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Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery – What Is It, Really?

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Bariatric weight loss surgery can be a safe and successful option for people who have not been able to reduce weight and restore their health through diet and exercise. At one time, plumpness and being well fed was an indication of economic success in America. However, being overweight is increasingly seen in a different light. Obesity can negatively affect health. The World Health Organization notes that a person is obese if there is accumulation of fatty tissue more than two times the standard. Having these guidelines can help individuals deal with this growing health risk and decide if bariatric weight loss surgery might be appropriate.

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta report that the term “overweight” can be applied to 60 percent of the American population. Another report shows that a minimum of one person in three across the country has far too much fatty tissue in their body. Bariatrics is a branch of medicine that deals with the control and treatment of obesity and allied diseases. The treatments and surgical procedures have changed and improved in recent years, to the point that diet, exercise and bariatric weight loss surgery can be parts of a comprehensive program.

Severe obesity is a condition that can be difficult to treat with diet and exercise alone. Bariatric weight loss surgery is an option for people who are severely obese and cannot lose weight by other methods or for those who have serious obesity-related health problems. The operation can work for weight loss by restricting food intake. Some procedures actually interrupt the digestive process. In recent years, the surgery is one part of an overall program that includes learning healthy eating behaviors and regular physical activity.

One type of bariatric weight loss surgery is laparoscopic or lap-band surgery. This procedure creates a small pouch in the upper part of the stomach, thus limiting food intake. A band device is put in place through tiny incisions in the abdomen and is placed around the upper part of the stomach.

If a specially designed diet or exercise plan is not successful for an obese individual, help may have to come in a more permanent way. Bariatric weight loss surgery may choices include: restrictive surgery that limits food intake; malabsorptive procedures that isolate the small intestine from the digestive tract; and a combination of the two types. Medical professionals are now advising against malabsorptive operations due to the risk of severe nutrition deficiencies. Candidates for surgery include those who have a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 to 40 and a health risk such as type 2 diabetes or severe sleep apnea. Obesity help comes in many forms. Bariatric weight loss surgery can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle program.


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