Bariatric surgery

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Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a medical procedure that helps individuals with severe obesity achieve significant and sustained weight loss. This surgical approach is typically considered when other methods of weight loss, such as diet and exercise, have been unsuccessful, and when obesity poses serious health risks.


Bariatric surgery encompasses various surgical techniques that aim to reduce the size of the stomach or restrict the absorption of nutrients. These procedures are categorized into three main types:

1. Restrictive Procedures: These surgeries limit the amount of food the stomach can hold, creating a sense of fullness with smaller meals. The most common restrictive procedure is the sleeve gastrectomy.

2. Malabsorptive Procedures: These surgeries alter the digestive tract, reducing the absorption of calories and nutrients. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a notable example.

3. Combination Procedures: These surgeries combine restrictive and malabsorptive elements, such as the gastric bypass, to achieve weight loss.


Bariatric surgery is recommended for individuals who meet specific criteria, including:

- A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher (severe obesity). - A BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health issues, such as type 2 diabetes or obstructive sleep apnea. - Multiple unsuccessful attempts at non-surgical weight loss methods.

Surgical Procedures

1. Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve): This procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving a banana-shaped sleeve. It restricts food intake and reduces hunger-inducing hormones.

2. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: The surgeon creates a small stomach pouch and connects it directly to the small intestine, bypassing a portion of the stomach and upper intestine. This reduces calorie absorption.

3. Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap-Band): A band is placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch, limiting food intake. The band's tightness can be adjusted.

4. Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS): This complex procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach, bypassing most of the small intestine, and rerouting digestive juices.


Benefits and Risks

Bariatric surgery offers significant benefits, including:

- Dramatic weight loss. - Improved obesity-related health conditions. - Enhanced quality of life.

However, it also carries risks and potential complications, such as infection, blood clots, and vitamin deficiencies. A thorough evaluation and careful consideration of risks are crucial before undergoing surgery.

Post-Surgery Lifestyle

Patients must make lifelong dietary and lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery to maintain weight loss and ensure optimal health. This includes:

- A balanced, nutrient-rich diet. - Regular physical activity. - Follow-up appointments with healthcare providers. - Support from dietitians and support groups.


Bariatric surgery is a life-changing option for individuals struggling with severe obesity. It offers the potential for significant weight loss and improved health. However, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals to determine if it is the right choice and to receive proper guidance throughout the entire process.