Deciding to have surgery to lose weight is a life-changing one. It is also a decision that people don’t make on a whim. Plus, if you are considering a medical intervention to shed the extra weight, you will quickly find that there are many different options available to you, one of which is the gastric balloon. The following information has been put together to help you make an informed decision.
- The Gastric Balloon
The balloon is minimally invasive and a temporary procedure. It is suitable for two types of people:
- Those who are overweight, but not so much that they need surgery.
- Those who are so overweight that they cannot withstand the anesthetic.
Essentially, however, the balloon is designed to help people kick start their weight loss and the goal is to help them maintain it. The procedure is completed by inserting a balloon through an endoscopic procedure, after which it is filled with either gas or a saline solution. This then fills the stomach , causing people to feel fuller for longer, even after very small meals. After six months, the balloon is removed through a similar endoscopic procedure.
The balloon will change your life, but only if you properly follow your doctor’s advice. It will stop you from overeating and you can lose as much as 30% of your excess weight in just six months. There are some side effects associated with it, but those are generally manageable and not dangerous.
- The Gastric Band or Lap Band
The lab band is for those with a BMI over 40, or over 35 with at least one comorbid condition. The band is adjustable, which means it can be tightened or loosened according to requirements. Because the band is so flexible, it also has varying results. The lap band is a surgical procedure, whereby a silicon band is placed around the stomach. Complications are possible, including deterioration of the band and slippages. The weight loss tends to be slow an gradual, and only effective if you follow the advice given by your physician. If you can, however, you should be able to lose a lot of weight in a healthy and sustainable manner.
- The Gastric Bypass
This is the most used procedure around and is now done fully laparoscopically. It is an invasive procedure and only suitable for those with a BMI of over 40 or 35 with comorbid disorders. It is very effective in reducing the symptoms of these disorders. The stomach is basically stapled to create a smaller pouch instead, while at the same time bypassing most of the intestines. You need to make a lifelong commitment to this procedure, as it changes how your digestive system operates. Furthermore, there are many potential side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and dumping syndrome.
- The Sleeve Gastrectomy
This is a newer type of procedure and quickly becoming a very popular one. It is a laparoscopic procedure and is irreversible. Again, it is suitable for those with a BMI of over 40, or 35 with a comorbid disorder. In the procedure, the stomach is stapled and removed, leaving you with a narrow tube instead. This is life changing, although it doesn’t change your digestive system.