Introduction For Extreme Weight Loss:
Weight loss surgeries and procedures may appear a solid and hassle free method of extreme weight loss, but it is imperative to mention that most permanent gut surgeries are eventually followed by severe complications and systemic side effects that may even culminate in death in severe extreme cases.
For example, some fairly common complications in gut resection surgeries are:
- Malabsorption syndrome (that may lead to nutritional deficiencies over time)
- Extreme weight loss and weakness
- Hernia (due to weakness of anterior abdominal muscle wall)
- Diarrhea and upper abdominal discomfort soon after the ingestion of meal
- Electrolyte imbalance
In lieu of complications and systemic discomfort, many surgeons now opt for modified, less invasive weight loss surgeries for optimal recovery and early return to normal day-to-day operations. However, certain weight loss surgeries for extreme weight loss are still very popular in general population.
Gastric Bypass Surgery For Extreme Weight Loss
It is a combined approach that incorporates malabsorption aspect of weight reduction surgery) as well as restrictive approach for more controlled weight loss. It is by far the most popular weight loss surgery in most parts of the world.
The surgeon splits the stomach into two parts, separately sealing both of them. The upper part is then taken and joined with the small intestine. A shortcut is made that bypasses some part of stomach and intestine both. This skipping allows the body to waste fewer calories without absorbing them.
- Advantages:There is sudden and drastic weight loss with reduction up to 50% from the core body weight in a small period of six months. The weight loss continues for another 2 years after the surgery after which it comes to a halt (without any potential risk of weight gain). This sudden weight reduction helps in optimal management of other co-existing health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, high serum cholesterol, arthritis, heart burn and sleep apnea (1).
The evidence shows that this surgery has promising results and results can last for up to ten years or even more.
- Disadvantages: the normal absorption of the food is disturbed that makes you prone to develop nutritional deficiencies. Iron and calcium loss can cause anemia and osteoporosis, respectively. However, if vitamins and supplements are consumed in recommended doses, most individuals report no issues.
Other Potential Complications:
One of the most notorious complication of gastric bypass surgery for weight loss is dumping syndrome in which the food does not stay in the stomach for sufficient time to be digested properly. It may cause nausea, pain, bloating lethargy, diarrhea and sweating. The condition can get worse by ingesting carbohydrate rich diet and can get better by attenuating the diet.
This surgery is also irreversible generally but in a very few cases, it had been reversed.
Relate Article: Alternative Weight Loss Therapies
The complexity of this procedure makes it a risky operation. Like in any other surgery, infection and blood clots are a complication. Also, it predisposes a patient to develop hernias which are to be corrected surgically and due to weight loss, the patient may also develop gall stones.
Biliopancreatic Diversion For Extreme Weight Loss
It is a modified version of gastric bypass in which 70 % of the stomach is removed and is bypassed with intestine from farther. Biliopancreatic diversion is a relatively less risky procedure with a duodenal switch. Although it is a more extensive procedure than gastric bypass but lesser portions of stomach and intestines are bypassed. Biliopancreatic diversion without the switch is more destructive comparatively. It decreases the chances of developing ulcers or dumping syndrome.
- Advantages: It helps reducing weight much faster than gastric bypass and even after removal of the stomach, the leftover part is bigger than what is left in gastric bypass. The larger capacity enables you to eat more.
- Disadvantages it is less common than gastric bypass because it has a higher risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. Except in case of duodenal switch, other risks are same as gastric bypass surgery.
This is the most risky and complicated procedure. As compared to gastric bypass, chances of hernias are much higher in this modality which can only be corrected surgically. If laparoscopic or minimally invasive technique is used, chances of hernia decreases.