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Weight loss surgery is an extremely popular option for achieving significant weight loss when other weight loss efforts have failed. According to the American Obesity Association, the most effective treatment for morbid obesity is obesity surgery. Choosing a specific surgical approach will require a lot of thought and discussion with your doctor but here's some basic information to get you started.

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Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for Me?

Weight loss surgery is not for everyone. Doctors only recommend it for people who:
-Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. This would be about 100 pounds overweight for men or 80 pounds for women.
-Have a lower BMI (between 35 and 40) but also have a serious health problem related to obesity, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or severe sleep apnea.
-Have tried and failed to lose weight by other means.

Even if you meet these basic criteria, there's a lot more you have to consider. Perhaps most importantly, you need to be mentally ready. Weight loss surgery can be lifesaving, but it is not a cure. Instead, it's the first step in a lifelong commitment. For any surgery to help, you need to be dedicated to making dramatic and permanent changes to how you eat, exercise, and live.

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Weight Loss Surgery Choices: There are two basic types of weight loss surgery -- restrictive surgeries and malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries. They help with weight loss in different ways.


Restrictive Surgeries work by physically restricting the size of the stomach and slowing down digestion. A normal stomach can hold about three pints of food. After surgery, the stomach may at first hold as little as an ounce, although later that could stretch to 2 or 3 ounces. The smaller the stomach, the less you can eat. The less you eat, the more weight you lose. Examples include: the adjustible gastric band and the sleeve gastrectomy.
Malabsorptive/Restrictive surgeries are more invasive surgeries that work by changing how you take in food. In addition to restricting the size of the stomach, these surgeries physically remove parts of your digestive tract, which makes it harder for your body to absorb calories. Gastric bypass is an example of a malabsorptive/restrictive surgery.

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Adjustable Gastric Banding

Gastric banding is among the least invasive weight loss treatments. This surgery uses an inflatable band to squeeze the stomach into two sections: a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower section. The two sections are still connected; however the channel between them is very small, which slows down the emptying of the upper pouch. Gastric banding physically restricts the amount of food you can take in at a meal. Most people can only eat a half to one cup of food before feeling too full or sick. The food also needs to be soft or well-chewed. There are several brands of adjustable gastric bands available. They include LAP-BAND and REALIZE.

The Pros. The advantage to gastric banding is that it's simpler to do and safer than gastric bypass and other operations. It's routinely done as minimally invasive surgery, using small incisions, special instruments, and a tiny camera called a laparoscope. Recovery is usually faster. You can also have it reversed by surgically removing the band.

Because the band is connected to an opening just beneath the skin in the abdomen, it can be easily loosened or tightened in the doctor's office. To tighten the band and further restrict the stomach size, more saline solution is injected into the band. To loosen it, the liquid is removed with a needle. The Cons. People who get gastric banding often have less dramatic weight loss than those who get more invasive surgeries. They may also be more likely to regain some of the weight over the years.

Prices Start at $4,500. Click Here For A Customized Quote For An Affordable Lap Band

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Sleeve Gastrectomy

This is a relatively new form of restrictive weight loss surgery. In the operation, which is usually done with a laparoscope, about 75% of the stomach is removed. What remains of the stomach is a narrow tube or sleeve, which connects to the intestines. Usually, a sleeve gastrectomy is a first step in a sequence of weight loss surgeries. It's typically followed up by gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion, which will result in greater weight loss. However, in some cases, it might be the only surgery you need. The Pros. For people who are very obese, standard gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion may be too risky. A sleeve gastrectomy is a simpler operation that allows them a lower-risk way to start losing weight. Afterwards, once they've lost weight and their health has improved -- usually after 12-18 months -- they can go on to have a second surgery, such as gastric bypass.

In people with high BMIs, sleeve gastrectomies result in an average weight loss of 40% to 50% of excess weight after three years. People with lower BMIs tend to lose even more of their excess weight. The preliminary evidence suggests that sleeve gastrectomy works about as well as adjustable gastric banding. Because the intestines aren't affected, a sleeve gastrectomy doesn't affect the absorption of food, so nutritional deficiencies are not a problem. The Cons. Since a sleeve gastrectomy is often just the first step in weight loss surgery, you will probably face further operations later on. Unlike gastric banding procedures, a sleeve gastrectomy is irreversible. Most importantly, since it's relatively new, the long-term benefits and risks aren't yet known.

Prices Start at $5,500. Click Here For A Customized Quote For An Affordable Gastric Sleeve

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Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass)

Gastric bypass is the most common type of weight loss surgery. It makes up about 80% of all weight loss surgeries in the U.S., and combines both restrictive and malabsorptive approaches. It can be done as either a minimally invasive or open surgery.

In the operation, the surgeon divides the stomach into two parts, sealing off the upper section from the lower. The surgeon then connects the upper stomach directly to the lower section of the small intestine. Essentially, the surgeon is creating a shortcut for the food, bypassing a section of the stomach and the small intestine. Skipping these parts of the digestive tract means that fewer calories get absorbed into the body.

The Pros. Weight loss tends to be swift and dramatic. Most of it happens in the first six months. It may continue for up to two years after the operation. Because of the rapid weight loss, health conditions affected by obesity -- like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, sleep apnea, heartburn, and other conditions -- often improve quickly. You'll probably also feel a dramatic improvement in your quality of life. Gastric bypass also has good long-term results; studies have found that many people keep most of the weight off for 10 years or longer. The Cons. By design, surgeries like this impair the body's ability to absorb food. While that can cause rapid weight loss, it also puts you at risk of nutritional deficiencies. These nutritional deficiencies however, can be minimized with the right diet and nutritional supplements.

Another risk of gastric bypass is dumping syndrome, in which food is "dumped" from the stomach into the intestines too quickly before it's been properly digested. About 85% of people who get a gastric bypass have some dumping. Symptoms include nausea, bloating, pain, sweating, weakness, and diarrhea. Dumpin g is often triggered by sugary or high-carbohydrate foods, and adjusting the diet helps. However, some experts actually see dumping syndrome as beneficial, in that it encourages people to avoid foods that could lead to weight gain.

Travel For Care has partnered with the Top Weight Loss Surgeons in Monterrey in order to offer you the latest techniques at very attractive prices. Join the Medical Travel trend and come to Mexico for an Affordable Weight Loss procedure.

Prices Start at $7,500. Click Here For A Customized Quote For An Affordable Gastric Bypass

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