Overweight and obesity are major worldwide health problems. By 2015 the World Health Organization predicts that more than 2.3 billion adults will be over-weight and 700 million will be obese. Nowadays there is a huge selection of traditional weight loss therapies, such as low-energy diets, different types of exer-cises, behaviour therapy and modification, pharmacological treatment and other methods.
Unfortunately, clinically severe obese typically respond poorly to traditional die-tary and exercise and have limited success. Even when an initial response oc-curs, it is likely to be poorly maintained. While many people achieve some weight loss initially, the majority fails to maintain reduced body weight over time. In these situations gastric bypass surgery is well-accepted solution and is the mainstay of surgical therapy for the treatment of obesity and, compared to con-ventional weight loss methods (e.g., diet, exercise), it results in considerable and long-term weight loss. Currently, several bariatric surgeries are performed around the world, including vertical banded gastroplasty, gastric banding, sleeve gas-trectomy, biliopancreatic diversion, duodenal switch, and Roux-en-Y gastric by-pass.
From our Monthly Newsletter: Bariatric Surgery Support Newsletter March 2014
Education After gastric bypass operation weight loss is achieved because the size of stomach is reduced during the surgery. Short-term studies (3 to 5 years) show that a person looses from 40% to 80% of excess weight after a bariatric surgery, whereas long-term studies (>10-year follow-up) indicate that loss of ex-cess weight after the surgery varies from 50% to 80%, depending on the surgical technique used.
However, in order to achieve a certain goal it is not enough only to have a sur-gery. That is why before and after the surgical treatment patients are educated extensively about the surgery, complications, prognoses and outcomes. Typically they also undergo counselling with dietician and surgeon. They are getting ac-quainted with psychosocial issues and the required pre-surgical and post-surgical behavioural changes.
Dietary The most important and rather difficult change in lifestyle for pa-tients is dieting. The new gastrointestinal anatomy created by surgeons is de-signed to accommodate only small amounts of food. That is why patients must change their meals portion sizes. Also, new gastrointestinal tract requires some changes in digestion and absorption, that is why meals should be rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and regular monitoring of iron, vita-min B12 and blood count is recommended.
Sexual activity Obese patients usually feel depression because of their inactivity and discrimination. After bariatric surgery and weight loss they regain sexual in-terest, enjoyment and frequency increases. After surgery sexual satisfaction in-creases, automatically satisfaction of life and operation outcome grow.
Co morbidities Obesity is associated with fair or poor health and plenty of dis-eases. Bariatric surgery has great impact on these co morbidities. Even a small amount of weight loss improves type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hyperten-sion, joint pain, sleep apnea and leads to improved long-term control of these same conditions.
Medication usage Studies show that people use less medication to alleviate co morbidities after obesity surgery. For instance, people taking medications for diabetes reported a reduction by 72%. Subjects with depression also noted a marked reduction in medication usage by 50%. Medication usage for other obe-sity-related conditions such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and arthritis were also significantly reduced. Such major reduction in medication usage for obesity related conditions positively impacts budgets of individuals, insurance companies and institutions.