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Bariatric surgery

Updated: Aug 21, 2023


Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a medical procedure that aims to help individuals who are severely overweight or obese achieve significant weight loss and improve their health.
Bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a medical procedure that aims to help individuals who are severely overweight or obese achieve significant weight loss and improve their health.

While bariatric surgery can lead to significant weight loss and health improvements, it is not a quick fix and requires a significant commitment to lifestyle changes before and after the procedure.


Article content

- What is bariatric surgery?

- Who is eligible for bariatric surgery?

- What are the types of bariatric surgery?

- What is the benefits of bariatric surgery?

- What are the risks of bariatric surgery?

- How to avoid bariatric surgery risks


 

What is bariatric surgery?


Bariatric surgery is a type of medical procedure designed for individuals who are suffering from severe obesity. It involves a variety of surgical techniques that alter the structure of the digestive system in order to limit the amount of food that can be consumed or absorbed by the body.

Obesity is a serious medical condition that can have a significant impact on an individual's health and quality of life.

Obesity is linked to a number of health problems, including:

* Type 2 diabetes

* high blood pressure

* heart disease

* stroke

* sleep apnea

* certain types of cancer.

Obesity can also lead to physical limitations, reduced mobility, and decreased self-esteem.

Before undergoing bariatric surgery, individuals must undergo a thorough evaluation to determine their eligibility for the procedure. This evaluation typically includes a physical exam, medical history review, and psychological assessment. Patients must also attend pre-operative education classes to learn about the risks and benefits of the surgery, as well as the lifestyle changes required for long-term success.
Bariatric surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia and can take several hours to complete. Recovery time varies depending on the type of surgery performed, but most patients can expect to spend several days in the hospital after the procedure.
While bariatric surgery can be an effective tool for weight loss and improved health, it is important to understand the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure. These can include bleeding, infection, blood clots, digestive problems, and long-term nutritional deficiencies. Additionally, bariatric surgery can have emotional and social implications, including anxiety, depression, and social stigma.
It is important for individuals to understand that bariatric surgery is not a quick fix for obesity, but rather a tool to help them achieve significant weight loss and improve their overall health through lifestyle changes, including a proper diet and regular exercise. As with any medical procedure, it is essential to work closely with a medical team to determine if bariatric surgery is the right option for an individual and to understand the potential risks and benefits before deciding.
In conclusion, bariatric surgery is a type of medical procedure designed for individuals who are suffering from severe obesity. It involves a variety of surgical techniques that alter the structure of the digestive system to limit the amount of food that can be consumed or absorbed by the body. Eligibility for bariatric surgery depends on a variety of factors, including BMI, overall health, and willingness to make significant lifestyle changes before and after the procedure.

 

Who is eligible for bariatric surgery?


Bariatric surgery is a medical procedure designed for individuals who are severely obese and have been unable to achieve significant weight loss through traditional methods such as diet and exercise.

The eligibility criteria for bariatric surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery and the medical provider.

But generally, there are several factors that determine whether an individual is a good candidate for the procedure.


BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight and is used to diagnose obesity
Qualified in bariatric surgery

1- Body Mass Index (BMI)

The most common criteria for eligibility for bariatric surgery is a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher.

BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight and is used to diagnose obesity. Individuals with a BMI of 40 or higher are considered severely obese and are at a high risk for obesity-related health problems. However, individuals with a BMI of 35 or higher may also be eligible for bariatric surgery if they have one or more serious obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.


2- Medical Conditions

In addition to BMI, medical conditions associated with obesity can also play a role in determining eligibility for bariatric surgery. Medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and heart disease are common in individuals who are severely obese.

Bariatric surgery may be recommended for individuals with these conditions if they have been unable to manage their symptoms through traditional methods such as medication and lifestyle changes.


3- Age

Age is another factor that may be considered when determining eligibility for bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery is generally recommended for individuals who are between the ages of 18 and 65. However, some medical providers may consider individuals outside of this age range if they have significant obesity-related health problems and are otherwise healthy enough to undergo the procedure.


4- Psychological Evaluation

Bariatric surgery is a major medical procedure that requires significant lifestyle changes before and after the surgery. Therefore, it is important for individuals to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine their readiness for the procedure.

The evaluation may assess the individual's mental health, coping skills, social support, and ability to adhere to the necessary lifestyle changes. Individuals who have a history of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse may need additional support before and after the surgery.


5- Willingness to Make Lifestyle Changes

Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix for obesity. It is a tool that can help individuals achieve significant weight loss, but long-term success depends on the individual's willingness to make significant lifestyle changes.

Before undergoing bariatric surgery, individuals must be willing to commit to a healthy diet, regular exercise, and ongoing medical follow-up. They must also be willing to make changes to their social and emotional support systems to ensure long-term success.


6- Medical History

Individuals with certain medical conditions may not be eligible for bariatric surgery.

Medical history is an important factor when determining eligibility for the procedure.

Individuals with a history of gastrointestinal problems, blood clotting disorders, or certain types of cancer may not be good candidates for bariatric surgery. Additionally, individuals who have undergone previous abdominal surgeries may have adhesions or scar tissue that could complicate the bariatric surgery procedure.


7- Smoking and Alcohol Use

Smoking and alcohol use can have a significant impact on the success of bariatric surgery.

Smoking can increase the risk of complications during surgery, slow down the healing process, and decrease the effectiveness of the surgery. Individuals who smoke may be required to quit smoking before the surgery.

Alcohol use can also increase the risk of complications and interfere with weight loss efforts after the surgery.

Therefore, individuals who have a history of alcohol abuse may not be eligible for bariatric surgery.


8- Overall Health

Overall health is an important consideration when determining eligibility for bariatric surgery. Individuals who have other medical conditions that could increase the risk of complications during surgery may not be good candidates for the procedure.

Some medical conditions that may impact eligibility for bariatric surgery include heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, and kidney disease.


In conclusion, eligibility for bariatric surgery depends on several factors, including BMI, medical conditions, age, psychological evaluation, willingness to make lifestyle changes, medical history, smoking and alcohol use, and overall health.

 

What are the types of bariatric surgery?


There are several types of bariatric surgery, each with its own benefits and risks, they include:


1- Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most common types of bariatric surgery. It involves dividing the stomach into a small upper pouch and a larger lower pouch, and then connecting the small intestine to the upper pouch. This restricts the amount of food that can be eaten and reduces the amount of calories absorbed by the body.

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes between two and four hours to complete.

Recovery time varies, but most patients can expect to spend several days in the hospital after the procedure.


2- Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving a smaller, banana-shaped section. This reduces the amount of food that can be eaten and also reduces the production of hunger hormones, leading to a feeling of fullness.

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes between one and two hours to complete.

Recovery time varies, but most patients can expect to spend several days in the hospital after the procedure.


Sleeve gastrectomy involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving a smaller, banana-shaped section. This reduces the amount of food that can be eaten and also reduces the production of hunger hormones, leading to a feeling of fullness.
types of bariatric surgery

3- Adjustable Gastric Banding

Adjustable gastric banding involves placing a band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch.

The band can be adjusted to control the amount of food that can be eaten.

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes between one and two hours to complete.

Recovery time is generally shorter than other types of bariatric surgery, with most patients able to go home the same day or the day after the procedure.


4- Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch is a complex procedure that involves removing a large portion of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine to reduce the amount of food that can be absorbed by the body. This procedure is typically reserved for individuals with a BMI of 50 or higher or for those who have not achieved significant weight loss with other types of bariatric surgery.

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes between three and four hours to complete.

Recovery time is generally longer than other types of bariatric surgery, with most patients spending several days in the hospital after the procedure.


5- Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) is a non-surgical alternative to traditional sleeve gastrectomy, which involves the use of an endoscope to create a sleeve-like shape in the stomach.

During the procedure, an endoscope is inserted through the mouth and into the stomach. The endoscope is then used to place sutures in the stomach to create a smaller, tube-like shape. This restricts the amount of food that can be eaten and induces feelings of fullness.

Recovery time is generally shorter than other types of bariatric surgery, with most patients able to return to normal activities within a few days.


* Comparison of Bariatric Surgery Types :

Each type of bariatric surgery has its own benefits and risks.

- Gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy are considered to be the most effective types of bariatric surgery in terms of weight loss and improvement in obesity-related health conditions.


- Adjustable gastric banding is considered to be a less invasive option for bariatric surgery considered to be less effective in terms of weight loss and improvement in obesity-related health conditions.


- Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch is a complex procedure It can result in significant weight loss and improvement in obesity-related health conditions, but it also carries a higher risk of complications than other types of bariatric surgery.


- Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) considered to be less effective than traditional sleeve gastrectomy.


 

What is the benefits of bariatric surgery?


The benefits of bariatric surgery can be significant and can extend far beyond just weight loss.

While there are potential risks associated with the procedure, the benefits often outweigh the risks for eligible individuals.

Here are some of the benefits of bariatric surgery:


The most obvious benefit of bariatric surgery is weight loss. After undergoing the procedure, individuals typically experience significant weight loss, which can improve their overall health and quality of life.
benefits of bariatric surgery

1- Weight Loss

The most obvious benefit of bariatric surgery is weight loss.

After undergoing the procedure, individuals typically experience significant weight loss, which can improve their overall health and quality of life.

Studies have shown that individuals who undergo bariatric surgery can lose between 50% and 70% of their excess weight over a period of one to two years.


2- Improvement in Obesity-Related Health Conditions

Bariatric surgery can lead to significant improvements in obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. In some cases, individuals may experience complete remission of their diabetes following bariatric surgery.

Additionally, bariatric surgery can lead to improvements in other health conditions such as joint pain, acid reflux, and infertility.


3- Improved Mental Health

Bariatric surgery can also lead to improvements in mental health.

Many individuals who are severely overweight or obese suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions related to their weight.

After undergoing bariatric surgery and achieving significant weight loss, individuals may experience improvements in their mental health and overall well-being.

Studies have shown that individuals who undergo bariatric surgery report improvements in their quality of life, self-esteem, and body image.


4- Reduced Risk of Mortality

Severe obesity is associated with an increased risk of mortality. Bariatric surgery can reduce this risk by improving overall health and reducing the risk of obesity-related health conditions.

Studies have shown that individuals who undergo bariatric surgery have a reduced risk of mortality compared to those who do not undergo the procedure.


5- Improved Long-Term Weight Loss

One of the challenges of traditional weight loss methods such as diet and exercise is maintaining long-term weight loss.

Bariatric surgery can provide a tool for individuals to achieve significant weight loss and maintain it over the long term.

Studies have shown that individuals who undergo bariatric surgery are more likely to maintain their weight loss over a period of five to ten years compared to those who do not undergo the procedure.


6- Improved Quality of Life

In addition to the physical health benefits of bariatric surgery, the procedure can also lead to improvements in overall quality of life. Individuals who undergo bariatric surgery often report improvements in their ability to perform daily activities, participate in social activities, and improve their relationships.

Additionally, bariatric surgery can improve overall self-confidence and self-esteem.


7- Lower Healthcare Costs

Obesity-related health conditions can be costly to manage and treat. By undergoing bariatric surgery and achieving significant weight loss, individuals may reduce their healthcare costs over the long term.

Studies have shown that individuals who undergo bariatric surgery have lower healthcare costs compared to those who do not undergo the procedure.


8- Improved Fertility

Obesity can have a significant impact on fertility, particularly in women. Bariatric surgery can lead to improvements in fertility by reducing weight and improving overall health.

Studies have shown that women who undergo bariatric surgery may experience improvements in menstrual irregularities, ovulation, and fertility.


9- Reduction in Medication Use

Many individuals who are severely overweight or obese require medication to manage their obesity-related health conditions.

After undergoing bariatric surgery and achieving significant weight loss, individuals may be able to reduce or eliminate their need for medication. This can lead to cost savings and reduce the risk of adverse side effects associated with medication use.


Overall, bariatric surgery can provide significant benefits for eligible individuals. The procedure can lead to significant weight loss, improvements in obesity-related health conditions, improvements in mental health and quality of life, and a reduction in the risk of mortality.
It can also provide a tool for long-term weight loss and lead to cost savings associated with healthcare and medication use.
However, it is important for individuals to work closely with their medical provider to determine whether bariatric surgery is the right option for them and to understand the potential risks and benefits of the procedure. By working closely with their medical provider and making the necessary lifestyle changes, eligible individuals can achieve significant weight loss and improve their overall health and quality of life.

 

What are the risks of bariatric surgery?


While there are many benefits associated with bariatric surgery, there are also potential risks and complications. It is important for individuals to be aware of these risks before deciding to undergo the procedure.

Here are some of the potential risks associated with bariatric surgery:


1- Complications During Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a major surgical procedure that carries risks associated with any surgery.

Complications during surgery can include bleeding, infection, and damage to organs. Additionally, individuals may experience a reaction to anesthesia, which can be life-threatening.


2- Blood Clots

Bariatric surgery can increase the risk of developing blood clots, which can lead to serious health complications such as stroke or pulmonary embolism.

Blood clots can form in the legs and potentially travel to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain.

Individuals who undergo bariatric surgery are typically advised to take blood-thinning medication to reduce the risk of blood clots.


3- Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome is a common complication of bariatric surgery, particularly gastric bypass surgery.

It occurs when food moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine, causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating.

Dumping syndrome can be uncomfortable and can lead to malnutrition if it is not managed properly.


4- Gastrointestinal Issues

Bariatric surgery can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.

These issues may be temporary and can typically be managed with dietary and lifestyle changes, but they can also be chronic in some cases.


Bariatric surgery can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.  These issues may be temporary and can typically be managed with dietary and lifestyle changes, but they can also be chronic in some cases
risks of bariatric surgery

5- Nutritional Deficiencies

Bariatric surgery can lead to nutritional deficiencies, particularly in vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B12, and calcium. This is because the procedure reduces the amount of food that can be eaten, which can make it difficult to consume enough nutrients through diet alone.

Individuals who undergo bariatric surgery are typically advised to take vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies.


6- Gallstones

Bariatric surgery can increase the risk of developing gallstones, which are small stones that form in the gallbladder.

Gallstones can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, gallstones may need to be surgically removed.


7- Stomal Stenosis

Stomal stenosis is a rare but potentially serious complication of bariatric surgery. It occurs when the opening between the stomach and small intestine narrows, which can lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, and digestive issues.

Stomal stenosis typically requires surgical intervention to correct.


8- Weight Regain

While bariatric surgery can provide a tool for significant weight loss, some individuals may experience weight regain over time.

This can occur if individuals do not make the necessary lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity, to maintain their weight loss over the long term.


9- Psychological Issues

Bariatric surgery can have psychological implications as well. Some individuals may experience depression, anxiety, or body image issues following the procedure.

It is important for individuals to work with a mental health professional to address these issues and develop coping strategies.


 

How to avoid bariatric surgery risks?


it is important for individuals to take steps to minimize the potential risks associated with the procedure.

Here are some strategies for avoiding bariatric surgery risks:


1- Choose an Experienced Surgeon

Choosing an experienced and qualified surgeon is crucial for minimizing the potential risks associated with bariatric surgery.

An experienced surgeon will be able to perform the procedure safely and effectively, reducing the risk of complications during and after surgery.

It is important to do research and evaluate potential surgeons based on their qualifications, experience, and patient outcomes.


2- Follow Pre-Operative Guidelines

Before undergoing bariatric surgery, individuals will be given pre-operative guidelines to follow.

These guidelines are designed to prepare the body for surgery and reduce the risk of complications.

It is important to follow these guidelines closely, which may include dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as cessation of certain medications.


3- Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle before and after bariatric surgery can help reduce the risk of complications and improve overall outcomes.

This includes following a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and avoiding smoking and alcohol.

Individuals should work closely with their medical provider to develop a personalized plan for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


 Individuals who undergo bariatric surgery are typically advised to take vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies.  It is important to take these supplements as directed by a medical provider and to have regular blood work to monitor nutrient levels.
Bariatric and nutritional deficiency surgery

4- Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Bariatric surgery can lead to nutritional deficiencies, particularly in vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B12, and calcium.

Individuals who undergo bariatric surgery are typically advised to take vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

It is important to take these supplements as directed by a medical provider and to have regular blood work to monitor nutrient levels.


5- Attend Follow-Up Appointments

After undergoing bariatric surgery, individuals will have follow-up appointments with their medical provider.

These appointments are important for monitoring progress, identifying potential complications, and making adjustments to the treatment plan as needed.

It is important to attend these appointments regularly and to communicate any concerns or issues with the medical provider.


6- Manage Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome is a common complication of bariatric surgery, particularly gastric bypass surgery.

It occurs when food moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine, causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating.

Dumping syndrome can be managed by eating smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding foods that are high in sugar and fat, and drinking liquids between meals rather than with meals.


7- Address Psychological Issues

Bariatric surgery can have psychological implications as well, some individuals may experience depression, anxiety, or body image issues following the procedure.

It is important for individuals to work with a mental health professional to address these issues and develop coping strategies.

This can include individual therapy, support groups, or other forms of psychological support.


In conclusion, bariatric surgery is a type of medical procedure designed for obese individuals. It involves a variety of surgical techniques that alter the structure of the digestive tract to reduce the amount of food the body can consume or absorb.
Eligibility for bariatric surgery depends on a variety of factors including body mass index, general health, and willingness to make significant lifestyle changes before and after the procedure.

 

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