In a case of extreme obesity, also known as morbid obesity, diet and exercise are not enough to lose weight. In this situation, the individual’s health may be at risk if he or she cannot reach a healthier weight. There may be a need for additional procedures in order to cure this type of obesity. When choosing the right kind of weight loss treatment, obese individuals should consult with their doctors to find out what is the best option for them. Some of these procedures involve risks that must be considered before deciding to undergo a particular treatment option.
Also known as gastric bypass or gastric band surgery, bariatric surgery is a type of weight loss treatment made famous by celebrities such as Al Roker and Star Jones. This procedure involves surgery that will mechanically restrict the stomach capacity. Once completed, this procedure enables the patient to feel full after consuming less food.
A board-certified bariatric surgeon typically performs this procedure. There is an initial consultation with the surgeon, during which the individual and the physician in charge discuss the risks and whether this is the best treatment option. Most hospitals that perform this procedure require patients to undergo additional assessment and receive extensive preoperative education about the surgery.
Some of the risks include infection, hemorrhage, bowel obstruction, hernia, venous thromboembolism, anastomotic leakage, anastomotic stricture, anastomotic ulcer and dumping syndrome. Refer to the Resources section for more details on these major risks.
Laser Weight Loss Treatment
The administration of laser treatment for weight loss takes up to five sessions spaced 5 to 7 days apart and lasting about 30 minutes per session. The ears, hands, wrists, arms, legs and feet are the location points for administering laser treatments. The skin and cells absorb the laser beams through these locations, resulting in the stimulation of the endorphins that help block out cravings. Since the patients do not feel hungry, they consume fewer calories, thereby resulting in loss of weight. Patients also experience increased metabolism, enabling the body to burn fat faster.
Some side effects include brief light-headedness after the treatment and loss of appetite. Since administering laser treatments for weight loss is external, the procedure should not have any effect on medications that the individual is taking.
Similar to laser treatment, an acupuncture method aims to suppress the appetite by giving the feeling of fullness. Administered through acupuncture points, this method can affect appetite, intestinal motility, emotional stress and metabolism. According to a study published in Intern. J. Neuroscience, 116:165–175, 2006, acupuncture applications are very effective for helping obese patients lose weight, especially auricular acupuncture (acupuncture through the ear lobes), for their ability to suppress the appetite. During the study, the researchers determined that endomorphin-1, beta endorphin, encephalin and serotonin levels increase in plasma and brain tissue through acupuncture application. The result increases the tone of the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing the appetite. For more information about this study, please click on the link in the Resources.