Lose weight surgery: the guide

There are plenty of ways to lose weight.

These may include changing your diet to include more healthy foods and beverages and limiting your portions and engaging in a regular physical activity.

However, there are times when no matter how hard you try to diet or exercise, you still can’t seem to shed off those extra pounds.

Furthermore, there are many individuals who may be skinny or are not exactly overweight but have chunky arms, fat thighs, or a sagging tummy.

In such examples, it may be a good idea to undergo a surgical procedure for weight loss.

This article would discuss in detail the six surgery options available for weight loss.

Tummy Tuck – Everything You Need To Know

A tummy tuck is one of the most popular surgical procedures to achieve a firmer and flatter belly.

Also called “abdominoplasty,” this procedure involves removing the excess fat and skin of your stomach.

As mentioned earlier, for some individuals, despite trying their best to diet and exercise, they just can’t seem to lose those stubborn fats.

Sometimes, this is due to a number of factors:

  • Having had surgery done in the past
  • Weight loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetics
  • Getting old (therefore, metabolism is decreasing)

Before you consider undergoing a tummy tuck procedure, you should be aware of the following:

  • It will not get rid of stretch marks.
  • It cannot be considered a weight loss substitute.

Cost

Tummy tucks cost very high in countries like the United States. It can range up to $10,000 there. This procedure is more affordable in Mexico where it costs an average of $3,500, and Thailand, where it costs an average of $3,000.

Suitability

A tummy tuck is not as complicated compared to other weight loss surgeries. It is ideal for any man or woman as long as he or she is in good health. It is best for those who have loose or excess skin or fat, for the purpose of trimming and firming the skin.

Pre and Post Surgery

Prior to surgery, you will have to do the following:

• Work out. This helps in gaining muscle mass. In addition, it helps in preventing weight gain during the recovery period when you are required to not move much.
• Eat healthy. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods. This is to boost your immune system to make your recovery time faster.
• Quit smoking. Regardless of the type of surgery, you are at a higher risk of developing complications if you are a smoker.
Once your surgery is finished:
• Have a family member or friend fetch you.
• Wear only comfortable and loose clothing that can easily be taken on and off.
• To help you manage the pain or discomfort, use petroleum jelly and ice packs.

It is normal if you feel any pain and discomfort or experience any swelling right after surgery. These can be relieved using some medications that your surgeon would prescribe. Your surgeon will also ask you to get plenty of bed rest for the first few days. He or she will remove your stitches after a week and you will be provided specific guidelines on walking, bathing, and showering.

Recovery

The recovery period for a tummy tuck surgery depends on various factors, such as the amount of surgery done. On average, you would be able to go back to work after 7-14 days. However, some can take up to 28 days. If you were in good health when you underwent surgery, your recovery period would be much shorter.

Liposuction – Everything You Need To Know

Liposuction is perhaps the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure for losing weight. It is also rather affordable. It can be done on various problem areas, such as your belly, arms, thighs, butt, hips, neck, calves, etc.

Cost

The cost of a liposuction is not fixed. Several factors come into play such as the specific body part or parts you plan to have it done on. In addition, the amount of fat to be removed is also taken into account. It is more expensive for larger areas like your stomach compared to areas such as your arms, for example.

Suitability

Liposuction is ideal for you if:

• The elasticity of your skin is good. This is because liposuction is only for getting rid of fat, not for tightening of the skin.
• You want specific areas of your body to look more defined.
• Some parts of your body have more fat and are looking out of proportion with your entire body.

Pre and Post Surgery

You will be given specific instructions by your doctor on what to do before and after the surgery. But to give you some idea, your doctor will ask you to do the following prior to surgery:

• Consume a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
• Quit smoking.
• Stay away from certain medications that can increase bleeding, such as aspirin.

The surgery will take 1.5 hours to finish, on average. In some cases when there is too much fat to be removed or when liposuction is to be done o multiple body parts, the surgery could take up to three hours to finish.

Once the surgery has been completed, you will also have to make sure of the following:

• You are not allowed to drive so you need someone to fetch you from the hospital.
• You need plenty of rest and sleep.
• You need to wear only comfortable and loose clothing.

Types of Liposuction

There are two kinds of liposuction that can be done:

1. Ultrasound liposuction – ultrasound is used to melt the fat before removing it.
2. Tumescent liposuction – in this method, a combination of drugs, anesthetic, and saline solution is introduced into the fats using a syringe to be removed to lessen the pain and blood loss.

Recovery

It is normal if you experience swelling or fluid leaks right after surgery. You will have to compress your skin using some special garments for a couple of weeks. You will also feel some discomfort for a couple of weeks. The swelling would be at its worst during the first 2 days, and will eventually subside over the next 14-21 days. You might also experience some bruising for the first week or two.
For the first six weeks after surgery, you are not allowed to engage in any strenuous activity or heavy lifting.

Bariatric Surgery – Everything You Need To Know

Bariatic surgery is a surgical procedure or a series of procedures designed for extremely overweight or obese individuals. Usually, it is only considered as a last resort, when all the other options have not worked or aren’t suitable. The patients who usually undergo bariatric surgery are those who are critically overweight to the point that it is life-threatening.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are 3 kinds of bariatric surgery:

1. Sleeve Gastrectomy – In this procedure, part of your stomach would be removed, decreasing its size.
2. Gastric bypass surgery – In this procedure, your surgeon will divide your stomach by creating a tiny pouch at the top. The stomach will then be connected to the small intestine below. After this procedure, you will only have to consume a lower amount of food in order to feel full. Your small intestine will also digest less food.
3. Gastric band surgery – In this procedure, your surgeon will use an adjustable band to decrease the size of your stomach.

Cost

In the United States, a bariatric surgery costs an average of $20,000. This is extremely expensive compared to other countries such as Mexico and Thailand where it costs around $3,500 only.

Suitability

Bariatric surgery may be a good option for you if you meet the following conditions:

• In general, you are in good health.
• You attempted in the past to lose weight through exercise and diet but nothing worked.
• You have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 and you have another significant health issue such as diabetes or hypertension.
• You have a BMI of 40 or more.

Surgery

It usually takes 1-2 hours to finish a sleeve gastrectomy. A gastric bypass surgery, on the other hand, takes about 1.5-3 hours. As for a gastric band surgery, it usually takes one hour to do. Out of these three, the only procedure that is not permanent is the gastric band surgery. Normally, you would be allowed to go home after 24 hours. On the other hand, for the other two procedures, you would normally have to stay in the hospital for two to five days.

Recovery

Your digestive system needs ample time to recover, so you are not allowed to consume any solids for the first couple of days after the operation. Your surgeon will also give you very strict instructions regarding your diet.

You will experience abrupt weight loss and major changes in your diet, which your body will have to adjust to. Thus, it is normal if you feel some uncomfortable, tired, cold, or achy during the first couple of months until you have adjusted to it.

Sleeve Gastrectomy – Everything You Need To Know

A sleeve gastrectomy is a very popular type of bariatric surgery. It is preferred by more people than a gastric band surgery. As mentioned earlier, in this procedure, part of your stomach would be removed, decreasing its size.

Cost

A sleeve gastrectomy can be very expensive in countries such as the United State, where it costs an average of $19,000. However, it costs less than 50% of that in other countries such as Thailand, where the cost is only roughly $7,000. In Mexico, it costs roughly $8,000.

Suitability

As mentioned earlier, a sleeve gastrectomy is permanent. You need to be fully decided that you can and will maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to fully lose the excess weight and uphold the weight loss. You are also eligible if you have a BMI of 40 or higher, and you have failed to lose weight in the past through exercise and diet. If, for any reason, you are not allowed to fly to another country, then this might not be an option, unless you already live in the country where you will have the surgery done.

Surgery

It usually takes 1-2 hours to conduct a sleeve gastrectomy. Normally, it will be done using a laparoscope, a tiny device with a camera and light at the end. This would be inserted into a small cut made in your stomach. It will let your doctor see the inside of your stomach on a monitor. In this procedure, up to ¾ of your stomach will be removed. The remaining ¼ is formed into a tube-shape and stapled.
Once the surgery is finished, your stomach will be dramatically smaller in size, making it impossible for you to eat as much as you used too. This results in weight loss.

Recovery

You will be required to stay in the hospital after surgery for two to five more days. In addition, you will not be allowed to consume any solids for the first couple of days to give your digestive system enough time to recover.
You should not engage in any strenuous physical activity or any heavy lifting for the first few weeks after surgery. After about a month though, it is recommended that you begin exercising lightly.

Gastric Band Surgery – Everything You Need To Know

Gastric band surgery is a procedure in which an adjustable band is used around your stomach’s upper section and fastened. This narrows your stomach. It is ideal if you are unsuccessful in losing weight via exercise or dieting.

Cost

A gastric band surgery roughly costs $14,500 even in Thailand. It is quite an expensive surgical procedure.

Suitability

This procedure is ideal for those with a BMI of 40 or more. In addition, it also helps people suffering from the following conditions:

• Pre-diabetes (metabolic syndrome)
• Hypertension
• Osteoarhtiris
• Diabetes
• Sleep apnea

Pre and Post Surgery

You will be given specific instructions by your doctor on what to do before and after the surgery. But to give you some idea, the following will be asked of you prior to surgery:

• Consume a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
• Quit smoking.

The surgery will take 45 minutes to one hour to finish, on average. Note that this procedure is not permanent. It can be reversed, should you want to.

Once the surgery has been completed, you will also have to make sure of the following:

• You are not allowed to drive so you need someone to pick you up.
• You need plenty of rest for the first few days.
• You need to wear only comfortable and loose clothing.

Recovery

You are not allowed to consume any solids for the first 2-3 weeks after surgery. You can only eat pureed food, and then gradually shift to soft foods. However, when you do begin to resume eating solids, your stomach will only be able to hold roughly one tablespoon of food, or the size of a walnut, so you will immediately feel full. Your stomach pouch may be stretched over time, but only to hold up to one cup of food. As you can imagine, there will be a dramatic change in your eating habits, and your normal consumption would be decreased intensely. This would make you lose weight very fast for the first 3-6 months following surgery. However, expect some side effects such as:

• occasional hair loss
• mood swings
• dry skin
• fatigue
• muscle pains

As your body adjusts, these symptoms would also fade.

Gastric Bypass Surgery – Everything You Need To Know

Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure wherein the surgeons makes your stomach smaller and makes your small intestine shorter. By doing so, these areas will be bypassed by the food you consume. Thus, you would only be able to consume small amounts of food.

Cost

In the United States, a gastric bypass surgery costs around $23,000. You would be able to save considerably more by having it done in countries like Thailand, where it costs around $15,000 to $16,700.

Suitability

A gastric bypass surgery is ideal if:

• You are exceedingly obese and this has resulted in one or more other significant health issues.
• You have a BMI of 40 or more.
• You have a health condition wherein losing weight would be helpful.
• You have repeatedly failed to lose weight through exercise and diet.

Pre and Post Surgery

You will be given specific instructions by your doctor on what to do before and after the surgery. But to give you some idea, the following will be asked of you prior to surgery:

• Try to lose some weight.
• Consume a nutritious and well-balanced diet low in sugars, carbohydrates, and fats.
• Avoiding alcohol.
• Quit smoking.

The surgery will take 2-4 hours to finish. Note that this procedure is permanent. It can no longer be reversed.
Once the surgery has been completed, you will be asked to stay in the hospital for 2-5 more days. You are also not allowed to drive so you need someone to pick you up when you would finally be discharged.

Recovery

It is recommended that you try to move around as much as possible right after surgery to aid the recovery. To promote circulation, you will also be asked to wear special compression garments. You can only consume liquids for the first few days or weeks. Afterward, you can consume pureed foods. Then, you would gradually resume eating solids.

You will have to wait about a month before you can begin exercising.

Where to Go For Weight Loss Surgery

As mentioned earlier, it is best to have your weight loss surgical procedure done abroad for several reasons. First, the quality is much better. Second, you can save between 50-80% when you choose packages that include airfare and accommodations. And third, you can also think of it as a vacation!

If we were to recommend one place to have weight loss surgery done, we’d recommend Thailand. Thailand has hundreds of cosmetic surgery clinics, all with cutting-edge medical equipment and technologies. Their surgeons and doctors are world-class and have years of education and experience, and are highly skilled and professional.

They have amazing and breathtaking tourist spots that you will also surely love.

Weight Loss clinics and hospitals in Thailand

Weight Loss surgery Bangkok

Weight Loss surgery Thailand (Phuket, Pattaya etc.)