What is Bariatric Surgery?

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What is Bariatric Surgery? A Comprehensive Guide

Obesity has become a major problem around the world, affecting millions of people’s health and quality of life. While diet and exercise are the primary methods of weight loss, some people find it challenging to shed excess weight and keep it off. Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a surgical option that can help people with severe obesity achieve and maintain weight loss. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about bariatric surgery.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure that alters the digestive system to help people with obesity lose weight. The procedure works by limiting the amount of food that can be eaten, reducing the absorption of nutrients, or a combination of both. Bariatric surgery is usually recommended for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more or those with a BMI of 35 or more and have obesity-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure.

To Whom Is Bariatric Surgery Applied?

Bariatric surgery is not recommended for everyone with obesity. It is usually considered for people who have severe obesity and have not been able to lose weight through other methods. In addition to the BMI criteria, bariatric surgery candidates must undergo a thorough medical evaluation to determine if they are suitable for surgery. People with a history of certain medical conditions, such as liver disease or blood clotting disorders, may not be eligible for bariatric surgery.

What are the Types of Bariatric Surgery?

There are several types of bariatric surgery, including:

1. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

This procedure involves creating a small stomach pouch and rerouting the small intestine to this pouch, bypassing a large portion of the stomach and small intestine. This leads to reduced food intake and absorption.

2. Sleeve Gastrectomy

This procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving a small sleeve-shaped pouch. This limits the amount of food that can be eaten and reduces the production of hunger hormones.

3. Adjustable Gastric Banding

This procedure involves placing an inflatable band around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch. The band can be adjusted to control the amount of food that can be eaten.

4. Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch

This procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine to the remaining stomach. This limits the amount of food that can be eaten and reduces nutrient absorption.

The choice of bariatric surgery type depends on the patient’s individual needs and medical history. Your doctor will help you determine the most suitable option for you.

What Should Nutrition Be Like After Bariatric Surgery?

After bariatric surgery, it is essential to follow a specific diet plan to ensure successful weight loss and avoid complications. The diet plan usually involves consuming small, frequent meals with high protein and low carbohydrate and fat content. Patients are advised to avoid sugar and high-fat foods and drinks, as they can cause discomfort and malabsorption.

It is also recommended to take vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Patients must work with a registered dietitian to develop a personalized diet plan and ensure proper nutrition after surgery.

Bariatric Surgery Prices?

The cost of bariatric surgery varies depending on the type of surgery, the surgeon’s experience, and the location of the surgery. The average cost of bariatric surgery in the United States is around $20,000 to $25,000. However, the cost may be covered by insurance if the patient meets certain criteria, such as having a BMI of 40 or more or having obesity-related health problems.

Benefits and Risks of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery can provide numerous health benefits for people with severe obesity, such as:

  • Significant and long-term weight loss
  • Improvement or remission of obesity-related health problems
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased life expectancy

However, bariatric surgery also carries risks and potential complications, such as:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Hernias
  • Dumping syndrome

It is essential to discuss the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery with your doctor to make an informed decision about whether it is the right option for you.

Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Before undergoing bariatric surgery, patients must undergo a thorough medical evaluation, which may include:

  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Imaging tests
  • Nutritional evaluation
  • Psychiatric evaluation

Patients may also need to make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and losing weight before surgery. It is also essential to prepare mentally and emotionally for the surgery and its potential impact on daily life.

Recovery and Follow-up Care

After bariatric surgery, patients will need to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover. They will need to follow a strict diet plan and gradually increase physical activity to avoid complications.

Patients will also need to attend follow-up appointments with their doctor to monitor weight loss progress, manage any complications, and adjust the diet and exercise plan as needed.

Conclusion

Bariatric surgery is a surgical option that can help people with severe obesity achieve significant and long-term weight loss and improve their overall health and quality of life. However, it is not recommended for everyone with obesity and carries risks and potential complications.

If you are considering bariatric surgery, it is essential to discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor and make an informed decision. With proper preparation, recovery, and follow-up care, bariatric surgery can be a life-changing option for people with severe obesity.

FAQs

  1. Is bariatric surgery covered by insurance?
  • Bariatric surgery may be covered by insurance if the patient meets certain criteria, such as having a BMI of 40 or more or having obesity-related health problems.
  1. How much weight can I expect to lose after bariatric surgery?
  • The amount of weight loss varies depending on the type of surgery and individual factors. On average, patients can expect to lose 50 to 70 percent of excess weight within two years after surgery.
  1. Can bariatric surgery cure type 2 diabetes?
  • Bariatric surgery can lead to improvement or remission of type 2 diabetes in some patients.
  1. How long does it take to recover from bariatric surgery?
  • Recovery time varies depending on the type of surgery and individual factors. Patients may need to stay in the hospital for a few days and gradually increase physical activity over several weeks.
  1. Is bariatric surgery reversible?
  • In most cases, bariatric surgery is irreversible. However, some procedures, such as adjustable gastric banding, can be reversed if necessary.
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