Weight-loss surgery is a very personal decision, one that requires a lot of thought and research. Aside from the obvious concerns with regards to complications during surgery, it is also costly.
However, some health insurance plans do cover weight-loss surgery. According to Obesity Coverage on average weight loss surgery ranges between $14,500-$23,000, or more, depending upon the type of surgery.
But more concerning is the candidate’s long-term health and the benefits that weight-loss surgery can bring.
Types of Weight-Loss Surgery
There are a variety of weight loss surgery options, otherwise known in medical terms as bariatric surgery.
- Gastric Sleeve (Sleeve Gastrectomy): An alternative option to the Lap-Band, the latter has been known to have a longer recovery time and increased chances of complications.
- Lap-Band/oBand: Your bariatric surgeon will place a laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) around the upper portion of the stomach. The adjustable silicone band tightens and can adjust using a saline fill.
- Duodenal Switch: This is a 4-hour procedure for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40, the gallbladder is removed, intestines are rerouted and, finally, the size of the stomach is reduced.
- Mini-Gastric Bypass: A shorter and simpler weight-loss procedure with minimal risk. However, health insurance companies tend to not cover it.
- Gastric Bypass: Essentially, it deals with both the size of your stomach and your small intestines. Gastric Bypass, like other standard weight-loss surgery reduces the size of the stomach. However, Gastric Bypass connects the end of the small intestines directly to the new smaller stomach pouch.
- vBloc Therapy: Your surgeon will implant a device just under the rib cage with a second device placed above the stomach on your vagal nerve. The devices essentially block signals from the brain that you’re hungry. Time can be a factor the more a candidate weighs. vBloc weight-loss surgery takes 60-90 minutes to complete.
- Gastric Balloon: A temporary solution where a bariatric surgeon inflates a balloon with either saline or air and then places in the stomach. It gives the patient the feeling of being full faster. The balloon is then removed after 6 months.
- AspireAssist: A non-surgical weight-loss solution that removes about 30 percent of food in the stomach via a thin tube. This procedure takes 15 minutes.
Risks of Weight-Loss Surgery
There are obvious risks of any weight-loss surgery.
- Blood clots
- Scarring inside the abdomen (adhesions)
- Bleeding ulcers
- Development of gallstones
Preventing Weight-Loss Surgery
To avoid weight loss surgery, the best course of action is to immediately begin exercising and eating a balanced, protein-rich and low-caloric diet. Getting to a point of mobility is key, so that exercise and everyday movement are possible. The YMCA and other affordable gym/exercise facilities with an indoor pool can help. If obese or morbidly obese (BMI is 40 or higher), aquatic aerobics is a low-resistance exercise that is ideal. Exercising in pools helps anyone with low mobility due to weight or back, knee, hip and joint problems.
Eating a high protein diet, reducing refined carbohydrates and avoiding sugar can lead to natural weight-loss. Though, portion control and small portions equally helps with daily caloric intake.
Therefore, when you reduce your daily caloric intake it’s a step towards preventing weight-loss surgery. Protein shakes are a great meal replacement and one weight-loss strategy.
Don’t Give Up!
It’s easier to lose focus when you’re just starting. The road towards your weight-loss journey might feel long and arduous, but it’s not impossible. You just need to take the right steps to get there and that begins with eating smarter, smaller portions and staying active. Anytime you’re trying to lose weight, especially hundreds of pounds, the process doesn’t happen over night. So, if you are a considering weight-loss surgery, consult dietary and exercise experts. Help is available, talk to your physician and weigh all your options.
And whatever you do, don’t get discouraged or give up!