Weight Loss Surgery Miami (Bariatric Surgery): A Comprehensive Guide
Losing weight is never easy for anyone, more so for morbidly obese patients. Ask any of them and they will tell you that they have tried everything in the book to lose weight, but to no avail.
Fortunately, they have the option of undergoing weight loss surgery Miami and instantly shedding off more than half of their weight in a short span of time.
Interested in getting weight loss surgery? Learn more about the procedure as you read along.
About Weight Loss Surgery Miami
Weight loss surgery – generally known as bariatric surgery – involves making changes to the digestive system to help people suffering from chronic obesity lose weight. The different types of weight loss surgery do two things: limit the amount you can eat and/or reduce the absorption of nutrients.
Weight loss surgeries are often performed when traditional diet and exercise have failed to create noticeable changes. It can also be done if you are suffering from serious health problems because of your weight. This procedure allows you to regain control not just over your weight but also over your health and life.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of weight loss surgery is its ability to lower your risk for obesity-related diseases and early death. Some of the health conditions associated with obesity include heart diseases, diabetes, high cholesterol, body pain, and hypertension. It will also allow you to participate in activities that have proven to be difficult for overweight people, such as hiking, running, swimming, and other types of sports and physical activities.
In addition to the health benefits of bariatric surgery, many patients also experience improved self-esteem because of this life-changing surgery. You can now wear clothes that you could not have pulled off before, like sleeveless tops and body contour dresses. Your mood will also improve and you will feel that your quality of life is better now that your weight is within the normal range.
According to the American Heart Association, the benefits of weight loss surgery significantly outweigh its risks. Check out The 10 Most Common Misconceptions About Weight Loss Surgery to further discover the myths and facts surrounding bariatric surgery.
The United States National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery Miami to patients with a body mass index (BMI) of higher than 40, meaning they are obese. Those with a BMI of 35 or higher may also undergo weight loss surgery, provided they have existing significant comorbidities like sleep apnea or diabetes. However, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the Lap-Band System in 2011 for those with a BMI of 30 or higher, provided they have at least one coexisting obesity-related condition.
Before getting a surgery, you should have already tried using traditional methods like diet, exercise, and drug treatments to shed some pounds, but to no avail. You should also be able to commit to lifelong healthy eating and physical activity habits, as these are essential in maintaining the results of your bariatric surgery in the long run. Emotional and mental readiness are also important factors in making sure that you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery.
There are several types of weight loss surgeries that you can undergo depending on your needs and preferences and the recommendations of your surgeon. The following are the most common techniques used.
Restrictive Weight Loss Surgery
Restrictive weight loss surgeries are named as such because they involve closing off some parts of the stomach to decrease its capacity to store food.
Adjustable Gastric Band
The most common restrictive surgery is the adjustable gastric band, also known as the Lap-Band System. It involves an inflatable band placed around the upper portion of the stomach. This creates a small stomach pouch above the band, while the rest of the stomach is below the band. Doing so can reduce feelings of hunger and make you feel full easily, which helps you decrease the calories you consume. Though the adjustable gastric band can induce excess weight loss of about 40 to 50 percent, the whole weight loss process is slower compared to other weight loss surgeries.
Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
Another option is the vertical banded gastroplasty, which involves closing off most of the stomach and leaving just a small pouch for food. The pouch severely limits food intake to stimulate weight loss. Unlike the adjustable gastric band, vertical banded gastroplasty produces a permanent surgical change to the digestive tract, as the band cannot be readjusted anymore. This procedure can either be performed as a conventional open procedure or as a laparoscopic procedure.
Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
Sleeve gastrectomy involves the removal of 80 percent of the stomach, reducing the organ into a tubular pouch that resembles a banana. Since the new stomach pouch is considerably smaller than the normal one, sleeve gastrectomy can help significantly reduce the amount of food and calories that you can consume. In fact, studies show that laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy can result in more than 50 percent weight loss in a span of three to five years, making it comparable to gastric bypass surgery.
It also has favorable effects on hunger, satiety, and blood sugar control. It is also an effective procedure for improving type 2 diabetes independent of weight loss.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass is the most common type of weight loss surgery, as it can help people suffering from obesity lose between 100 and 200 pounds.
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
The most common type of gastric bypass surgery is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, considered as the gold standard of weight loss surgery as it results to as much as 80 percent weight loss. This technique involves the creation of a stomach pouch and the rerouting of the small intestine. The first portion of the small intestine is divided, and the bottom end of the divided small intestine is connected to the newly created stomach pouch. The top portion of the divided small intestine is then connected to the small intestine further down so that the stomach acids and digestive enzymes from the bypassed stomach and the first portion of the small intestine will eventually mix with food.
Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
Another gastric bypass technique is the biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch or BPD/DS. It involves the creation of a small tubular stomach pouch through the removal of a portion of the stomach, and the bypass roughly three-fourths of the small intestine. This limits the calories absorbed by the body, resulting in as much as 60 to 70 percent weight loss in five years while still allowing patients to eat near-normal meal quantities. But since the bypassed part of the small intestine carries bile and pancreatic enzymes necessary for the breakdown and absorption of fat and protein, the food does not mix with these enzymes until very far down the small intestine. This can result in a significant decrease in the absorption of nutrients and calories, which might cause protein, mineral, and vitamin deficiencies in the long run.
Extended Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
There is also the extended Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, which is similar to the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass operation, except that a larger stomach pouch is created and a significantly longer portion of the small intestine is bypassed. Thus, the emphasis is less on restricting food intake and more on inhibiting the absorption of calories.
Mini Gastric Bypass
Lastly, the mini gastric bypass is the least invasive of all weight loss surgeries as it is done laparoscopically. Instead of creating a stomach pouch, a small tube is used to bypass a portion of the small intestine, hence restricting the absorption of calories and nutrients.
If you want a more in-depth look on these types, check out this article on various weight loss surgery options.
Weight Loss Surgery Results
For most bariatric surgeries, massive weight loss is experienced almost immediately. You could lose half or more of your excess weight within two years, provided that you stick to a healthy lifestyle. The weight loss is also long-term because of the changes made in your gastrointestinal system.
But aside from weight loss, you will also experience an improvement in a variety of health conditions associated with obesity, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Due to massive weight loss, you might also experience a loss of skin tone and elasticity, resulting in excess loose skin in several parts of your body. In such cases, post-bariatric surgeries may be needed.
About Post-Bariatric Surgery
If you have lost a huge amount of weight, you will likely be dealing with a lot of excess skin after your bariatric surgery Miami, which makes it essential to undergo further post-bariatric surgeries to achieve a desirable body contour and appearance.
One of the most common procedures involved in post-bariatric surgery is panniculectomy, which is the removal of the pannus – an overhanging lump of skin located in your lower abdomen. In this surgery, a horizontal incision is made in the pubic area, from where the excess skin and fat are removed. The remaining skin is pulled closed and secured with sutures.
A lower body lift may also be performed, which consists of a number of procedures like tummy tuck, butt lift, and thigh lift. A circumferential incision – passing from the back around the hips to the front of the thighs – is usually made for this procedure. Through the incision, your surgeon removes loose skin and underlying fat tissue from below the incision to suspend the remaining tissues and smoothen the lower part of the body. You are placed in different positions throughout the lower body lift, depending on the area being operated on. The belt lipectomy often starts in the buttocks and then progresses to address your hips and thighs. It is often combined with skin tightening in the abdominal region.
You may also need to undergo liposuction in certain areas of the body to get rid of excess pockets of diet and exercise-resistant fat. Small incisions – just enough to accommodate the liposuction cannulas – are made in areas where excess fat is to be removed. The cannula is then inserted through the incision to create tunnels through the fat. The cannula then suctions the fat towards a high-vacuum hose. Once the excess fat has been removed, your surgeon will apply dressings on your incision sites and put you in a compression garment to aid in recovery.
For the upper body, breast lift and arm lift may be done. In a breast lift, your surgeon repositions and reshapes the breast tissue and surgically removes excess skin. The nipples and areola are also repositioned to a more youthful height. The remaining skin is tightened while closing the incisions, layering the sutures deep within the breast tissue to support the newly shaped breasts.
In an upper arm lift, an incision is made either on the inside or back of the arm, extending from the armpit to just above the elbow. Excess fat and skin are excised through the incision.
However, you can’t just go for a post-bariatric surgery right after your weight loss surgery. Here is a nifty guide on what you need to prepare before you undergo post-weight loss surgeries.
Before your weight loss surgery, you will be asked by your surgeon to undergo a complete physical exam to determine your readiness for surgery. You will need to have some blood tests and diagnostic procedures done beforehand. You will also need to secure a medical clearance from your primary physician, especially if you have several medical problems, like high blood pressure, lung problems, and diabetes.
You should stop smoking at least six weeks prior to surgery as this can interfere with your healing process. You will also be asked to stop taking certain medications that might increase your risk of bleeding, like aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, and vitamin E. Report to your doctor any herbal or nutritional supplements that you are taking, as these may also inhibit your recovery.
You will be asked not to consume any food or drink the midnight before your scheduled bariatric surgery Miami. Follow any instructions that your surgeon may give you prior to your surgery.
Due to the extent of the procedure, most people who undergo this surgery need to stay in the hospital for one to four days. However, you may already be able to sit at the side of the bed and walk with assistance on the same day as your surgery. Some fluids need to be drained from your intestines, so you will have a tube down your nose into your stomach for this purpose. You may also have a urinary catheter for the first few days.
Eating is done in a gradual manner as well, so you may not be able to eat anything for the first three days. After that, you will be put on a liquid diet, and then progress to soft foods.
You will only be able to go home once you are able to tolerate liquid or pureed foods without vomiting and you can already move about without a lot of pain.
Recovery from a weight loss surgery requires a lot of patience and endurance. TLC’s “Skin Tight” TV series provides a glimpse of this reality.
Risks and Side Effects
It is common to experience some side effects right after the procedure, such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, excessive sweating, diarrhea, dizziness, and increased gas.
Bariatric surgery carries some degree of risk, just like other plastic surgeries. Possible complications include infection, ulcers, bleeding, and pulmonary embolism – a life-threatening condition wherein a blood clot lodges in one of the lungs’ arteries, disrupting blood flow to the organ. You might also have adverse reactions to anesthesia, as well as leaks in your gastrointestinal system.
Weight loss surgery also has long-term risks such as dumping syndrome, bowel obstruction, hernias, gallstones, low blood sugar, malnutrition, ulcers, vomiting, and ulcers. In very rare cases, this operation can lead to death.
The best way to minimize the risks associated with bariatric surgery is to follow your surgeon’s post-operative and maintenance instructions, as well as seek out a surgeon with an established track record of success in weight loss surgery.
Weight Loss Surgery Cost
The cost of your surgery depends on a number of factors, most especially the technique used. For a gastric bypass surgery, the average cost is at $23,000. Adjustable gastric bands are cheaper at $14,500, while sleeve gastrectomy costs around $14,900.
More and more insurance companies are now offering coverage for weight loss procedures, especially if obesity poses a pretty strong health risk to the patient. Make sure that you check with your insurance policy regarding your coverage.
Undergoing weight loss surgery requires utmost preparation, not just physically but also emotionally and psychologically. Let us know any questions that you may have about bariatric surgery by claiming your Free Consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons here on Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery.
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