Weight loss is not the only benefit of bariatric surgery


Most folks generally affiliate bariatric surgery with the therapy of final resort to assist morbidly overweight sufferers shed extra pounds.

While they’re not improper, there is extra to this kind of process than getting rid of extreme kilos.

As Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz senior marketing consultant gastrointestinal and weight problems surgeon Associate Professor Datuk Dr Nik Ritza Kosai Nik Mahmood explains, bariatric surgery is also referred to as metabolic surgery.

The distinction in terms of utilizing every time period is the fundamental function for which the surgery is being carried out.

“If your primary aim is to make the patient lose a lot of weight, then it is called bariatric surgery; because ‘baros’ in Greek means weight, so it’s surgery to reduce weight,” he says.

“If the primary aim is to resolve metabolic problems – in particular, diabetes – then it is called metabolic surgery.

“But it’s actually the same thing.

“And most patients who undergo metabolic surgery suffer from obesity as well.”

Diabetes is one of 5 situations included underneath the umbrella time period of metabolic syndrome.

The others are hypertension (hypertension), excessive whole ldl cholesterol, excessive low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ldl cholesterol, and weight problems with a waist circumference of greater than 35 inches for girls and greater than 40 inches for males.

An individual is thought of to have metabolic syndrome once they have at the least three out of these 5 situations.

Assoc Prof Nik notes that whereas the loss of a big quantity of weight has all the time been related to a lower in diabetes, analysis in recent times has objectively proven this enchancment.

He offers the instance of a examine that adopted two teams of overweight sufferers who did not initially have diabetes when the examine began.

One group underwent bariatric surgery, whereas the different had the greatest medical therapy obtainable to cut back their weight.

After being adopted for over 10 years, it was discovered that the group who underwent bariatric surgery had an 88% decrease threat of creating diabetes, in comparison with the different group.

“The protective effect against diabetes and metabolic syndrome is profound in those who underwent bariatric surgery,” he feedback.

Looking past weight

Assoc Prof Nik says that an ideal surgery should be surgeon-friendly, meaning that it is easy to do, as well as patient-friendly, with minimal side effects. — YAP CHEE HONG/The StarAssoc Prof Nik says that a perfect surgery must be surgeon-friendly, which means that it is straightforward to do, in addition to patient-friendly, with minimal negative effects. — YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

As such, these eligible to endure bariatric surgery are not simply thought of primarily based on their weight alone.

According to the consensus assertion put collectively by the Society of Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Malaysia and the Malaysian Bariatric Society, except for physique mass index (BMI), the presence of metabolic syndrome, obesity-related illnesses and age are additionally components in the choice to carry out bariatric surgery.

The assertion, revealed in March 2021 in the Medical Journal of Malaysia, lists the fundamental indications for bariatric surgery as:

  • Treatment of morbid weight problems in sufferers with a BMI of 37.5 or above (with out some other diseases).
  • Treatment of morbid weight problems in sufferers with a BMI of 32.5 or above, and metabolic syndrome or coronary heart illness threat, following insufficient weight loss even after medical remedy and life-style modifications.
  • Treatment of poorly-controlled metabolic syndrome or different obesity-related illnesses in sufferers with a BMI of 32.5 or under, after thorough dialogue with the multidisciplinary medical group concerned in the affected person’s care.

Patients should even be between the ages of 18 and 65 years previous.

However, underneath particular circumstances and after session with a doctor, paediatrician, orthopaedic surgeon, medical psychologist or surgeon, bariatric surgery may be thought of for morbidly- overweight adolescents who’ve already reached a sure degree of bone maturity.

Assoc Prof Nik factors out that there are two reference ranges for BMI and weight: one from the World Health Organization (WHO) and one for the Asia-Pacific area.

“The reason why there are two separate definitions for obesity is because, one, Asians tend to develop metabolic problems at a lower BMI.

“So you want to target obesity early, before the complications of metabolic syndrome set in.

“Number two is that obesity is very, very common now in Asia, especially in the Indian subcontinent, China and South-East Asia.

“And the problem is that the rate of metabolic issues tends to be double, or maybe triple, in the obese Asian population; hence the recognition that we need to treat these patients earlier.

“That is why they reduced the goalpost,” he says, explaining that the BMI ranges for Asians are lowered by 2.5 models.

So, for instance, an Asian is thought of overweight ranging from a BMI of 27.5, in comparison with non-Asians, who’re thought of overweight ranging from a BMI of 30.

ALSO READ: BMI is not the best measurement for obesity

Restricting tummy house

The sleeve gastrectomy is the most popular type of bariatric surgery in the world, accounting for seven out of 10 cases. — Photos: HandoutThe sleeve gastrectomy is the hottest sort of bariatric surgery in the world, accounting for seven out of 10 instances. — Photos: Handout

While there are a variety of sorts of bariatric surgery, Assoc Prof Nik says that they will all be categorised into these which can be restrictive and people who contain malabsorption.

For the former, the commonest sort of process is a sleeve gastrectomy.

“This basically entails reducing the capacity of the stomach by removing two-thirds of it in a longitudinal manner, so you leave one-third of the stomach in,” he explains.

He provides that surgeons use a calibration tube as a way to standardise the quantity of abdomen left in the affected person.

The thought behind this process is to actually take away the quantity of house obtainable to carry eaten meals, thus drastically decreasing the quantity of energy the affected person consumes.

The physique is then compelled to utilise the fats inside the physique for power.

Fat, as Assoc Prof Nik factors out, is the most modifiable element of an individual’s weight.

The different three parts – bone, muscle and water – often do not have a lot impression on weight as soon as we’ve reached bodily maturity.

“Say, before the operation, 100% of your energy comes from carbohydrates.

“Now, maybe around 20-30% comes from carbs, so 70-80% has to be generated from fat, so you burn fat and this is why you lose inches,” he explains.

The second impact of the removing of a lot of the abdomen is a lower in the ranges of the hormone ghrelin, which is primarily produced by abdomen cells.

Ghrelin is also referred to as the “hunger hormone” because it indicators to the mind that the abdomen is empty and that it is time to eat.

So, sufferers who’ve undergone a sleeve gastrectomy may also expertise a lower of their starvation and urge for food.

Meanwhile, the third impact is the foundation of the metabolic results of the surgery.

Says Assoc Prof Nik: “When you make a stomach narrower, if you look at physics, the narrower the diameter, the higher the internal pressure.

“So when the internal pressure goes higher, the speed of gastric emptying is faster.

“So the small intestines will receive a fast delivery of food that we have eaten.

“And that will stimulate cells called L cells in the distal ileum to produce a hormone called GLP-1.

“Now GLP-1 is an important precursor that stimulates our pancreas’ beta cells to produce more insulin.”

Therefore, a sleeve gastrectomy has the oblique impact of managing diabetes by triggering weight loss and a direct impact by rising the manufacturing of insulin, he says.

He provides that this process is the commonest sort of bariatric surgery, accounting for about 70% of such operations worldwide.

Double impact

In a gastric bypass, surgeons are aiming to both reduce the amount of calories the patient can eat, as well as the amount of nutrients they can absorb from their food.In a gastric bypass, surgeons are aiming to each scale back the quantity of energy the affected person can eat, in addition to the quantity of vitamins they will take up from their meals.

Unlike the restrictive sorts of bariatric surgery, these procedures which have a malabsorptive element usually contain some type of bypass.

According to Assoc Prof Nik, the surgery does not lower or take away any half of the physique, however as an alternative, reroutes elements of the gastrointestinal system to attain its desired results.

The two commonest sorts of this process are the mini-gastric bypass and the Roux-en-Y surgery.

The first facet of such surgical procedures is additionally restrictive in nature.

“Basically, what we are trying to do is to control the volume that the patient eats.

“What we’re doing is creating a small pouch in the stomach by making a partition, unlike a sleeve gastrectomy where you just straight cut it and remove,” he says, including that this is in order that the process may be reversed in the future if wanted.

The second facet entails bypassing a sure size of the small intestines in order that much less of the consumed vitamins are absorbed into the physique.

“When the food is less absorbed, then you go into a controlled malnutritional state,” he says.

Of course, the longer the size of small gut that is bypassed, the much less vitamins will likely be absorbed.

However, Assoc Prof Nik says that the rule is that surgeons will not bypass greater than one-third of the small intestines.

This is as the extra small gut that is bypassed, the increased the probability of dietary deficiencies.

“We can be greedy and made people lose more weight, but then they get problems like more profound nutritional deficiencies.”

The key, he says, is to attain a stability between sustainable, long-term weight loss and minimal negative effects.

He notes that the sleeve gastrectomy is the hottest sort of bariatric surgery as a result of it has the least negative effects.

The commonest aspect impact on this process is gastroesophageal reflux illness (GERD) the place abdomen acid flows again into the oesophagus attributable to a weakening of the sphincter between the two organs.

However, the double impact of malabsorptive procedures like the mini-gastric bypass leads to increased weight loss, in addition to higher leads to resolving diabetes, which is usually considered towards its increased threat of negative effects.

Common negative effects of this kind of process embrace small gut ulcers (particularly in those that smoke and/or use steroids and painkillers), dumping syndrome and malabsorption.

Dumping syndrome happens when the meals passes too quickly into the small intestines, inflicting an excessive amount of of the glucose to be absorbed in that space.

This can lead to signs equivalent to nausea, diarrhoea, light-headedness and feeling jittery, amongst others.

Lifelong self-discipline wanted

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (left), seen here after a 2020 surgery, was the first doctor to perform a sleeve gastrectomy in Malaysia in 2003. The first bariatric surgery in the country, a gastric banding, was performed by Prof Dr Jasmi Ali Yaakub two years before that. — Dr NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH’s Facebook pageHealth director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (left), seen right here after a 2020 surgery, was the first physician to carry out a sleeve gastrectomy in Malaysia in 2003. The first bariatric surgery in the nation, a gastric banding, was carried out by Prof Dr Jasmi Ali Yaakub two years earlier than that. — Dr NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH’s Facebook web page

While the results of bariatric surgery happen pretty rapidly, it is important for sufferers to understand that it is not a one-time fix-all resolution.

As Assoc Prof Nik factors out: “You can lose weight, but you can always regain the weight if you are not disciplined.

“This is why, after surgery, it is essential for patients to come for regular follow-up.”

The follow-up classes permit docs to watch the affected person’s progress of their weight loss, in addition to their different medical issues, if any.

Continued recommendation on weight loss program and dietary supplements is additionally offered throughout these classes as sufferers will certainly expertise a change of their consuming habits.

However, these habits are simply reversible if sufferers do not management their weight loss program and train as wanted.

Assoc Prof Nik notes that the surroundings in Malaysia is neither conducive to controlling our weight loss program nor exercising.

Therefore, sufferers have to put in steady effort to take care of their weight loss.

“At the end of the day, the third main factor is the patient themself,” he says.

“By right, you have to sit down and think, ‘I’ve gone through bariatric surgery because I’ve tried everything and it has failed.

“’Now I’ve lost 50kg. It would be a shame if I do not appreciate what I’ve gone through and change my lifestyle forever’.”

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