Bariatric Surgery: An Overview of Weight Loss Options

Bariatric Surgery

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a procedure used to help patients lose a large amount of weight. This type of surgery works to reduce the size of the stomach so food consumption is limited. Bariatric surgery is commonly recommended for those with a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 and more with one or more obesity-related health issues such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or hypertension.

Eligibility for Bariatric Surgery

To qualify for bariatric surgery, individuals must meet certain criteria. These include being over 18 years old and having a BMI of at least 40 (or a BMI of 35 with one or more obesity-related health issues). Patients must also demonstrate a willingness to commit to a complete lifestyle change and post-operative care plan.

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Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are several types of bariatric surgery available, including:

1. Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery is the most common type of bariatric surgery. It involves creating a small stomach pouch, known as a gastric bypass, which is connected directly to the small intestine. This reduces the amount of food that can be consumed as well as reducing the absorption of calories.

2. Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is another type of bariatric surgery that is becoming increasingly popular. In this procedure, a large portion of the stomach is removed, reducing its size and capacity.

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3. Adjustable Gastric Banding

Adjustable gastric banding is a type of bariatric surgery that involves placing a gastric band around the upper part of the stomach. This band can be adjusted over time to allow more or less food intake.

Risks and Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is generally considered safe, but like any surgery there are risks associated with it. These include the risk of infection and bleeding, as well as a risk of nutritional deficiencies. Patients should also expect to experience a period of adjustment after surgery as they adjust to their new diet and lifestyle.

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The potential benefits of bariatric surgery, however, are many. Studies have shown that patients can see significant weight loss within the first year after surgery and can improve many obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Conclusion

Bariatric surgery can be an effective option for those who are looking to lose a large amount of weight. This type of surgery works to reduce the size of the stomach, limiting food intake and absorption of calories. There are several types of bariatric surgery available, each with different risks and benefits. It is important for individuals to discuss all the risks and benefits with their doctor prior to considering bariatric surgery.