Weight Loss Option May Offer Results Without Surgery

Obesity is a serious concern for an estimated third of the American population. If left unchecked, excess weight can take its toll on the body, opening the door for serious medical complications. Long linked to heart disease, some forms of cancer and diabetes, among other complications, obesity is considered a slow killer by many. While the risk of health complications is high for those who carry an excess of excess weight, that doesn’t mean everyone who is overweight wants to rush into the operating room to undergo a bariatric procedure to help. There are other options that can assist people in shedding pounds. One new procedure, in fact, is showing a great deal of promise.

Known as a bariatric arterial embolization, the non-surgical option developed largely by accident. The procedure is used in emergency situations to control bleeding in the stomach. It works by injecting microscopic beads into one of the arteries that feeds the stomach. While long used for bleeding control, doctors began noticing those who underwent the procedure also lost weight.

Hoping to investigate further, small-scale studies have been performed on translating this procedure for weight loss patients. So far, the results have been quite promising. In a recent study, patients reported an 80 percent decrease in hunger after the procedure. They also experienced weight loss of about 13 percent at the six-month mark.

Although still very much in the investigational phase, this non-surgical option may someday offer an option for those who need to lose weight achieve the goal without having to undergo a costly operation. In the meantime, doctors do have a variety of procedures at their disposal to help patients lose weight and potentially improve their health. To find out more about weight loss options – surgical and nonsurgical – speak with a licensed healthcare provider. The best recommendations will depend on the particulars of a person’s unique case.

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3 Types of Bariatric Surgery: Explore the Options

People who are morbidly obese may find their healthcare providers recommending weight loss surgery to help them get this potentially life-limiting concern in check. Courtesy of major advances in bariatric surgery, patients today have several options that may help them achieve the goal of having a leaner, healthier body.

While the goal of all forms of bariatric surgery is to help people shed pounds and keep them off, not all procedures are exactly alike. Here are the most common procedures and what patients can expect from them:

• Lap band – This procedure involves the placement of a small band at the top of the stomach. It essentially limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time by narrowing entry. Considered fully reversible and adjustable, lap band procedures tend to produce the most modest weight loss results.
• Sleeve gastrectomy – This procedure involves the removal of a portion of the stomach and the surgical reshaping of what is left. When all is said and done, the remaining stomach looks like a banana or “sleeve.” This option helps people lose weight by limiting their ability to hold food on a permanent basis. Once it is performed, the removed stomach section is gone for good.
• Gastric bypass – This procedure takes a two-prong approach to weight loss. The stomach holding capacity is limited in the first prong of this procedure. In addition, the small intestine is connected directly to the new stomach pouch to limit absorption of calories.

People who are considered severely obese are urged to talk to their healthcare providers about all weight loss options. Bariatric surgery is generally recommended only once all other efforts at weight loss have been exhausted. Generally, a body mass index of 35 or higher is required for surgeons to even entertain the idea of employing a bariatric procedure to help a patient lose weight.