Medical Versus Cosmetic Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery is a major step when pursuing weight loss and should only be considered when traditional methods have failed. Before you decide on any type of weight loss surgery, learn as much as possible about weight loss surgery. Considering medical versus cosmetic options will help you decide which one is right for you. Medical

Weight Loss Surgery Options

Medical weight loss surgery, also known as Bariatric surgery, results in considerable weight loss because the surgery changes the way your body receives and digests nutrients. Medical weight loss surgery procedures include:

  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch: The surgeon removes 80 percent of the stomach then attaches the end of the small intestine to the duodenum. This creates a small stomach pouch to restrict food intake and bypasses a majority of the small intestine to restrict calorie absorption.
  • Gastric bypass surgery: The surgeon staples a section of the stomach, creating a small pouch and sealing off the rest of the stomach. Then the surgeon bypasses the duodenum by attaching part of the small intestine directly to the stomach pouch. This restricts food intake and limits absorption.
  • LAP-BAND adjustable gastric banding: An inflatable band is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach, splitting the stomach into two sections. Pulling the band tight creates a tiny channel between the parts. This restricts food intake.
  • Vertical banded gastroplasty (stomach stapling): Staples divide the stomach into two parts. The small upper pouch empties into the rest of the stomach. This construction limits food intake.

Good Candidates for Medical Weight Loss Surgery

To figure out if you are a good candidate for medical weight loss surgery, doctors suggest you look at your body mass index (BMI), which is a calculation of body fat using height and weight. You are a proper candidate if your BMI is greater than 40 or if your BMI is greater than 35 and you suffer from obesity-related health problems.Effects of

Medical Weight Loss Surgery

You can lose an average of 44 to 67 pounds after medical weight loss surgery and can keep it off as long as you follow a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Because medical weight loss surgery changes the way the digestive system works, you must change your eating habits to prevent nasty side effects such as nausea, heartburn, faintness, dizziness and sweating. Instead of eating large meals a few times a day, you must eat small amounts eight to 10 times a day.

Medical weight loss surgery also improves health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and arthritis.

Cosmetic Weight Loss Surgery Options

When comparing medical versus cosmetic weight loss surgery options, many people choose cosmetic surgery because it seems like a quick fix. Here are two common cosmetic weight loss surgery procedures:

  • Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck): This cosmetic surgical procedure flattens your tummy by removing extra fat and skin, as well as by tightening your abdominal wall.
  • Lipoplasty (liposuction): The traditional cosmetic procedure uses an instrument called a cannula to break up and suck out fat from the body. A new method uses ultrasound energy to break up fat before sucking it from the body.

Candidates for Cosmetic Weight Loss Surgery

Good candidates for cosmetic weight loss surgery should have average or slightly above average weight and good overall health.

Each cosmetic surgical procedure has additional recommended requirements, so talk to your doctor to find out which procedure will fit your needs.

Effects of Cosmetic Weight Loss Surgery

After cosmetic weight loss surgery the treated area might look bigger because of swelling and bruising. Pain, numbness and swelling may last for several days or several months after the surgery. A tummy tuck results in a prominent scar, which will fade but never disappear.

You will notice your new body shape about four to six weeks after surgery. People are generally happy with their results as long as they had realistic expectations. For long-lasting results, doctors recommend eating healthy and exercising.

Medical versus Cosmetic Surgery

The core difference between medical weight loss surgery and cosmetic surgery is medical weight loss surgery restores health, while cosmetic surgery improves appearance and usually does not require behavioral changes. This is something to think about when considering medical versus cosmetic surgery.

The difference in risk factors is also a serious consideration when debating the merits of medical versus cosmetic. The risks associated with cosmetic weight loss surgery are less severe than risks associated with medical weight loss surgery.

Possible complications from cosmetic surgery include:

  • blood or fat clots
  • change in skin color or texture
  • infection
  • post-operative fluid collections.

Possible complications from medical surgery include:

  • band erosion
  • death
  • infection
  • intestinal leakage
  • nausea, diarrhea, heartburn and dizziness
  • staple line breakage.

Another consideration when comparing medical versus cosmetic weight loss surgery is the cost. Cosmetic weight loss surgery ranges from about $4,000 to $9,000. Most insurance companies do not cover cosmetic surgery. Medical weight loss surgery ranges from $20,000 to $35,000. Many insurance companies cover medical weight loss surgery if you meet certain requirements.

After full consideration of medical versus cosmetic weight loss surgery, remember any weight loss surgery is a big step and should not be taken lightly. Whether you chose medical or cosmetic surgery, diet and exercise are still vital to success after surgery.