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Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Bariatric Surgery

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Bariatric Surgery

About 42% of the United States population qualifies as obese, but that doesn’t mean all of them get bariatric (weight-loss) surgery. Only about 1% of people who are actually eligible for the surgery get it. 

To qualify for bariatric surgery, you generally must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. People with a BMI of 35-40 who also have a weight-related disease, like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or fatty liver disease, may also qualify. Some people with diabetes qualify with a BMI of 30-35 if weight loss will help them manage their condition. 

Here at Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, located in Jackson, Mississippi, we work with you to determine which type of surgery is the safest and most appropriate for you. Here’s what you’ll consider.

Types of surgery

There are five recognized and approved types of bariatric surgery, but three are the most common. All are performed using minimally invasive techniques, meaning small incisions and fast recoveries. The three most common are:

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery (gastric sleeve)

This surgery involves making changes to the stomach only rather than the whole gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Our team removes a portion of your stomach and connects the remaining parts, leaving you with a smaller “sleeve” to hold food. You’ll feel full faster and eat less. 

Gastric bypass surgery

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery reroutes your GI tract. Our team disconnects the stomach from the esophagus and creates a small pouch. Then, we take a portion of the small intestine up and connect it to the pouch, rerouting the passage of food. When you eat, the food bypasses most of the stomach, so you feel full faster. 

Duodenal switch

Duodenal switch surgery combines many of the aspects of gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries. Your surgeon removes part of your stomach to create the “sleeve” and then performs a more extensive version of gastric bypass. This procedure is more involved and less common than the other two types of surgery. 

Factors to consider

It’s not easy to decide which bariatric surgery is right for you. We take into consideration the following when making a decision:

Your current size

Your current weight and percentage of fat make a difference in which surgery is right for you. If your current weight exceeds 450 pounds, we may recommend a gastric sleeve because the excess fat in your body limits the amount of space inside your abdomen. 

If you have a significant amount of weight to lose and our team believes they can access your gastrointestinal tract, a duodenal switch may also be a good choice for you. It can lead to more weight loss than gastric bypass.

Current health conditions

You have to keep in mind your current health and ability to tolerate surgery when considering a weight-loss procedure. For example, gastric sleeve surgery is safer than gastric bypass or duodenal switch. With gastric sleeve, you’re under anesthesia for a shorter time, and your recovery is faster. We may recommend it if you have lung problems or have an organ transplant.

People taking medications for psychiatric illness should avoid gastric bypass as it can affect their ability to absorb certain medications. If you have depression or anxiety, the inability to fully absorb medications could have negative side effects. 

Present diseases

Our team considers any current medical conditions you take when recommending surgery. Weight-loss surgery can greatly improve the symptoms of many weight-related health problems. For example, duodenal switch surgery impacts the balance of hormones in your gastrointestinal tract, which can improve metabolic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. 

If you have acid reflux, consider gastric bypass because, in many cases, symptoms improve after surgery. 

Prior surgeries

Keep in mind that the number of prior abdominal or weight-loss surgeries you’ve had impacts your choice of current weight-loss surgery. If you’ve had multiple abdominal surgeries, gastric sleeve surgery is the best option because our team only operates on the upper part of the abdomen. The procedure is less likely to be hampered by scarring from your prior procedures. 

Your ability to comply

Consider how compliant you’ll be with following our team’s directions.  

For example, duodenal switch is a complicated procedure and makes a lot of changes to your system. You must be very compliant with our team’s orders and take all the required vitamins and supplements. You can’t skip post-op appointments either. 

Undergoing any weight-loss surgery means you’ll need to make lifestyle modifications in the future to get the most out of your procedure. These include focusing on a healthy diet and keeping up with physical activity. 

If you’re ready to consider weight-loss surgery, contact our experienced team at Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC. Call today or use the online tool to set up your consultation.

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