Surgery may be an option if you have a
body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. It may also be an option if you have a BMI of 35 and another health
problem related to your weight, such as
Interactive Tool: Is Your BMI Increasing Your Health Risks? to calculate
Experts are still debating whether surgery for obesity is okay for children.
The goal of surgery is to cause
significant weight loss. This should reduce
obesity-related health problems, including type 2
high blood pressure.
Surgery can help you lose weight in a couple of ways. Restrictive operations (such as adjustable gastric band ) reduce how much food you can eat by making the stomach smaller. Malabsorptive operations (such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) make it harder for your body to digest and absorb food.
It is important to
remember that you may still be obese or overweight after the surgery. Also,
surgery will require you to make extreme changes in how you eat, such as eating
only a few ounces of food at a time because the surgery creates a much smaller
- Obesity: Should I Have Weight-Loss Surgery?
- Adjustable Gastric Band
- Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass
- Biliopancreatic Diversion and Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
After surgery, you
will need to learn new ways to eat. You'll need to eat very slowly and
chew your food well. You will not be able to drink for 30 minutes before eating, during your
meal, and for 30 minutes after eating. If you don't make these changes, you may vomit frequently
and have pain. You may also develop nutrition problems.
Your doctor may recommend calcium, iron, and
What to think about
All surgeries have risks. Discuss your treatment options
with your doctor to decide what is best for you.
Most people who
have surgery to treat obesity begin to lose weight quickly. Weight loss usually
continues for about 2 years.
Risks common to all surgeries for
weight loss include an infection in the incision, a leak from the stomach into
the abdominal cavity or where the intestine is connected (resulting in an
peritonitis), and a blood clot that blocks blood flow
in the lung (pulmonary embolism). Some people develop
It is important to
compare the risks of being obese with the risks of surgery.