Not everyone is capable of fighting excessive weight through diet and intense exercises. Many choose radical surgical methods. Michael Ginzburg, M.D., an endocrinologist, told MedPulse.ru about different types of weight-loss surgeries and their pros and cons.
"Sometimes my patients ask me: “Doctor, could we just cut the fat out?” Well, sometimes plastic surgeons perform procedures called liposuction. It involves the use of a small stainless steel tube, called a cannula. Fat removal is accomplished as the suction cannula creates tiny tunnels through the fatty layers. After the surgery, the affected area has only a thin layer of fat left. The incisions are closed with stitches and covered with medical Band-Aids.”
Most frequently liposuction is performed on the abdomen, sides, back, inner and outer thighs and buttocks.
It seems very effective, but it is not that simple.
“Maximum of 400 milliliters of fat can be removed during a procedure (approximately two cups). Since fat tissue contains blood vessels, like any other tissue, during the operation these vessels are destroyed, hence massive bruising. There is also a high risk of suppurative complications,” Ginzburg explained.
Postoperative period is difficult. You have to watch for complications and wear special compression underwear during a month after the surgery.
No one can guarantee that your contours will remain perfect. It is true that fat will no longer form in the areas affected by the surgery, but it will “stick” to other areas. For instance, if fat is removed from the abdomen, it will “stick” to the thighs and buttocks. So don’t even hope that habitual overindulgence will not cause any problems.
Liposuction is effective when patients have certain cosmetic defects like love handles or saggy buttocks rather when they are obese.
“No serious plastic surgeon considers liposuction as a procedure aimed at the reduction of body fat. This is a purely cosmetic procedure.”
2. Gastric Bypass
"Various surgical procedures aimed at reduction of the stomach size were designed and proposed in medicine. The most common procedure is the surgical removal of part of the stomach (resection). The general principal of the surgery is based on the concept that the smaller the stomach, the less food a patient is able to consume, hence weight loss. The patients indeed lose weight, but high risk of trauma and complications during post operative period limits application of the procedure.
In the past ten years, a number of clinics in the West widely performed a surgery where a ring with the diameter of 45-50 millimeters was placed on the middle part of the stomach. As a result, the upper part of the stomach quickly filled with food and the patients felt full. This caused a decrease in food consumption and weight loss.
The authors of the method claim that after the procedure the patients lose up to 60 pounds and more, and the results are long-term. The procedure was thought to become the main method of obesity treatment, but it turned out it was not that simple.
The procedure only helps those with extremely high food consumption, and only a few patients are like that. They do exist, but they usually have extreme stages of obesity and there aren’t that many of them.
When the procedure is performed on patients with excessive weight who do not eat much, the weight loss is insignificant or non-existent.
As we can see, surgical treatment cannot be considered the only right way to lose weight. Diet and exercise are the most effective methods of weight loss. There is no point in deceiving ourselves and taking risks.