Bariatric Surgery: Risks, Benefits, and What To Expect During Recovery

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a medical procedure performed on individuals who are severely overweight or obese.

The surgery involves altering the digestive system to reduce the amount of food that can be consumed, resulting in significant weight loss. While the procedure is considered a last resort for weight loss, it has become increasingly popular over the years due to its success in helping patients achieve their weight loss goals and improve their overall health.

Bariatric Surgery Overview

There are several types of bariatric surgery, each with its own unique benefits and risks. The most common types of bariatric surgery include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric banding.

Gastric Bypass   Involves rerouting the small intestine to a small pouch created from the stomach.

Sleeve Gastrectomy   Involves removing a portion of the stomach to create a smaller, sleeve-shaped stomach.

Gastric Banding

The surgeon wraps an adjustable silicone band around the top portion of the stomach using laparoscopy, which necessitates minor abdominal cuts. The stomach is compressed by the silicone band into a pouch with an outflow that is roughly an inch in diameter. Only about an ounce of food can be stored in the stomach after banding.

The silicone band is connected to a gadget that is just below the skin by a plastic tube. Saline (sterile salt water) can be injected into or expelled from the silicone band through the skin. Saline injection fills the band and tightens it. This makes it possible to adjust the band’s tightness or looseness as necessary to lessen adverse effects and enhance weight loss.

Duodenal Switch   Similar to gastric bypass surgery, duodenal switch surgery works through both restrictive and malabsorptive means. The surgeon removes between 70% and 80% of the stomach and then alters two portions of the digestive system so it limits caloric absorption and is very effective in assisting patients to lose significant amounts of weight.

Bariatric surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.

Candidates for the procedure must also be committed to making lifestyle changes, including adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise routine.

Next, we will look at the benefits of Bariatric Surgery