Gastric Bypass Surgery: The Skinny on Stomach Stapling
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Gastric Bypass Surgery: The Skinny on Stomach Stapling

Do you believe in magical weight loss? Some people do. At least, those who hope to lose several hundred pounds following a surgical procedure. It's called gastric bypass surgery, or "stomach stapling."
          gastric bypass surgery

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Do you believe in magical weight loss? Some people do. At least, those who hope to lose several hundred pounds following a surgical procedure. It's called gastric bypass surgery, or "stomach stapling." It is a permanent procedure to decrease stomach size so that it can't hold more than a cup of food. Or some people have a band placed around their stomach, to squeeze off a tiny portion of their stomach for digestion.

A bariatric (weight management) surgery isn't cheap. Sometimes there are complications. Recovery is painful. Some people don't even lose weight. Worse, some people die. Not exactly a happy ending.

The Gory Details

The hospital stay for weight loss surgery is usually pain-filled three or four days. Many patients can't eat solid foods for a month. People often experience severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if they attempt to overeat. Certain foods, such as bread and sweets, are permanently off the menu. Supplements, B12 injections, regular doctor's visits, and a strict diet become a way of life.

                 stomach stapling

Risky Business

There are at least 120,000 weight loss surgeries done in the United States each year, and there are no firm statistics on how many are teens. Risk factors include gallstone, infections, blood clots, intestinal leakage, and bowel obstruction. One in several hundred patients dies within a month after a weight loss procedure.

Unfortunately, about 25 percent don't lose any weight after the surgery. Thirty percent regain the weight within five years. Potential patients go through extensive testing by surgeons, psychiatrists, and dieticians. Bariatric patients have tried everything else; surgery is the last possible solution. It's desperate.

More Appealing Solutions

Although for some tremendously heavy people surgery is the solution, let's face it: it just isn't the answer for most of us. And surgery candidates know that the outcome may be disappointing or harmful.

What's the answer? Without adopting a healthy approach toward food and fitness, even a person who has had gastric bypass will pack on the pounds again.

The biggest change actually happens in your mind. Consider getting weight loss counseling from a dietician. (Think that sounds expensive? Do you remember how much surgery costs?) Join a gym where people will ask about you if you don't show up to work out. Accountability is priceless.

Don't put your hope in magical weight loss program. Begin a simple program: Eat less; move more. You'll enjoy amazing results.

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Comments (1)

Interesting but scary.

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