Bariatric Surgery


Bariatric surgical procedures facilitate weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold, causing the stomach to absorb fewer calories and repress feelings of hunger.

What is it?

Bariatric surgery is any surgery that facilitates weight loss. There are two types of bariatric procedures, restrictive procedures, and malabsorptive procedures. Restrictive procedures limit the amount of food the patient’s stomach is capable of holding. Malabsorptive procedures reduce calorie absorption in the intestines. The most common bariatric surgery procedures are gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric band, and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. With each surgery, there are unique advantages and disadvantages.

What should I do to prepare?

When a patient elects to receive bariatric surgery, it is important that he or she follows the eating and drinking guidelines set by their doctor to avoid complications with anesthesia. The patient should speak with his or her doctor regarding current medications to develop appropriate plans. Certain medications like NSAIDS, aspirin, and vitamin supplements should not be taken during the week before surgery, as should smoking. Patients may be advised to begin physical exercises. Patients should expect to have comprehensive diagnostic tests completed prior to the procedure. Furthermore, patients should make transportation accommodations after surgery, since anesthesia impairs the ability to drive.

What happens during the process?

Patients will be under anesthesia. After the patient is under sedation, surgeons will create a large incision to operate on the stomach. After that, the surgeon will staple the stomach and create a smaller area for food. This stimulates a feeling of fullness and reduces feelings of hunger. Next, the lower intestine is attached to the esophagus, bypassing the stomach and preventing the stomach ability to absorb calories.

What are the risks and potential complications?

Bariatric surgery comes with associated risks, that include, but are not limited to excessive bleeding, infection, breathing problems, gastrointestinal leaks, vomiting, ulcers, malnutrition, gallstones, hernia, and death.


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