Bypassing The Challenge Of Weight Loss
The trend of obesity prevalence in the US continues to increase. Most people attempt to lose weight by limiting calories and exercising regularly. However, despite these efforts, many people still fail to maintain a healthy weight. Bariatric surgery can help jumpstart the weight loss journey, particularly for people suffering from obesity. One of the most common types of bariatric surgery is balloon bypass surgery.
What is balloon bypass surgery?
Also called gastric balloon procedure, balloon bypass surgery is a minimally-invasive procedure that significantly reduces the size of the stomach. The surgeon places an inflatable silicone balloon inside the abdomen through endoscopy. Once inside, the balloon is inflated with a saline solution. By taking up significant space in the stomach, the amount of food that can be consumed is limited. After 6 months, the surgeon removes the balloon through a small incision in the abdomen. This process leaves the stomach smaller and unable to hold significant food, resulting in substantial weight loss in most patients. The following are 3 benefits of balloon bypass surgery, especially for obese patients.
1. A reduced appetite
Because the balloon occupies most space in the stomach, patients feel full after eating less food and more satiated between meals. Balloon bypass surgery leads to a significant reduction in calorie intake. As a result, most patients lose significant weight after undergoing the procedure. Weight loss can be as much as 47% of starting body weight.
2. Increased metabolic rate
One of the leading causes of weight gain is the inability to digest and metabolize calories properly. When the stomach gets filled with excessive food, digestion slows down. As a result, the amount of nutrients absorbed into the bloodstream becomes limited. Reducing the stomach size reduces the amount of food consumed, allowing the body to digest the food more efficiently. This results in an increase in metabolic rate, which helps burn more calories and expedite weight loss.
3. More muscle mass
Reducing the stomach size also reduces the space available for storing excess calories in body fat. This encourages the body to use stored fat as energy. Over time, this results in more muscle formed instead of fat, dramatically improving bodily appearance. In addition, patients who undergo this procedure tend to become more physically active to help keep off the weight.
Are you a good candidate?
Anyone with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered a candidate for the procedure. Patients should note that this procedure is not a cure for obesity as the balloon only takes up to 85% of the stomach. Balloon bypass also does not address the dietary habits or underlying psychological causes of excess weight. Therefore, patients should seek medical guidance from a registered dietitian to help maintain healthy eating habits after the surgery. Committing to an exercise program can also help maximize weight loss and avoid future weight gain when the balloon is removed.