Health Surgery

Combination Weight Loss Surgery – The Basics

Obesity is undeniably a pandemic disease. Its reach spreads far and wide. In the United States, as of the moment, there is an estimated eight million morbidly obese Americans. For this condition, weight loss surgery is often a recommended solution. Morbid obesity is known to bring about a number of grave illnesses, concerning the heart, liver and blood vessels, to name a few. Therefore, it is imperative that obesity is addressed as soon as possible.

The medical field divides weight loss surgery into three types. These are restrictive, malabsorptive, and mixed (otherwise known as combination type weight loss surgery). Each type is uniquely performed for a specific purpose. To give a brief insight regarding the first two, refer to the information relayed below:

* Restrictive – is a procedure that aims to reduce the size of the stomach. In consequence of this act, food intake is decreased, leading to weight loss. Examples of restrictive surgery are: gastroplasty, lap banding and sleeve gastrectomy.

* Malabsorptive – is a procedure that intends to disrupt the absorption process by reducing the length of the small intestine (where a significant portion of the absorption process takes place). This will result in a decline in the amount of absorbed nutrients (particularly carbohydrates and fats), and consequently, a decrease in the amount of unused and stored calories. Thereafter, weight loss ensues.

A combination or mixed weight loss surgery, therefore, involves a merger of the two aforementioned weight loss surgery types. With combination weight loss surgery, the body is modified to curb food intake, and also to cut down on nutrient absorption. In the U.S., gastric bypass surgery is the most common mixed weight loss surgery.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery entails the creation of a small pouch out of the stomach either through open or laparoscopic surgery. This results in a significant reduction of intake capacity to as little as one ounce of food per meal. This small pouch is then attached to a rerouted lower small intestine, where churned food will be redirected. Since the food bypasses the lower stomach and upper intestine, calorie absorption is greatly minimized. This anatomical modification produces noticeable decline in appetite and improved metabolism, leading to weight drop.

RYGB surgery is deemed to be more dependable in weight loss as compared to an exclusive restrictive or malabsorptive surgery. It is seen to have a higher success rate, with patients losing an average of 62-68% of their excess body weight during the first year. This is one of its major advantages. In addition, with a laparoscopic RYGB surgery, patients are expected to recover faster. Less pain and down-time are observed. Furthermore, laparoscopic combination weight loss surgery is relatively less invasive and therefore, less life-threatening. This, complemented with highly skilled surgeons, ensures patients of less adverse reactions to the procedure.

However, there are also downsides to combination weight loss surgery. RYGB surgery will create nutrition and vitamin deficiencies. When done through open type surgery, RYGB may also cause complications such as infection, hemorrhage, bowel obstruction, hernia, and blood clotting. The need for a second surgery may arise because of leakage. Dumping syndrome may develop as well because of metabolic abnormalities. Above all, patients may face a 1% chance of death when undergoing the operation.After RYGB surgery, the patient is obliged to maintain a restricted diet and regulated amount of activity, as well as consistent vitamin supplementation, counseling and education regarding the procedure, for it to become as successful as anticipated. There is a prescribed regimen post-operative patients must comply with in order to reap the full benefits of combination weight loss surgery.

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