No matter how hard they try, many people simply cannot lose weight with diet and exercise. For those who remain very obese, weight loss surgery can help achieve permanent weight control.
After surgery, most patients lose between 50-60% of their excess weight and get major health benefits e.g. over two-thirds of people with type 2 diabetes no longer need treatment and high blood pressure resolves in 60% of cases. The weight is generally kept off over time.
There are several different operations, but 'gastric band surgery' is the safest and is used in over 90% of cases. A silicone band with an inflatable balloon is placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a small stomach pouch. This restricts the amount of food you can eat, so you feel satisfied after eating less.
The procedure is done through key-hole surgery (laparoscopy) and usually involves an overnight hospital stay. The tightness of the balloon can later be adjusted by injecting saline into a reservoir under the skin.
The risks from gastric band surgery are small, but infections and blood clots can occur. About one in 20 patients will require further surgery later due to complications, such as the band slipping. After surgery, patients must eat smaller meals and need monitoring for adequate nutrient levels.
Consider surgery if your BMI is over 35 and you cannot lose weight by other means, particularly if you have a related medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease.
What is your BMI?
Your BMI is your weight (kg) divided by your height2 (m)
20-25 Healthy weight range
>35 Seriously obese
Speak to your doctor or visit www.weightlosssurgery.com.au
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.