When all other methods have failed, surgical weight loss is an option that some people turn to. It can be remarkably effective, but it is nonetheless a major medical procedure with inherent risks and complications.
If you are considering surgical weight loss, you should start by talking to your doctor. They will provide you with good information, and help to evaluate whether you are a suitable candidate for surgical weight loss. If your doctor thinks this is appropriate for you, they will refer you to a bariatric surgeon for a more detailed evaluation.
The bariatric surgeon will assess whether one of the two main methods of surgical weight loss is appropriate for you. These are:
Restrictive procedures: Restrictive procedures literally reduce the size of your stomach, allowing you to learn to eat less. Over time, you will not feel deprived on fewer calories.
For this technique to be effective it is essential that you also learn good eating habits - for example, eating slowly, eating less, and moderating your drinking habits. Patients who do not moderate their eating habits post surgery can easily stretch the stomach back out and thus defeat the purpose of the procedure.
The alternative is malabsorptive procedures. These alter the digestive process by creating a bypass of the small intestine, thus reducing the absorption of calories. This technique is both more effective and more dangerous than the restrictive procedures. Finally, some physicians combine the two techniques to utilize the effects of both restriction and malabsorption.