Bariatric Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery

What is Weight Loss Surgery?


Weight loss surgery also called Bariatric surgery – includes a variety of procedures performed on people who have obesity. These surgeries should be done in selected candidates with evaluation of risk and benefits. Even the the surgery is successfully done patient needs a permanent healthy lifestyle including healthy diet and exercise.

What are the types of bariatric surgery?

  1. Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty
  2. Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)
  3. Intragastric balloon


How weight loss is achieved in these procedures?

Weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach by-

  1. Gastric band
  2. Removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch)
  3. Resecting and re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery).

What are the expected benefits in a right candidate where bariatric surgery is done successfully?

Long-term studies show the procedures cause –

  1. Significant long-term loss of weight
  2. Recovery from diabetes
  3. Improvement in cardiovascular risk factors
  4. Mortality reduction from 40% to 23%.


Who are the right candidates for bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery may be done for obese people with

  1. Body mass index (BMI) of at least 40
  2. BMI of at least 35 and serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes
  3. Some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.

The recent guidelines suggest that any patient with a BMI of more than 30 with comorbidities is a candidate for bariatric surgery.

What are the risks for bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a  major surgery so it has some risk with it.

Short term Risks-

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • Death (rare)

Longer term risks –

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Malnutrition
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Dumping syndrome, causing diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Gallstones
  • Hernias
  • Death (rare)


What are the benefits of bariatric surgery?

Weight loss is the primary objective in this surgery. This is also associated with many benefits due to weight loss.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke

Can the Bariatric surgery fail to work as expected?

weight-loss surgeries don’t always work. The surgery may fail. It may not work as expected.

What diet is recommended after bariatric surgery?

  • Overeating is restricted because exceeding the capacity of the stomach causes nausea and vomiting.
  • Patients may need to take a daily multivitamin pill for life to compensate for reduced absorption of essential nutrients.
  • Patients cannot eat a large quantity of food, physicians typically recommend a diet that is relatively high in protein and low in fats.

Is there  need for lifestyle change after a successful bariatric surgery?

Patient must follow permanent healthy lifestyle in diet. Regular physical activity and exercise are also important to maintain a healthy weight. If healthy lifestyle is not followed then patient may gain weight even the surgery is successfully done.