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How Does Weight Loss Surgery Work?

Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, is a way for people struggling with obesity to lose weight and get healthier. It's important to know how these surgeries work to make sure you get the results you want and avoid any problems related to the surgery. There are three main ways these surgeries help people lose weight: 1. making the stomach smaller, 2. changing hormones and metabolism, and 3. reduce how many calories the body absorbs.

First, creating a smaller stomach allows a meal, just a portion of the usual size, to be more satisfying. This happens with surgeries like the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass. In gastric sleeve surgery, part of the stomach is removed, and in gastric bypass, the stomach is divided into two parts. With a smaller stomach, people feel full faster, so they eat less and lose weight.

Second, these surgeries results in a change to hormones and metabolism, which affect hunger. For example, in sleeve gastrectomy, removing part of the stomach reduces the hormone Ghrelin, which can make you feel hungry, so you don't eat as much. Similarly, gastric bypass surgery also changes hormone levels, when the stomach and short portion of the small bowel is bypassed, making you less hungry.

Third, some surgeries reduce how well the body absorbs calories, especially fat. This happens with procedures like the duodenal switch and SADI-S procedure. With less fat absorption patients lose weight, yet still absorb protein and carbohydrates to support your metabolism. Still, it's important to watch your fat intake after these surgeries to avoid stomach problems and not miss out on important nutrients.

No matter which surgery someone has, they need to pay attention to their diet and take vitamins to stay healthy. The goal of all these surgeries is to help people eat less because they feel full and satisfied between meals. Some surgeries also limit how much fat calories are absorbed. Understanding how these surgeries work is really important for anyone thinking about having one. It helps them make smart choices, follow the doctor's advice, and have the best chance of losing weight and staying healthy in the long run.

In following blogs, I will address in further detail how each of these three mechanisms help you lose weight and achieve your health goals.