Bariatric surgery is a collective term used for many types of weight-loss surgeries. These surgeries make changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight.
The goal is to either limit the amount of food you can intake or reduce your ability to absorb nutrition and, in some cases, both. While bariatric surgery offers many benefits, all forms of weight-loss surgery are severe procedures that can pose serious risks and side effects.
Different types of surgeries
There are different types of surgeries classified based upon the aim of the surgery.
1. Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS): This type of procedure is a less-common weight-loss method that entails two basic steps. Step one includes sleeve gastrectomy in which about 80 percent of the stomach is removed, leaving a more diminutive tube-shaped stomach. At the same time, the second step bypasses the majority of the intestine by connecting the end portion of the intestine to the duodenum near the stomach. A BPD/DS both limits how much you can eat and reduces the absorption of nutrients, including proteins and fats. It is a single procedure that is carried out at once.
2. Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y): Gastric bypass is the type of weight-loss surgery that involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting the newly created one directly to the small intestine. After gastric bypass, swallowed food will go into this small part of the stomach and then directly into the small intestine, thereby bypassing most of your stomach and the first section of your small intestine. This procedure limits the timing of the food in the stomach. Thereby reducing the absorption of nutrients which in turn helps in weight loss.
3. Sleeve gastrectomy: Also called vertical sleeve gastrectomy, it is a surgical weight-loss procedure. During sleeve gastrectomy, about 80% of the stomach is removed, which reduces the food intake consequently, helping in weight loss.
Who is it recommended for?
There can be two major circumstances when a physician might recommend this type of surgery to a person.
- The body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher, meaning the person suffers from obesity or severe weight gain.
- The BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and the person suffers from serious weight-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Reasons behind performing a bariatric surgery
The bariatric surgery is performed to help a person in losing excess weight and reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems. Some of these problems might include:
- Heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
This procedure is typically done only after a person has tried to lose weight by improving their diet and exercise habits but has not been able to see visible or better results. This not only helps them reduce their weight and gain confidence in some cases it also reduces the high-risk rate for the diseases listed above. It is not only for a better health condition but a better lifestyle altogether that a doctor might recommend this surgery to someone.
A person needs to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for weight-loss surgery, such as bariatric surgery. The person is likely to have an extensive screening process to see if they can qualify. One of the most important requirements is the person’s willpower to adopt a healthier lifestyle and bring about positive changes in their lifestyle.
They may be required to participate in long-term follow-up plans that include monitoring of nutrition, lifestyle and behavior, and any medical conditions that may follow up after the surgery.