Obesity and weight loss are sometimes like oil and water; they do not always mix. Sometimes, it is necessary to use some force to mix the two substances together to create an emulsion. Weight loss and obesity are not always easily accomplished via a strict exercises and diet regiment. This is especially true for those who are morbidly obese. Those who are already suffering from or at risk for comorbidities from obesity may be candidates for obesity surgery. Obesity surgery is designed, mostly, for persons that have struggled with obesity and weight loss their whole lives to the point that the excessive body fat is clearly presenting an existential threat.
Obesity surgery is one of the higher risk surgeries. Recoveries from obesity surgery can be painstaking, uncomfortable and long. The road to weight loss from obesity is never easy. However, obesity surgery is an excellent procedure for a person in a health emergency. The field of bariatric surgery dates back to the 1950s. Since then, procedures that reverse obesity and reverse weight loss have evolved. The first bariatric procedures were crude, dangerous, and controversial. The first surgical procedure in bariatrics to be accepted by a recognized surgical society was the jejuno-ileal bypass surgery. This obesity surgery involved joining the upper small intestine to the lower portion of the small intestine. This rerouting of the digestive system would bypass a large portion of the small bowel. This reduces nutritive uptake, causing less calories to be consumed. A cruder alternative to the jejuno-ilial bypass obesity surgery, involved the total removal of the small bowel.
In the 1960s, the jejuno-colic bypass was developed. The large intestine would be rerouted directly to the upper portion of the lower intestine to yield a similar effect involving the reversal of obesity and the commencement of weight loss. Obesity and weight loss were no longer at odds with each other; however, widespread use of this surgery never took off because there were many complications from the surgery involving unhealthy nutritive absorption and infections. Both early obesity surgery procedures caused malabsorpotion of proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. Unpleasant complications like hair loss, decreased salt, potassium, calcium, and magnesium absorption, resulting in osteoporosis and other serious vitamin deficiency related problems.
In the 1990s, Biliopancreatic diversion obesity surgery was developed based on the jejuno-ileal surgery. There was a partial removal of the stomach, which reduced oral absorption of nutrients, resulting in weight loss. Patients were able to eat large portions of food, yet still achieve long-term weight loss targets. However, Vitamin D deficiencies were a major side effect of biliopancreatic surgery. Unlike jejuno-ilial surgery, liver problems did not result from the new obesity surgery. The surgery; however, failed to address the protein deficiency problem patients’ toe and fingernails would stop growing and hair would fall out. Patients would also have to take vitamin supplements for the rest of one’s life.
Gastric Bypass, the most famous type of obesity surgery was developed shortly thereafter. The surgery was developed by Dr. Edward E. Mason of the University of Iowa. The procedure was first performed in the late 1960s. However, it is one of the few bariatric procedures that have withstood the test of time. The setbacks of gastric bypass are diarrhea from the consumption of refined sugars, which actually helps in losing weight. Vitamin B12 uptake is especially difficult, leaving patients unenergized and lethargic. Iron deficiencies are another detrimental side-effect of this obesity surgery, which in turn causes anemia. 0.11% of people die from complications from Gastric bypass.