The stomach can be given surgical treatment of obesity which reduces the amount of food it can hold. This normally causes a large reduction in weight. Different variants of obesity surgery is known as "gastric banding", "gastric stapling" and "gastric bypass".
Tell me about the experience of someone who has tried such weight loss surgery.
Birgitta, age 40, is one example. She had suffered from overweight since her teens. After two years of psychotherapy and only reducing her weight by a few kilos, she decided to have a gastric banding operation. After this her weight was reduced from 147 kilos to 108 kilos. The first weeks after the obesity surgery operation were painful. However, she is most concerned nowadays by the fact that it is difficult to eat in company owing to the risk of vomiting so she has to limit herself to a small first course. Nevertheless, Birgitta is pleased that she had the operation. She tries to improve her eating habits and exercises regularly.
Vera is 39. She had a similar obesity stomach surgery five years ago, but it failed and had to be redone. She has lost 42 kilos and now weighs 85 kilos. Although she has had considerable side effects she doesn't regret the obesity surgery. She would rather have the side effects than be fat. The most difficult side effects are tiredness, sour belching and nightly vomiting which she draws into her lungs, leading to an unpleasant cough. Her life became very different after the gastric banding operation and she had to eat in a completely new way. Vera wishes she had received more support and help with the large adaptation.
Is there a risk that patients increase in weight again?
If they don't exercise and eat a lot of fat this is a risk, but most of them only gain 15 % of their reduction within 10 years.
How long must they stay in hospital after the obesity surgery and how long is it before they can begin work again?
They only need to stay in hospital two or three days and convalescence takes two to six weeks, depending on what kind of physical work they have to carry out.