It is no secret that obesity plagues many Americans. Simply being a little overweight isn’t a big problem, but when obesity persists for long periods of time, it can bring more health issues to the table. Diabetes, sleep apnea, blood pressure and other common symptoms often accompany the extra weight. If you’ve tried the traditional methods and still can’t get to a satisfactory level, it might be time to consider medical intervention. Bariatric surgery in Houston, TX, is a common way to help people take control of their bodies and regain lost health.
What Is Bariatric Surgery?
The medical name for any weight-loss surgery is “bariatric surgery.” For the most part, there are three separate procedures that can help patients with weight-related health issues. Gastric bypass is still the most common and best developed surgery. It effectively makes the stomach smaller by redirecting food to a smaller, surgically-created pouch. Patients are physically unable to consume as many calories, and weight loss ensues.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a more severe option. Rather than creating a pouch, this procedure literally makes the stomach smaller by removing a portion of the organ. The primary difference between sleeve and bypass surgeries is reversibility. Once a portion of the stomach is removed, it cannot be replaced.
Adjustable gastric bands can be surgically implanted to reduce how much food the stomach can hold. It helps with appetite control, and the band can be adjusted through multiple procedures. Band surgeries are growing in popularity and they eliminate some of the risks of the other two surgeries.
When Is Bariatric Surgery the Right Choice?
While these surgeries are fairly common and well understood, any surgery comes with inherent risk. Bariatric treatments are never the first choice. Diet and exercise are still the gold standard for losing weight.
If significant effort in diet and exercise doesn’t work, then the surgical option is the next logical choice. Long-term weight problems can be life threatening, and many physicians will recommend surgery in this instance.
Sometimes, complications arise that require more immediate solutions than diet and exercise offer. If type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea are presenting, it may be prudent to go straight to surgery. This is doubly true if the patient is a post-pubescent teenager.
No one should ever take their health lightly. Weight-related health conditions are serious, but they can also be managed. It’s important to look for ways to manage your weight before the greater complications arise. If you’re already past that point then a doctor’s visit can be the first step back in the direction of a happy, healthy lifestyle. A bariatric surgery Houston, TX offers be the best way to get you there.