Some people can eat ice-cream, cake – whatever they want – without gaining weight, while others seem to gain weight just by looking at food. Sound familiar?
The truth is, your weight depends on two key factors:
- Calories consumed, stored and burnt
- Your genes
Wait. Your genes? Does this mean you don’t have a choice on how heavy you will be?
Genetic influences on weight
Our bodies contain over 400 different genes that influence whether we become overweight or obese. These genes influence factors like
- Body-fat distribution
- Stress eating
Your weight is even more dependant on your genes if any of these apply:
- You’ve been overweight for most of your life
- Many of your family members are overweight
- You’ve struggled to lose weight in the past despite increasing physical exercise or changing to a low-calorie diet
Weight loss surgery can be lifesaving!
Obesity can cause a lot of health issues, such as heart and liver disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. Because so much of our weight and body size is related to our genes, sometimes doing more exercise and eating less calories isn’t enough to keep your weight off.
This is where weight loss surgery can help. It provides the most significant and sustained weight loss solution, when other options haven’t proven fruitful.
What are my weight loss surgery options?
1. Gastric Sleeve
This is the most popular weight loss operation in the world. Patients can expect to lose up to 1kg a week until their body reaches a healthy range, with most patients losing 60-70% of excess weight within the first 12-18 months.
Gastric Sleeve surgery works by restricting the amount of food your stomach can hold and by encouraging hormones which suppress hunger, appetite and improve blood sugar control.
One of the big benefits of this surgery is that it’s laparoscopic (“keyhole” surgery). This means the procedure only requires small incisions, unlike open surgery. It is less invasive, there is minimal scarring and recovery is quicker – you can expect to walk the day of your surgery and hospital stays are on average for only two days.
Gastric Sleeve surgery in Australia usually costs around $20,000 if you’re uninsured and around $3,000 if you’re insured.
2. Gastric Bypass (“Roux-en-Y”)
Gastric Bypass surgery is considered the most effective type of weight loss surgery, though is more complicated than Gastric Sleeve surgery as it involves two steps. It is also a keyhole procedure, which means a short recovery time.
Gastric Bypass surgery involves creating a small pouch at the top part of your stomach and connecting it directly to your small intestine. Food eaten will bypass most of the stomach, meaning less food will be absorbed into your body. Because of the reduced size of the pouch, you’ll also feel full after eating a smaller amount.
The cost is similar to that of Gastric Sleeve surgery.
3. Gastric Band (“lap band” surgery)
Gastric Band surgery helps with long-term weight loss for those currently obese and patients often see an improved quality of life after surgery, with reduced risk of developing many of the health issues we discussed above.
The surgery involves placing a silicone band around the upper part of your stomach to decrease its size and reduce your food intake. The band is adjustable and allows your body digest as usual, meaning you still get all the nutrients you need. Where it helps is by reducing hunger and your overall food intake, which are some of the key factors in assisting weight loss.
Also done through keyhole surgery and with a relatively quick recovery time, Gastric Band has a similar cost to Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass surgery. It’s decline in popularity is due to the improved and more sustained weight loss the other two surgeries afford.
Liposuction is a surgery for those wishing to improve their appearance rather than physical health. It’s usually recommended for people who have a stable body weight but wish to remove undesirable deposits of fat in specific parts of their body.
There are number of different types of liposuction:
- Dry: no fluids are injected before the fat is removed.
- Tumescent: A blend of saline solution, lidocaine (anaesthetic) and epinephrine (adrenaline) are pumped into your skin area before suctioning out the fat. It may sound scary but it’s widely considered to be more effective, safer and less painful than Dry Liposuction
- Laser Assisted Lipolysis: Using a small tube inserted through an incision, laser energy and heat are applied to treat the fat before it is suctioned out of your body.
The results are apparent once swelling has subsided. In Australia, liposuction can cost upwards of $3,500.
5. Gastric Ballooning
Gastric Ballooning is most commonly used as a short term (9 months maximum) solution to help you lose weight for a surgery.
The procedure itself takes 20 minutes to an hour and doesn’t require any surgery. It can even be done at a day clinic. The process involves a doctor passing a deflated balloon down the back of your throat into your stomach, then inflating it with air or saline.
Most patients are able to return home on the day of the procedure or the day after. The cost varies depending on the areas of the body treated, starting from about $3,000 – $5,000 for one area and increasing to $15,000 for six or more areas.
We’re lucky to live in an age where medical procedures have become sophisticated and safe enough for people to choose an option that best suits them to permanently reduce their weight and improve their health.
However, at MediPay, we know that these costs aren’t anything to sneeze at. That’s why we’ve created payment plans to help you afford the right weight loss procedure for you. Find out if you’re eligible in 10 seconds.
All surgery carries risk, and the patient must research their practitioner, the procedure, and the suitability for them, and consider the risks and any complication that may arise. MediPay does not warrant or is not associated with the quality of any practice or surgeon, and the patient must undertake their own careful research. Surgery is a serious matter and any risks and long-term effects should be considered carefully.