Managing weight long term through non-surgical treatments has proven largely unsuccessful for those suffering from obesity. With diet, medications, behaviour modifications and exercise, patients often lose modest amounts of weight for short periods of time.
Statistics show that long-term weight loss using these methods is rare. In contrast to non-surgical treatments, weight loss surgery has demonstrated to be highly effective at sustaining long-term weight loss.
For those individuals who cannot lose weight and keep it off by non-surgical means, or who suffer from serious obesity related problems, bariatric surgery may be the best option if their BMI is greater than 30.
Overview of Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery alters the stomach and digestive process.
There are basically two types of surgical procedures:
- Restrictive procedures promote weight loss by helping patients feel full with very small amounts of food. These are the most popular procedures.
- Malabsorptive procedures cause food to be incompletely absorbed. The malabsorptive procedures have unpleasant side effects, including lasting diarrhea, which have made them much less popular.
Using your Surgical Tool
Whichever weight loss procedure is the right fit for you, it is important to think of your surgery as a “tool”. Just as it would be difficult to build an entire house with only one tool, the same could be said about relying solely on your surgical tool for long term, lasting success on your weight loss journey.
Through our years of experience, we’ve found that people do best with weight loss surgery when they include all the other “tools” in their toolbox:
- Diet vigilance
- Regular exercise
- Vitamin/mineral supplementation as advised
- Support from family/friends/support groups
- Regular visits with their family physician
The decision to undergo weight loss surgery is an important one. One clinical study shows that gastric bypass surgery decreases the 10-year death rate by 40%, but the risks of weight loss surgery are not insignificant. You should know about these risks but also understand that serious complications are rare.
Please contact us to learn more about the procedures we offer.