Approved Weight Loss Surgery Operations in South Africa
Known as Bariatric Surgery, weight-loss surgery is usually only offered when all other methods have failed. The surgery is based on the fact that making the size of the stomach smaller will lead to loss in weight. Currently there are three approved weight loss surgery operations in South Africa.
These are the Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (LAGB), which involves inserting a medical device into the stomach; the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG), which involves removing some of the stomach, and the Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass (LGB). LGB involves removing some of the small intestines and directing the rest of the intestines to a small stomach bag. This is the most common operation and is known as the Roux-en-y or gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric banding is the easiest and simplest operation as it does not remove any part of the intestines and therefore there are no joins that need to be between different parts of the intestines. In the upper end of the stomach a band with an inflatable cuff is inserted. The material used is known as silastic, a combination of plastic and silicone. The cuff is not inflated for a few weeks to allow things to settle down after the operation. Small amounts of liquid are then injected to inflate the cuff of the band, and make the entrance to the stomach narrower.
Gastric banding is however less successful than other approved weight loss surgery operations as the most loss in weight that is achieved is generally about 50% of your extra weight. Compare this to the 75-85% that is possible with other, but more complicated operations. Also, the loss in weight loss does not remain so successfully as in the other operations Weight loss using a gastric band is therefore suitable for people who are binge-eaters and not for sweet-eaters.
In Sleeve Gastrectomy, the stomach is greatly reduced by removing part of the stomach, and changing its shape from a large bag-like stomach into a narrow, banana-shaped tube.
Compared to the other operations the sleeve is also a simple and quick operation. Studies show that the average reduction of extra weight is about 60%.
Gastric bypass surgery makes up about 70% of the types of weight-loss surgeries around the world, as it has shown to be the most successful in the amount of weight loss that can be achieved and for how long this weight loss remains.
Gastric bypass surgery is usually carried out using laparoscopic surgery, which involves making four to six small (5 to12 mm) cuts in the wall of your abdomen, through which plastic or metal ports (short tubes) are inserted into the abdomen. These ports are used by the surgeon to conduct the operation.
For example, a telescope and a video camera can be inserted into the abdominal cavity through one of the ports. This lets the surgeons see clearly inside the patient’s abdomen by looking at a video monitor. In addition, the instruments needed to actually carry out the operation are mounted on long thin stalks and inserted into the abdomen through the ports.