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Weight Loss Surgery

I am attending a course this week on the dietitian role in the management of patients post weight loss surgery. The first part of the course was completed in December with this part to cover more details of Post-operative management of patients who have had Bariatric Surgery, particularly the concerns regarding macro and micronutrients.

**Macro nutrients - Carbohydrate, Protein, Fat

**Micro nutrients include all vitamins and minerals as they are digested in different parts of the digestive tract and surgery can affect how these are digested long term and in some cases the requirements for additional vitamins and minerals.

Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery refers to surgery that supports weight loss and treats or prevents the many medical co-morbidities that are associated with obesity (including diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea)

Bariatric surgery is an effective method of weight loss for the treatment of morbid obesity (BMI greater than 40).

In Australia there are three main types of surgery completed:-

1. Gastric Bypass surgery

This surgery is also known as a Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass as as small stomach pouch is created and food intake is restricted. This is followed by a Y shape section of the small intestine being attached to the pouch meaning that food bypasses the lower part of the stomach, and parts of the small intestine.

2. Sleeve Gastrectomy, and

Two-thirds of the stomach are removed and the surgery is non-reversible.

Weight is lost due to a reduction in the size of the stomach, changes in the way food is moved along as the stomach churning ability is changed, and a change in the appetite-regulating hormones

This surgery is becoming very popular and requires good follow up post surgery.

3. Gastric Banding Surgery

The most minimally invasive of the three, a silicon band is inflated around the upper stomach to create a new tiny stomach pouch that limits and controls the amounts of food you eat, and slow the emptying of the food into the stomach and along the digestive tract.

Patients feel full earlier leading to smaller amounts of food consumed and overall fewer calories; leading to weight loss

All surgeries should be completed under the eye of a suitably qualified dietitian to ensure the best health outcomes are obtained.

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