WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERIES: STOMACH STAPLING AND THE INTESTINAL BYPASS-THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY

These drastic remedies require full-blown surgery. For stomach stapling, a portion of the stomach is stapled shut, reducing the size of the portion of the stomach that receives the food. The theory behind stapling is that if you can’t hold as much food as you used to, you’ll eat less and lose weight. The intestinal bypass surgery takes a different approach, disconnecting or

removing a portion of the small intestines (where much of the food we eat is actually absorbed into the body). The idea is that food that can’t be absorbed in the shortened small intestine will simply pass out of the body.

Both of these surgeries have an enticing premise: Don’t worry about what you eat, it can’t harm you once we doctors have surgically altered your body. Unfortunately, the surgeries

themselves can be dangerous. Any time you undergo any surgery you run the risk of suffering complications—including death. In addition, stomach stapling can cause scarring, eating can

become uncomfortable, and overeating can cause the stomach to stretch out or pop its staples so that it returns to its original size, making the entire procedure a waste of time. Complications of the intestinal bypass include tremendous diarrhea, urinary stones, infections, liver failure, and malnutrition. (Being unable
to absorb excess calories may be great, but the surgery also cuts down on your ability to absorb nutrients.)

Stomach stapling and intestinal bypasses take very paternalistic approaches to weight loss (i.e., “Don’t worry about anything; we’ll take care of you.”). The people who subject themselves to these surgeries don’t learn how to eat or exercise or otherwise improve their health. In fact, they knowingly risk their health. Such drastic surgeries may be necessary for the morbidly obese who are in danger of dying from complications of the weight. While there are successes, I have treated many patients who’ve had such horrendous side effects from these surgeries that they’ve sworn “never again.” With a very few exceptions, it’s much better to avoid stapling and intestinal bypass altogether.

There’s Only One Way-Fad diets, pills, “metabolic enhancers,” devices, shots, and surgeries will come and go. But there’s only one way to lose weight and keep it off—eat sensibly, exercise, use Chitosan, and live for optimal health. If you focus on great health in this way (with just a little attention to your waistline), you’ll lose weight while setting the stage for a long, zestful, healthy life.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 4:10 am and is filed under Weight Loss. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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