Following Stomach Surgery

Following Stomach Surgery

Stomach surgery is now being used as a way to help treat people that suffer from obesity. There are different operating procedures that can take place, each with the aim of helping the patient to lose weight and promote a healthier lifestyle. Following stomach surgery patients will be able to lose weight in a way that was not possible with traditional weight loss plans. An operation can only take place on a patient that is classed as morbidly obese and has a BMI of over 40 (35 if it is related to another illness such as diabetes).

Types of weight loss surgery

All forms of obesity (bariatric) stomach surgery have the aim of reducing the overall size of the stomach so that a person will consume less food and feel full much quicker. Following stomach surgery a patient will be able to lose weight a faster rate and diet and lifestyle must also be changed to help this to happen.

The method of balloon stomach surgery involves no invasive surgery and although it does not help patients to lose weight as quick as other methods it is definitely the safest. A balloon is inserted into the stomach an inflated with a substance known as saline. The purpose of the balloon is to partially fill the stomach meaning a person will eat less.

Gastric banding is a popular method of helping a person to lose weight fast; it involves using a band to separate the top of the stomach from the bottom so that the space available for food is much less. The band is attached to an injection point and following stomach surgery this band can be adjusted, through the injection point, to find the optimum restriction size. The gastric band is a fully reversible procedure.

The most proven and successful method for losing weight quickly is to undergo gastric bypass surgery. This involves permanently changing the size of the stomach, unlike gastric banding, this procedure is not reversible. A pouch is made at the top of the stomach and then a part of the small intestine is attached to the pouch, this will bypass a large part of the stomach and means that only small amounts of food are needed to fill it.

Lifestyle following stomach surgery

Whatever method of bariatric stomach surgery you decide on will only work with a strict compliance with diet and exercise. The need to follow these diet plans are especially true in the balloon and gastric band techniques which can fail more easily. There can also be complications by not living the correct way, consuming the wrong kind of foods and eating to quickly can lead to dumping. Dumping is a syndrome that is caused by sugary foods passing through the digestive system and into the bowel, symptoms of dumping include:

  • Butterflies
  • Cold sweats
  • Diarrhoea

A person may also feel severe discomfort for a period after dumping. It is also important to keep aftercare appointments following stomach surgery so that surgeons can check on the progress of the operation.