What is Bariatric Surgery?

The terms bariatric surgery, bariatric weight loss procedure, medical weight loss procedure, and weight loss surgery. All are types of assisted weight loss tools. Are they all the same? People tend to use these terms interchangeably. But they do not all mean the same thing.

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People use the terms Bariatric Surgery and Weight Loss Surgery to describe a wide variety of weight loss procedures. But these terms indicate surgical procedures meant to help higher-weight individuals lose weight.

These surgeries reduce the size of the stomach and make alterations to the digestive system (rerouting it). So that the body can not absorb all the calories or a combination of both. This category includes gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, duodenal switch, and gastric band.

Bariatric Weight Loss Procedure

Surgeons perform this procedure to limit the amount of food an individual can consume without involving surgery. These procedures include gastric balloon, endoscopic gastric sleeve (ESG), and endoscopic gastric bypass revision.

Why Would You Have Bariatric Surgery?

Surgeons perform bariatric surgery to help individuals who are heavier in weight lose weight. Furthermore, these individuals usually undergo it after trying to lose weight through other means. Such as diet and exercise. Conversely, often individuals with higher body weight. Potentially have life-threatening health issues including:

  • Sleep Apnea.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • Risk for Heart Disease, Stroke, and Cancer.
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
Bariatric Surgery

Studies have shown that once an individual’s BMI (body mass index) has reached a certain level. Moreover, they have very little chance of losing enough weight. Especially to decrease their BMI enough to fall within a healthy range without some type of medical intervention. However, bariatric surgery is a tool, coupled with dietary changes and increased physical activity. Evidently, it has proven effective in lowering a patient’s BMI. Eventually, reduce or eliminate weight-related health issues such as type 2 diabetes.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

Most bariatric surgeries include surgically removing a portion of the stomach approx. 70-80% to limit food intake. This is a restrictive technique. Other surgeries may involve reorganizing the digestive system. Even so, the body cannot absorb all of the nutrients and calories ingested. This is a malabsorptive technique. Some bariatric surgeries involve both techniques.

Sleeve Gastroplasty or Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve surgery restrictively reduces the size of the stomach. Limiting the intake of food.

Gastric Bypass

The gastric bypass involves both restrictive and malabsorptive techniques. It includes both a reduction in stomach size and alterations to the digestive system.

Duodenal Switch

The duodenal switch surgery reduces the size of the stomach and alters two parts of the digestive system. Also uses both restrictive and malabsorptive techniques.

Gastric Band

The gastric band surgery involves the surgical installation of an adjustable belt-like device. At the top of the stomach limiting the intake of food. The surgeon can adjust the belt to control the size of the stomach opening. Gastric band surgery utilizes the restrictive technique for weight loss.

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Types of Bariatric Weight Loss Procedures

Gastric Balloon

Surgeons place the gastric balloon endoscopically into the patient’s stomach to control the portion size.

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty

Surgeons perform ESG as a non-surgical alternative to popular gastric sleeve surgery. They do it endoscopically by inserting an endoscopic suturing device into the patient’s stomach to reduce its size by 70-80%.

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Who is a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

An individual who has a BMI of 40+ or an individual with a BMI of 35+. Those who also have weight-related health issues are candidates for bariatric surgery. Qualifications for a non-surgical bariatric weight loss procedure include the following. Individuals with lower BMI numbers and also patients who would for some reason be unable to undergo a surgical procedure.

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What to Expect from Bariatric Surgery

Before Surgery

Your bariatric clinic will instruct you on how to prepare for the type of surgery you are about to undergo. Firstly, you might need to complete lab work and make medication changes. Secondly, the healthcare team may also put you on a pre-surgical diet and exercise plan for up to three months. Thirdly, patients will need to follow a liver-shrinking diet for about 2 weeks before undergoing bariatric surgery.

During Surgery

Surgeons will perform your surgery in a hospital or surgical center under general anesthesia. It means you will be asleep during the surgery. However, the details of your surgery will depend on the type of surgery you are having. The surgeon’s preferences, and any extenuating circumstances that may be present in your case.

Typically, surgeons perform most bariatric surgery laparoscopically through small incisions made in the abdomen. In rare situations, surgeons may have to perform open surgery. That requires a larger incision and a longer recovery time.

After Surgery

Immediately after surgery, you will be in a recovery room for several hours. Additionally, surgeons will not allow you to eat or drink anything until the next day. Nonetheless, the medical staff will be working to get you up. Walking around as soon as possible to avoid blood clots. Finally, after you have achieved specific milestones. The hospital will release you to a hospital room. Where you will stay for between one to three days depending on the type of surgery you have had. If complications arise, the hospital may extend your stay.

You will return home with instructions. To further take care of yourself specific to the type of surgery you had. Equally important, you may have incisions that need a certain type of care, or drains, sutures, etc. Also, your aftercare instructions will provide you with information. Regarding the timeline for showering, bathing, driving, lifting, and performing household tasks.

Subsequently, for the next several months, you will follow a very restricted diet, starting with liquids only. Then pureed foods, soft foods, and eventually working your way up to solid foods. Consequently, your bariatric weight loss center will provide you with guidelines about your diet. Lastly, in the next several months. You will have several follow-up appointments with your bariatric weight loss center. As well as support-related appointments.

Results of Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric weight loss surgery such as gastric bypass can result in significant weight loss. However, weight loss and maintenance depend on a person’s dedication and commitment to ongoing lifestyle changes. In addition to the loss of weight bariatric surgery often improves or eliminates health conditions resulting from obesity.

The surgery often relieves type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea as early as 3 months later. The surgery will improve the patient’s health. Also boosts energy and improves quality of life. Performing routine activities that may have been physically impossible previously. Eventually, surgery will become second nature, after the surgery.

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Risks and Side Effects of Bariatric Surgery

Any major surgery carries risks, and bariatric surgery can pose short-term and long-term health risks. Picking a highly-skilled, board-certified surgeon and following all pre- and post-procedure instructions and diet can minimize your surgery risks.

Risks Associated with Bariatric Surgery

  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Deep vein thrombosis.
  • Gastrointestinal leaks.
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia.
  • Lung issues or problems breathing.
  • Death (very rare).

Complications and long-term risks of weight loss surgery can vary. Based on the specific procedure performed and the patient’s health condition. A thorough evaluation by a board-certified bariatric surgeon is necessary before the procedure.

Long-Term Risks of Bariatric Surgery

  • Ulcers.
  • Hernias.
  • Gallstones.
  • Acid Reflux.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Hypoglycemia.
  • Obstruction of Bowels.
  • Lightheadedness, and Vomiting.
  • Dumping Syndrome is often accompanied by Diarrhea.

Make sure to choose an Expert Surgeon in the Bariatric Weight Loss field. A board-certified bariatric surgeon specializing in the type of surgery you are looking for to mitigate the risks.

Call us or schedule a teleconsultation to inquire more about bariatric procedures. To better understand the different solutions for weight loss at IBI Healthcare Institute. You can join our free online bariatric seminar.