If you have trouble with emotional overeating, you may have considered weight loss surgery of some sort. But how do you know if it’s for you?. What kinds of surgery options are available?. Here are some ideas as to the more common surgical options currently available and some of the better-known pros and cons associated with them.
1. Lap-Band. This is a type of restrictive weight loss surgery, and it is adjustable. A silicon doughnut or ring is placed around the top of the stomach, leaving a small pouch above the ring. This is where the food goes first, and the pouch, being so small, fills up quickly. The person feels full on less food, in other words. Slowly, the food makes its way from the pouch into the main stomach.
The doctor or surgeon may, from time to time, inject saline into the ring in order to inflate it, thus decreasing the pouch’s capacity even further. The opposite can be done as well.
Pros:* It’s adjustable, as noted above – fluid can be removed or injected into the ring.
* The digestive process is not compromised; food is digested “the usual way.”* The surgical procedure is usually done laproscopically, meaning it’s minimally invasive.
Cons:* Additional surgery may be required in the case of twisting of the access port or perforation of the stomach.
* Weight loss tends to be rather slow and gradual, and not as dramatic as some other options.
* Repeated follow-up visits with your doctor are required. 2. Gastric Bypass. This is what’s known as a malabsorptive technique. In gastric bypass surgery, a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach using “staples” rather than a ring. Then part of the small intestine is re-routed to connect to this pouch, essentially creating a permanently smaller stomach. It is called “bypass” surgery because food bypasses the rest of the stomach and the original small intestine connection, called the duodenum.
Pros:* Weight loss tends to be significant and permanent.
* Mild side effects, such as heartburn, tend to be resolved easily.
Cons:* Compromised nutrient absorption is a significant concern, and patients are generally required to take many supplements to prevent nutritional deficiency. * Dumping syndrome, or a too-fast emptying of stomach contents, is a potentially difficult side effect.
* It’s harder for doctors to view the stomach and intestine via endoscopy, meaning cancer and other problems may go undetected.
These are just two of the more common types of weight loss surgery. The bottom line is, weight loss surgery can help with the weight gain and excessive caloric intake associated with emotional overeating, but it does not address the underlying emotional issues. If you do choose some sort of surgery to treat emotional overeating, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s part of a “whole person” treatment plan that includes counseling and emotional therapy.