Weight Loss Surgery: Is It Right for You?

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Bariatric surgery can lead to dramatic weight loss. How much you lose depends on a couple of things-- your commitment to diet and exercise before and after surgery and the type of operation you get.

Some kinds of weight-loss procedures make your stomach smaller to help you eat less and feel full more quickly. Those include the gastric band and gastric sleeve. Other types of surgeries called gastric bypass also make changes to your small intestine, so you absorb less fat and protein. The traditional gastric bypass procedure is known as Roux-en-Y.

All surgeries have risks, and weight-loss operations could make your stomach or intestine leak. Depending on the procedure you choose, long-term side effects can include gallstones, hernias, and malnutrition.

But there are benefits. You might move around more easily, become more active, and feel your mood lift. And if you have a condition linked to obesity, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or sleep apnea, that may improve, too.

So could weight-loss surgery be right for you? It might be if you're obese and have problems safely losing weight, or if you have weight-related health issues. Talk to your doctor. They can help you figure out if surgery is a smart option for you, and if so, what type might work best.