Is Weight Loss Surgery For You?

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Jul 30, 2013 | Last Updated: Dec 24, 2018

The number of obese people significantly increased in the past several years. In fact, studies indicate that obesity rate gradually increases each year. This is not just a problem in the United States but in other parts of the world as well. For those who are dangerously obese, one of the most popular treatment options is weight loss surgery or Bariatric surgery. These surgeries basically work by interrupting the digestive process or restricting food intake which results in weight loss.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery

There are two main types of weight loss surgery which are restrictive surgeries and malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries. Let’s take a closer look at each type.

  • Restrictive Surgeries:

    These surgeries basically work by physically decreasing the capacity of the stomach and slowing down the process of digestion. A normal stomach is able to hold about 3 pints of food. Initially after surgery the stomach will only be able to hold around an ounce of food. This later expands into 2 to 3 ounces. The smaller your stomach, the less food you are able to eat.

  • Malabsorptive/Restrictive Surgeries:

    These surgeries are more invasive compared to the other type of weight loss surgery. It works by changing the way a person takes in food. It also restricts the size of the stomach for more considerable results. The surgery physically removes or bypasses certain parts of the digestive tract so the body will not be able to absorb all of the calories taken in. Purely malabsorptive surgeries are no longer performed because of the many side effects it can cause.

Pros and Cons of Weight Loss Surgery

The main advantage of weight loss surgery is that they are really very effective. Many severely obese people lost a lot of weight through these surgeries. According to research, weight loss surgery causes an average weight loss of 45 to 60% of excess weight after about five years. It can also improve general health and improve or eliminate obesity related medical conditions like diabetes, severe arthritis and obstructive sleep apnea.

The problem with weight loss surgery is that the weight loss after surgery isn’t automatic. You still need to make a commitment and discipline yourself when it comes to food intake and exercise habits. There are also many risks involved with this kind of surgery. A lot of people experience complications after the surgery causing pain and discomfort which may require additional operations. Serious complications are also possible like blood clots to the lungs and leaks in the new gut connections.

What to Expect After Weight Loss Surgery?

After weight loss surgery, you can’t expect an immediate weight loss. You should think of this as the beginning of a healthy lifestyle. After surgery, you need to break the binge habit and change your unhealthy eating habits. Eating healthy foods and taking vitamins may be necessary in cases wherein the surgery decreases absorption of calories. Weight loss will be faster if you start exercising regularly.


Ask any expert on obesity or weight loss and they will tell you that the best option is the natural way. Surgery is not just risky and painful but it is also very expensive costing up to tens of thousands of dollars. The best way to lose weight is by reducing calorie intake and exercising regularly. For faster results, you can use weight loss supplements which can help reduce your appetite, increase metabolism and provide other weight loss benefits.

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