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Bariatric Surgery Vs Non-surgical Weight Loss Programs

Choosing between bariatic surgery over non-surgical weight loss program

Bariatric Surgery Vs Non-surgical Weight Loss Programs:

Which One is Right for You?

osing those extra pounds of flab around your waist can be quite the nightmare! In fact, losing a few extra pounds anywhere on your body is not a cake walk! What you really need is a proper weight loss procedure, time, and lots of patience.

There are several different ways of losing weight right from exercises to weight loss pills and from surgical procedures to non-surgical weight loss programs. The difficulty lies in determining what may be best for you or your needs.

Going the Surgical Way – Bariatric Surgery

Surgical procedures are definitely not for the faint hearted but it becomes necessary when obesity transforms into a chronic condition. Bariatric surgery is a procedure that involves operating on the intestine or the stomach.

This type of surgical procedure is normally recommended when everything else has failed or when obesity has led to serious health issues. Bariatric surgery restricts the amount of food intake and thus it not only promotes weight loss but also helps in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

There are several different types of Bariatric surgical procedures that you can choose from and they include:

  • Laparoscopic banding (LAGB)
  • Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
  • Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Gastric Bypass surgery

The degree of weight loss depends completely on the type of bariatric surgical procedure you opt for example, if you opt for gastric bypass then the weight loss would be equivalent to 70 percent of your excess weight but if you opt for gastric banding then weight loss would be equivalent to 50 percent of your excess weight.

Bariatric Surgery Treatment Abroad

Is bariatric surgery the right option for you?

Bariatric surgery would be a recommended option in the following scenarios:

  1. Body mass Index: Your body mass index (BMI) is or has crossed 40 then this is definitely the best solution for losing weight quickly
  2. Diabetes: Obesity and type-2 diabetes are more often than not inter-related and inter-dependent. If you are suffering from both then it could transform into a life threatening condition, In such a scenario bariatric surgery is the best alternative to fighting both obesity and diabetes.
  3. Mental health conditions: Bariatric surgery like any other surgical procedure can be stressful for you as you will need to maintain a proper diet and undergo proper care post surgery. If your psychological status is good and you are not suffering from binge-eating disorder, anxiety, depression, or substance abuse then this would be a perfect way to lose weight.
  4. Age: There are certain surgical procedures that cannot be conducted for a specific age bracket and bariatric surgery is one such procedure. If you are over the age of 18 and under the age of 70 then this surgical procedure will enhance weight loss in a safe way.
  5. Other Surgical Procedures: If you have recently undergone any surgical procedure in the pelvic region or esophagus or stomach then it is definitely worth waiting for a period of 6 months to a year.

Last but not the least; if you are looking at losing weight rapidly then this is definitely a highly effective solution!

Going the Non-Surgical Way – Weight Loss Medication

If you are someone who wants to lose weight the non-surgical way then weight-loss treatments is the perfect path to take.  There are several different non surgical options or weight loss although one of the most popular is the weight loss medication therapy.

What does weight loss medication therapy really involve? Weight loss therapies using medication are not stand alone procedures and have to be usually accompanied with changes in lifestyle and eating habits. The therapy involves following a strict diet plan along with requisite dosage of anti-obesity medication.

One of the important things to understand here is that there is a wide range of medication available including over the counter medications for reducing or controlling weight but not all of them are effective. If that be the case, then what medications are effective for weight loss?

The two most effective weight loss medications include:


It is an oral anorexiant that works by reducing your overall appetite, and this result in lower consumption of food on a daily basis leading to weight loss. Placebo research studies have indicated that sibutramine therapy leads to greater weight reduction as compared to placebo. Patients opting for sibutramine therapy can lose anywhere from 5% to 10% of their baseline weight. This weight loss medication is also known by other names such as Reductil and Meridia.


Orlistat like sibutramine is integral to a weight loss therapy that is supported by changes in diet and exercise programs. Orlistat works by blocking enzymes that are responsible for digestion of fat. It effectively blocks almost one-third of the fat consumed by you. The undigested fat is not absorbed by your body but is passed out through feces. This weight loss medication therapy will enable you to lose as much as 10% or even more of your baseline weight within six months of starting the therapy. This weight loss medication is also known by other names such as Xenical and Alli.

Weight loss medication therapy

Is weight loss medication therapy the right option for you?

Weight loss medication therapy would be a recommended option for you in the following scenarios:

  1. Body mass Index: Your body mass index (BMI) is or has crossed 40 and you are averse to surgical procedures then this is definitely the best solution for losing weight.
  2. Age: These non-surgical weight loss programs through medication therapy are not recommended for a specific age bracket. If you are over the age of 18 and under the age of 65 then this therapy will be safe for you.
  3. Pregnancy: Whether you opt for sibutramine or Orlistat weight loss therapy they can pose a certain degree of risk if you are already pregnant or breast feeding.
  4. Lifestyle changes: One of the most important aspects of this type of therapy is that it needs to go hand-in-hand with other supportive therapies like change in lifestyle, exercise regimen, and strict diet control.
  5. Interactions: The medications sibutramine or Orlistat can and do interact with other medications and alcohol. For example: If you have been prescribed warfarin (blood thinning medicine) then you should inform the same to your medical practitioner before commencing the sibutramine or Orlistat weight loss program. Interaction with other medicine can put your health on risk.
  6. Medical Conditions: If you have a history of medical conditions such as kidney or liver disease, gallbladder problems, type-1 or type-2 diabetes, eating disorders etc., then you should inform the same to your medical practitioner prior to commencing the sibutramine or Orlistat weight loss program.

Making the Choice

It is never an easy task to make a choice between the procedures that you would like to go with to reduce your weight. So, here’s a list of comparative analysis of each of these weight loss treatment or surgery:

Surgical Procedure Non-Surgical Weight Loss Program

There are several different types of surgical procedures to choose from. 

There are two specific types of medication therapy programs to choose from.


You will be restricted to a clear liquid diet post surgical procedures. You can begin intake of solid food after around eight weeks post surgery.

As a part of the therapy, you will have to follow a diet specified by your dietician or medical practitioner and can include low fat dairy products, whole grains, vegetable & fruits, and lean meat among others.
Weight Loss

The maximum weight loss takes place within 10 months of your surgery and can vary from 25% to 80% of your baseline weight.

Percentage weight loss depends on the dose, which can vary from 1 mg (1.2% of your baseline weight in 24 weeks), to 30 mg (9.4% of your baseline weight in 24 weeks).
Type of Expense

The surgery would be a one-time expense.

The expenditure will depend on the length of the weight loss program and will include daily medications.
Approx Cost Depending on the type of Bariatric surgery, the average cost in the US can vary from $20,000 to $25,000 for a vertical banded gastroplasty, $23,000 for gastric bypass surgery, and $14,500 for lap band surgery. In countries like Mexico, the average cost would be lesser. For example: a lap band surgery would cost approx $5,826 in Mexico. Sibutramine or Orlistat are cost-effective treatment options for obesity vis-à-vis surgery. Depending on the dosage, the cost can vary from $35 to $140 per month.
Recovery Time The recovery time post bariatric surgery is 2 to 3 days in the hospital and you can resume normal activities within 3 to 5 weeks.

You can carry out your daily activities along with your medication therapy.

If you want to know more, you can always contact us.

Contact Us For More Info

by: PlacidWay

2016-05-19 / Updated on: 2021-01-08

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