Bariatric Surgery Alternative
Obesity affects more than one-third of U.S. adults and 17% of the nation’s youth. Complications associated with the condition, which is marked by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, span far and wide. Increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes are just a few of the serious health issues linked to obesity. To combat these risks, many individuals begin to explore their weight loss surgery options.
What Is Weight Loss Surgery?
Weight loss surgery, or “bariatric surgery,” is a collective medical term that encompasses different forms of surgical procedures intended to reduce an individual’s caloric intake. The most common types include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric band. Oftentimes, these procedures are sought after at the recommendation of a physician, after unsuccessful attempts to lose weight through diet and exercise, or both.
By committing to surgical weight loss procedures, the individual undergoes significant physical changes to their digestive system to restrict the volume of food their stomach is able to hold. The process may also result in the restriction of nutrient absorption in efforts to cause weight loss.
Although risk factors presented during the actual bariatric surgery procedure itself are low, long-term complications often present themselves later and are commonly observed during patient follow-ups. Some weight loss surgery side effects are more serious than others, and while risk factors vary from one individual to the next, many are significant enough to give patients pause.
In an effort to help you reach an informed decision about your weight loss options, this guide will cover critical information about bariatric surgery, its types, and its related risks.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
To ensure patients who opt for bariatric procedures are ready to undergo an invasive weight loss surgery, they should first develop a thorough understanding of each type and the processes it entails.
The most commonly performed bariatric surgery worldwide is gastric bypass surgery. It is also the most complex weight loss procedure and requires the division of the stomach into two smaller sections. After the stomach is divided into a smaller upper portion and a lower larger section, the small intestine is divided and rerouted. As a result, the new, smaller stomach section can only accommodate smaller meals. Subsequently, less digestion takes place, which also results in a change in hormones and a decrease in the amount of nutrients absorbed. Following the procedure, patients are required to maintain a lifelong vitamin regimen.
Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve/Bariatric Sleeve)
Often referred to simply as “the sleeve,” sleeve gastrectomy is an irreversible procedure which entails the removal of the stomach. Roughly 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving what is known as a “bariatric sleeve” or “gastric sleeve,” behind. Although it does not require food stream re-routing and typically requires a hospital stay of just two days, the sleeve procedure is known for its high rate of early complications, including sleeve leakage and wound infections.
Adjustable Gastric Band (“Lap Band”)
The adjustable gastric band, or lap band, is the second most frequently performed weight loss surgery. It gets its name from the adjustable inflatable band which is inserted into the body laparoscopically and placed around the stomach’s uppermost region. While it is minimally invasive, it still poses risks of complications due to the fact that a foreign device remains in the body. Additionally, mechanical issues and slippage of the band can occur. Of all available bariatric surgery options, gastric band has the highest rate of re-operation.
Weight Loss Surgery Risks
The risk-to-benefit ratio is a key factor that can be used to drive decision making for patients seeking the best way to lose weight. While bariatric surgeries are FDA-approved and are generally considered to be safe, they still present a number of post-operation risks and side effects. The specific types of risks an individual may face will depend on the type of surgery being performed and any preexisting health conditions, among other factors bariatric surgeons can assess prior to the operation.
Below is a brief list of long- and short-term bariatric surgery risks. Keep in mind that in addition to the specific risks posed by each individual type of surgery, there are also general risks associated with most types of surgical procedures, including blood clots, infections, excessive bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.
Short-Term Weight Loss Surgery Risks
Some of the side effects posed by the bariatric sleeve, lap band, and gastric bypass are experienced shortly after the procedure and can be resolved rather quickly. Nonetheless, these complications could impede an individual’s ability to heal as efficiently as they may have hoped. Short-term risks include:
- Acid reflux: Roughly 18-20% of patients experience new onset acid reflux as a side effect of bariatric surgery. It takes 12 to 24 months to clear up for the majority of patients.
- Chronic nausea and vomiting: One of the most common side effects following gastric bypass surgery is nausea/vomiting, which could result from ulcers, irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, or another reason – all of which should be investigated by medical professionals to determine if further intervention is needed.
- Dilation of esophagus: Typically linked to the lap band surgery, this side effect can produce discomfort while swallowing, weak esophageal motility, and acid reflux. Medical intervention may be needed to restore the esophageal diameter.
- Inability to eat certain foods: Because bariatric surgery of any kind alters the structure of the stomach, the body will be unable to process certain foods. Patients must therefore maintain a liquid diet for weeks before transitioning to soft foods like mashed potatoes and tuna.
- Weight gain or failure to lose weight: Ability to lose weight varies from one procedure to the next, with the lap band procedure having the highest failure rate out of the three most common procedures.
Long-Term Weight Loss Surgery Risks
There are also many potential long-term side effects of bariatric surgery, including:
- Dumping syndrome: This condition refers to a group of symptoms, including abdominal discomfort, weakness, and abnormally rapid bowel evacuation. Research shows it affects at least 3 out of 20 people who have any part of the stomach removed.
- Low blood sugar: Also called hypoglycemia, low blood sugar is a serious weight loss surgery risk which may not develop until two to three years after a procedure has been performed. Patients with this condition may require lifelong treatment and find its complex symptoms challenging to control.
- Malnutrition/Vitamin deficiency: Because the intended effect of bariatric surgery is to reduce nutrient absorption, patients who undergo these procedures may experience long-term deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients critical to essential bodily functions. The gastric sleeve presents the highest risk of long-term deficiencies. Patients may become deficient in calcium, zinc, iron, and fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D.
- Vomiting: In addition to being a major short-term risk, vomiting and nausea may also occur for an extended period after surgery takes place.
- Ulcers: Bariatric surgery produces ulcers in up to half (52%) of all of patients. While some ulcers respond positively to medical treatment, others require surgical intervention.
- Bowel obstruction: Scar tissue may form at any time following a bariatric procedure and can form an obstruction. The obstruction could cut off blood supply to the intestinal tract, which could be fatal if not addressed promptly.
- Hernias: Gastric bypass surgery causes hernias in about 20% of patients, which are caused by a defect in the membrane that holds the intestine to the abdominal wall.
Bariatric Surgery Cost
Individuals seeking weight loss solutions must also consider costs of procedures. Costs can vary based on location, insurance coverage, and the particular procedure being performed. Moreover, the amount of money spent on procedures is only one figure to bear in mind; costs from treating complications (if they arise) and income lost from time taken off work may also be incurred.
The average price of gastric bypass surgery is $23,000 (at the higher end, figures climb to $35,000), while lap band and sleeve gastrectomy cost roughly $15,000.
In certain conditions, health insurance providers may offer coverage to assist with some bariatric surgery costs. Most providers require the individual to have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more with dangerous weight-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea. In many cases, a history of failed weight loss efforts most also be demonstrated.
Waiting for Insurance Approval for Weight Loss Surgery
For many individuals living without severe comorbidities, a BMI of 40 is commonly required. Many people are therefore faced with continuing to live in poor health until reaching their insurance provider’s threshold. Not only does this delay the individual from living the full, rewarding life they hope for, but it also accelerates risks associated obesity, including poor cardiovascular health.
Non-Surgical Medical Weight Loss Alternative: Cenegenics
Instead of gaining additional weight and further jeopardizing one’s health, proactive individuals are encouraged to rid themselves of the physical and emotional burden of obesity for good with the expert guidance and advanced clinical care provided by Cenegenics’ weight loss solutions.
By completing an Elite Health Evaluation and engaging in comprehensive care provided by Cenegenics physicians and clinical staff, average patients commonly observe a 30% reduction in body fat within the first year. Candidates for bariatric surgery with a BMI 35 or higher would likely see a reduction in body in excess of the 30% experienced by average Cenegenics patients. Additionally, comorbidities such as elevated blood pressure, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, chronic inflammation, and other conditions are significantly reduced and managed with Cenegenics treatment.
A Medically Superior Bariatric Surgery Alternative
After assessing the risks associated with invasive weight loss surgeries, many individuals find themselves asking: Is there a better alternative? What is the best way to lose weight? And, how can I reduce my body fat safely?
Cenegenics’ team of physicians provides comprehensive services to address these issues. Their medical experts take an all-encompassing approach to wellness to understand the precise factors that contribute to obesity in each individual. From there, tailored treatment programs are developed to spur results in a way that works best according to the body’s unique metabolic factors.
What Is Cenegenics?
Cenegenics is a U.S.-based healthcare company focused on delivering 100% personalized, physician-developed age management solutions in the areas of improved sleep and cognition, enhanced energy levels, and weight loss.
At Cenegenics, individuals undergo a comprehensive, full-day evaluation to assess and collect data, which represents extensive information regarding the person’s cardiometabolic and obesity-related risk factors.
Cenegenics Weight Loss: A Different Approach
Oftentimes, nutrition and exercise are perceived as simple, straightforward concepts. They are not. Nutrition, for one, is a complex system which encompasses an interplay of hormones, macronutrients, genomics, and other contributing factors. Understanding the ways in which these factors are linked, as well as the role they play in weight management, requires in-depth medical assessments for each individual. Similarly, exercise should not be approached in a “one-size-fits-all” fashion, as unique types of bodies respond differently to certain forms of exercising. To compound these complex factors, the body undergoes significant changes as it ages. Thus, the way a person responds to certain eating habits and fitness routines can change with age.
For this reason, Cenegenics takes a comprehensive yet individualized approach to provide realistic weight loss programs that incorporate scientific, evidence-based tactics. As a result, patients are able reach their weight loss goals and keep weight off for the long term.
Cutting-Edge Medical Assessments at Cenegenics:
Cenegenics implements innovative diagnostic technology to identify the best solution to obesity and long-term weight loss for each individual by assessing the following key criteria:
- Carbohydrate Metabolism & Insulin Sensitivity
- Lipid Metabolism & Cardiovascular Inflammation
- Kidney & Liver Function
- Micronutrient & Food Sensitivity Profile
- Hormone Production
- Bone Mineral Density & Body Composition
- Vascular Inflammation & Intima-Medial Thickness
- Oxygen Consumption & Dynamic Cardiac Output
- Neurocognitive Analysis
Following the series of tests, the individual meets with a Cenegenics physician and their clinical team, who will develop a personalized plan of action and share a trajectory of milestones to strengthen the focus and intention of the individual’s program.
Understanding the need for ongoing support, the Cenegenics physician and clinical team continue to follow-up, thereby ensuring that each milestone is accomplished and progress is being made. Throughout the process, the Cenegenics team educates each individual on how different foods, beverages, and lifestyle choices affect their obesity-related biomarkers to provide a more thorough understanding of their efforts.
While each individual experiences a varying speed of progress due to unique starting points and challenges, all Cenegenics patients are continuously challenged to reach their next milestone.
Weight Loss Surgery vs. Cenegenics: Which Option is Better for You?
From the cost of Cenegenics to its significantly low risk factors, many individuals seeking effective weight loss programs find Cenegenics to be an attractive alternative to weight loss surgery. The Cenegenics Elite Health Evaluation carries a very limited amount of risk due to the comprehensive structure of the program. The program is also fit specifically to participants’ unique composition to further mitigate risks and enhance odds of success. While meeting with a Cenegenics physician, individuals will review their unique blood values to learn about individual risk factors associated with cardiometabolic and neurocognitive diseases.
These in-depth laboratory results are observed along the Elite Health Evaluation’s findings of bone mineral density, body composition, vascular inflammation and intima-medial thickness, oxygen consumption and cardiac output, and neurocognitive analysis to determine and develop a total plan of action, detailed to the patient.
Individualized bioidentical hormone therapy, customized nutraceuticals (healthy weight loss supplements), and exercise prescriptions are provided alongside a unique, personal nutrition plan to follow, all under the guidance and directive care of Cenegenics physicians and staff.
As the weeks and months pass, the Cenegenics team continuously engages with the patient to ensure the successful transition into a new, optimized lifestyle. An individual’s motivation levels may waver, as is commonly observed with weight loss efforts, but the Cenegenics physicians and team understand that the path to long-term success is different for everyone. Because of this, each patient’s plan of action is catered to their own unique priorities while promoting the loss of excess weight. Each patient is fully supported by a staff of professionals and can therefore feel confident in their ability to take the next step, conquer the next obstacle, and overcome the next hurdle to build healthy, sustainable relationships with food, exercise, and themselves.
Beginning the Weight Loss Journey: Next Steps
We hope the information above has assisted you in your research process. Below are some additional links which you might find helpful.
What is Age Management Medicine? – Click Here
What is Cenegenics? – Click Here
Defying Your Age with Cenegenics – Click Here
We offer a free consultation that can help to answer any additional questions you may have. Please click here to register.
 National Conference of State Legislatures, 2018
 Canadian Journal of Surgery, 2014
 University of Rochester Medical Center, 2018.
 Bariatric Times, 2010.
 The American Journal of Surgery, 1996.