There’s no getting around it: Americans have a weight problem. About one out of every three adults in the United States are considered to be obese. According to a 2017 survey from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranked as the fattest county in the world and the obesity rate for American adults clocked in at 38.2%.
Despite the high obesity rates, Americans are doing their best to lose weight. Sixty six percent of Americans are on a diet and 80% of dieters are trying to lose weight on their own.
But when it comes down to it, it’s definitely not easy and takes some work. Fifty percent of Americans say they are unsuccessful at losing weight because they don’t have enough self discipline.
For those who are trying to lose weight, but are struggling to do so, there are several weight loss surgery options available. Before examining different weight loss surgery options, it’s important to note the difference in the three most popular types of weight loss surgery.
- Restrictive surgery: This surgery involves shrinking the stomach to slow digestion. A normal stomach is about the size of a fist and can hold about three pints of food. After a restrictive surgery, the stomach may only hold a few ounces of food. The idea is that having a smaller stomach will cause a person to eat less and ultimately help them lose weight.
- Malabsorptive surgery: This surgery changes how a person takes in food. It gives a person a smaller stomach, but also bypasses part of the digestive tract. This can make it difficult to absorb calories.
- Electrical implants: This surgery prompts weight loss by interrupting the signals sent between the stomach and the brain.
Another option for weight loss is liposuction. While it is technically considered a cosmetic procedure, liposuction can be very effective for eliminating fat from several areas of the body such as the stomach, thighs, back, face and arms.
It’s important to note that not everyone is a good candidate for liposuction and candidates must be in good health. That means a candidate should not be a smoker, be within at least 30% of their ideal body weight and have elastic, firm skin. Liposuction is also not recommended for those who have weak immune systems or issues with heart disease or diabetes. Ideally, the best candidates for the liposuction procedure are men and women older than 18, who are within 10-20 pounds of their ideal weight.
As with any procedure, there are certain risks involved, but liposuction can be used to treat certain types of medical conditions like lipomas and lymphedema and of course it can help people struggling with weight loss remove a lot of weight.
There are several types of liposuction, but the most common type is known as tumescent liposuction and involves a surgeon injecting a sterile solution into the areas where fat will be removed with a vacuum tube.
Once the procedure is done, patients may experience swelling and bruising as well as some soreness for a couple of weeks. They will more than likely be asked to take some antibiotics to prevent any infections and they may have to wear compression garments to help reduce any swelling. The results are different for everyone, but if everything goes well, ideally a patient should be able to resume everyday activity within a few weeks.
While liposuction can permanently remove fat cells from certain areas of your body, weight can be gained back in other areas. So if a patient does undergo liposuction, following a healthy diet and exercising post-op can help them stay healthy and keep the weight off.
There are many weight loss options and they each have pros and cons. It’s important to consult a doctor about which procedure might work best for you. Since liposuction is considered a cosmetic procedure, a lot of health plans don’t cover it, so you may want to take cost and payment options into account before following through with liposuction or any other procedures.