The number of people who are considered to be severely overweight or clinically obese is steadily climbing. The number for adults stands at 34 million (Source: www.med.Stanford.edu); of those, there are nearly 20 million who are at the beginning, in the middle or quitting a diet of some kind.
Since 1980, the number of children and teens who are overweight or obese has more than tripled, with over nine million young people between the ages of six and nineteen are overweight. That number is equal to nearly twenty percent of this age group who are overweight (Source: Papalia, Olds and Feldman 2008). As more and more of these children reach young and middle adulthood with weight issues as well as the other health problems that come along with it, gastric bypass will become the solution for many, and perhaps the most common type of surgery that is performed in hospitals across the country.
Once considered to be an elective surgery, gastric bypass surgery and other bariatric surgeries have quickly become recognized as important and necessary as people continue to gain weight and face increased risk of:
– Cardiovascular disease including heart attack and stroke.
– Gall bladder disease
– Hypertension which increases the risk of kidney and heart disease
– Cancer, especially breast and endometrial cancer as well as a number of others
There are more children who are developing what was once called “adult” onset diabetes, type II diabetes. There are more children who are having signs of early heart disease and even having heart attacks decades earlier than have previously been seen. It is important that the health of not only the children but the health of young adults be considered. As this is a major reason that gastric bypass surgery is becoming not only more common but more necessary as well.
The cost of the surgery can range from ten thousand to thirty thousand dollars but is generally covered in part by insurance in most cases.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
There are several different versions of the weight loss surgery including some that are technically reversible, some that are adjustable and some that are only temporary- most of them however are permanent. All bariatric surgeries should be considered potentially life threatening and should only be undertaken if all risks are explained and understood thoroughly.
The most common weight loss surgery is the Roux en Y gastric bypass which is done by making the stomach smaller. A small pouch is created by stapling the stomach and then connecting it to the middle portion of the small intestine, (the jejunum). This procedure is most typically done as an open procedure; however there might be a chance that the surgery is done as a laparoscopic procedure.
The Lap Band System is accomplished by installing an adjustable gastric band (a silicone belt) around the top part of the stomach. It allows the patient to control hunger and to feel full faster. The lap band is connected to a port that can be adjusted as weight decreases. Without the adjustment, the band can become too loose and may slip out of place or lose effectiveness. There will typically be six to eight adjustments of the band in the first eighteen months following the lap band surgery. If the lap band is placed in a laparoscopic surgery the patient can return home that same day and the surgery itself takes only an hour or so.
The sleeve gastrectomy is done as a preliminary surgery type for those who are considered to be too obese for the other surgeries to be completed safely. For this surgery, the surgeon removes most of the stomach, leaving about fifteen percent of the organ intact. This is not reversible and can then be converted to a more traditional bypass, once some of the excess weight has been lost, however, this surgery can be used as the only one that is used. Some surgeons prefer this procedure over banding because it eliminates the insertion of a foreign object which increases risk of post surgical complications. (Source: www.surgeryideas.com/gastricbypass)
Another type of bariatric surgery involves going through the mouth using an endoscopic technique to bypass the stomach altogether. The options with this surgery include using a small plastic tube to go from throat to small intestine or stitching the stomach wall together to form a very narrow tube from esophagus to the duodenum. (Source: Gever, 2009)
The Need for Supplements and Good Nutrition
After the surgery has been completed, the stomach pouch will only hold a small amount of food at a time meaning that you will not only have to learn a whole new way of eating, but will have to make sure that you are making every single bite count so that you stay healthy and strong. Not only will you be learning a new way of eating and adjusting to a new lifestyle, but you will also be recovering from major surgery which increases your need for protein, vitamins, and minerals. The better that you learn to eat, the better your health will be and the faster that you will recover. You will also lose weight more effectively.
Weight loss is almost instant in most cases and depending on the type of surgery that you have, the excess weight can be gone in one to four years. During that time you will be eating small amounts as well as:
– Learning to eat very slowly, including chewing very thoroughly or eating only blended foods.
– There will be no liquids with your food- you will either drink thirty minutes before or after every meal.
– Vitamins, medications, and supplements will be taken with the same restrictions in mind.
Meals should be eaten every few hours so that your metabolism is kept high as well as keeping your strength up. Protein should be included with all meals and carbohydrates should be restricted early in the day for better results.
Protein supplements that can be consumed quickly, and provide good nutrients above and beyond just protein. Profect from Protica can be a very beneficial way to meet the requirements for protein and is available in a number of different strengths and flavors for convenience. There is a single serve vial that contains 25 grams of protein (100 calories) to take along where ever you go. A 50 gram dual serving vial is also available which has two 25 gram servings of Profect. It is slightly thicker and can be consumed as is or can be mixed with fruit juice or water as needed. Because each serving is less than three fluid ounces in size, it is perfect for the newly recovering bariatric patient. For even more convenience, there is a larger bottle that contains ten servings of Profect.
In addition to supplying at least 25 grams of protein per serving, Profect supplies the entire day’s Vitamin C and 10% of the day’s supply of the B vitamins. There are zero carbohydrates and zero fat in each version of Profect.