Since the late 1950s, various surgical procedures have been devised to assist in weight loss. Some, such as the gastric bypass and duodenal switch, have withstood the test of time. Others, like the jejunoileal bypass and banded gastroplasty, have been abandoned. Now, new procedures are currently being debated to determine what is the best operation available. As potential patients weigh out the pros and cons of different procedures for bariatric surgery in Thousand Oaks, a genetically determined, tailored approach may be an option in the not-too-distant future.
As you gather information about bariatric surgery, such as gastric sleeve surgery performed by our experts at University Bariatrics, it would be helpful to have a basic understanding of the digestive tract. The esophagus is the muscular tube that carries solid foods and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. The material is broken down utilizing gastric juices, and is moved through the pylorus to the duodenum. Bile and pancreatic juice speed up the digestive process. Most of the calcium and iron in the foods that we eat are absorbed in the duodenum. The jejunum and ileum, over their 20-30 feet course, complete the absorption of almost all calories and nutrients. Food particles that cannot be digested in the small intestine are stored in the large intestine and eliminated. This information, though often complex, is key for the understanding of anyone pursing a procedure for weight loss surgery.
Normally, as food moves along the digestive tract, appropriate digestive juices and enzymes arrive at specific locations to help absorb calories and nutrients. The entire process, furthermore, leads to the release of certain hormones and chemicals into the bloodstream at specific junctures. Targeting oral intake and manipulating the above-mentioned steps form the basis of modern bariatric surgery. Hence, weight-loss operations have been categorized as restrictive (impedance to oral intake), malabsorptive (delayed absorption of nutrients via intestinal “rerouting”), or a hybrid of both.
Making the Right Choice
There are definite differences between the various operations in terms of effectiveness, risk profile, and the required surgical skills. It is therefore imperative for patients seeking bariatric surgery to research them all prior to choosing one. The final choice should provide you with the best possible balance between your level of risk tolerance, your underlying medical conditions, and the expected outcomes. The choice should neither be made in haste nor be influenced by advertising efforts – or a “push” by any one individual, including a surgeon performing bariatric surgery.
The first shot is consistently the best shot. Whereas a particular operation may appear to be the least invasive initially, such as an adjustable band, typical side effects and complications may not manifest themselves until later. Subsequent revisions and reoperations do generate more risk and provide diminished returns. Determining which way to proceed for a procedure like a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy is therefore a process that requires serious discussions with your doctor and your family. The ultimate decision, however, rests with you. It’s your life, your health, and your choice. For more information, and to find out if weight loss surgery is right for you, reach our experts today for a consultation at (805) 379-9796. We provide care for Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moor Park, Newbury Park, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Camarillo, Conejo Valley, Ventura County and Oxnard.