All of these procedures work really well in some patients, but may not work so well in other patients. The procedures are also chosen based on other factors such as a patient's eating behaviours. Some patients may eat very bulky meals and therefore a procedure like a sleeve gastrectomy would be ideal. Some patients may already have diabetes mellitus, and for them the gastric bypass would probably be the procedure of choice. So the decision-making process very much is a partnership between the patient and the Surgeon.
What are the success rates of weight loss surgery?
Bariatric surgery is highly successful and that is the reason why there are so many procedures that are being performed safely and effectively across the whole world. A sleeve gastrectomy and a gastric bypass are associated with nearly 25-30% of total body weight loss, usually at one year, two, or two and a half years and these are sustained even up to ten or fifteen years after surgery. Another way to measure the success of bariatric surgery is the resolution of diabetes. Diabetes can actually be treated via surgery and up to 50-70% of patients can have complete resolution of diabetes.