HomeSurgery ArticlesWhat Is Bariatric Surgery - A comprehensive Guide

What Is Bariatric Surgery – A comprehensive Guide

Bariatric surgery is a type of procedure which assists individuals in weight-loss. It is usually an option for those with a BMI of 40 or higher, or for those whose BMI is at 35 or greater, and have related medical issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or sleep apnea. While there are a variety of bariatric surgeries, they all operate with the same intention; reducing the stomach size to restrict food consumption and altering the way that food is digested to decrease calorie intake.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll cover all aspects of bariatric surgery – from what it is to the types of procedures available and their potential benefits and risks. We’ll also explore how it works and discuss how successful it can be for many people who undergo the procedure – often with long-lasting weight loss results.

What is Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a weight-loss operation used for those suffering from obesity. There are various types of procedures, although gastric bypass surgery is the most common. This technique involves making a small opening in the stomach and routing the small intestine to it. This detours food away from a large portion of the stomach, thereby reducing calorie intake.

Bariatric surgery should not be thought of as a quick solution for obesity; rather, it requires serious consideration and expert advice. Those who opt for the operation will have to strive to forge new lifestyle habits such as healthy eating and exercise, in order to ensure a successful post-surgery recovery.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are four main types of bariatric surgery:

  1. Gastric bypass surgery is the most common form of bariatric surgery. It entails creating a small stomach pouch through staples or a band, then connecting it straight to the small intestine – thus diminishing the amount of food that can be consumed and limiting nutrient absorption.
  2. Sleeve gastrectomy is a form of surgical intervention that involves eliminating part of the stomach in order to create a smaller stomach pouch. It also results in decreased levels of hormones which instigate hunger, such as ghrelin.
  3. Adjustable gastric banding involves the placement of an adjustable band around the upper stomach area, thus forming a pouch. This opening can then be altered to regulate how much food is consumed and how quickly satiety is felt.
  4. A two-part procedure is involved in biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch: beginning with sleeve gastrectomy (as mentioned before) and finishing with a rerouting of part of the small intestine so that it connects to the newly formed stomach pouch.

Pros and Cons of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is an important choice to make. Before you decide, you should review the Pros and Cons of Bariatric Surgery listed below in order to be fully informed. It is not a decision to be taken lightly.


  • One of the key reasons to choose bariatric surgery is for its powerful effects on weight loss. Patients can experience remarkable results, often leading to a reduction of up to 80% of their surplus body mass.
  • As a consequence of the weight loss, those who have undergone bariatric surgery normally perceive better physical health. Hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea and joint pain oftentimes can either be greatly improved or stop completely following the operation.
  • Bariatric surgery has been demonstrated to have a lasting effect on obesity, with research exhibiting that patient retained major weight loss even a decade after the procedure.


  • As with any surgical procedure, bariatric surgery has the potential to cause short-term issues like nausea and vomiting, as well as more serious long-term complications such as malnutrition and hernias.
  • The price of the product is quite high, which may be off-putting for some individuals. However, the value provided in comparison to its cost makes it worth buying.

Qualifications for Bariatric Surgery

In order to qualify for bariatric surgery, there are certain requirements you must meet.

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • A BMI of 40 or higher, or 35 or higher with concomitant obesity-related health conditions, is needed to be eligible.
  • 3. Have attempted but failed to lose weight through diet and exercise.
  • Be dedicated to adapting your lifestyle before and after your operation.

At your evaluation for bariatric surgery, you will receive a thorough medical and psychological assessment to identify if you meet the criteria for the operation. Moreover, your team will evaluate which type of surgery is most suitable for you according to your specific needs and overall state of health.

Preparation/Recovery Procedures

Before deciding on bariatric surgery, it is essential to have a conversation with an experienced surgeon about your aspirations. The professional can assist you in determining whether or not this operation is the right choice for you. In order to adequately prepare for surgery, you’ll need to obtain medical clearance from your primary care provider and any other specialists you may see. You should also quit smoking and start a pre-operative diet and exercise routine.

A psychological assessment must be carried out to make certain you are psychologically ready for the operation and all the alterations that it brings. Surgery is typically done laparoscopically, which entails making small incisions in the abdomen. The type of surgery will be decided by your surgeon depending on your specific circumstances.

After surgery, you’ll remain in the hospital for a few days to recover. Pain and discomfort are part of this healing process, but you can take measures to mitigate them with medication. Once you return home, it’s important that you adhere to a special diet and maintain your exercise regimen. It’s also crucial that you attend follow-up visits with your surgeon as scheduled.

Risks of Bariatric Surgery

There are possible hazards linked to bariatric surgery, though the majority of people don’t have any major issues. Typical risks include:

Infection is a possibility with any surgical procedure, but due to the larger incisions and inclusion of foreign objects (like implants) during the procedure, bariatric surgery carries an exponentially higher chance of developing one.

Bleeding is a potential risk associated with any surgery, and bariatric operations are no exception. However, due to the size and position of the incisions, post-operative bleeding can be more intense than usual.

Blood clots are a potential risk following bariatric surgery, as the extended time spent in bed while in the operating room and resting afterwards increases their likelihood. Such clots may form in either the legs or lungs.

Costs Associated with Bariatric Procedure

Bariatric surgery is not a budget-friendly option. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery estimates the national average cost of the procedure to be approximately $17,000, though it can differ greatly depending on the state and surgeon chosen.

It’s important to check with your insurance company about their coverage for bariatric surgery. They may provide partial or full coverage, but certain criteria may need to be met, such as having a BMI of at least 100 – depending the individual policy.

Your insurance may cover some of the expenses associated with bariatric surgery; however, you may still be liable for certain out-of-pocket fees. Beforehand, ask your surgeon regarding which costs to prepare for; this could include pre- and post-operative care, lab tests and miscellaneous items.

Alternatives To Bariatric Surgery

Other than bariatric surgery, there are a variety of options available to help reach similar outcomes. These include lifestyle modifications, medication, and other surgical solutions.

Smaller portions and healthier foods are two helpful lifestyle changes that can assist with losing weight and maintaining it. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is also a great way to reach and keep your desired weight.

Medication may be a possible approach to aid in weight loss. There are several options available, such as appetite suppressants, fat blockers, and medications for diabetes. Your healthcare professional will collaborate with you to decide if this is a viable choice.

There are a few alternatives to bariatric surgery that you and your doctor can discuss. These include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric banding. Consider all the options to find the best fit for you.


Bariatric surgery is a well-documented way to help those who are struggling with obesity reach their weight-loss objectives. It is imperative to have an in-depth discussion with your doctor about the attainable options and any risks associated before committing to bariatric surgery. We hope this guide will give you the knowledge necessary to make a sound decision regarding if it is an appropriate move for you.


1. What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery assists people in reducing their weight by altering their digestive system.

2. How does bariatric surgery work?

Bariatric surgery alters the digestive system by reducing the size of the stomach and making one feel sated more quickly. As a result, fewer calories are absorbed from food consumed.

3. Who is a good candidate for bariatric surgery?

Those who could benefit from bariatric surgery are often obese and have exhausted all other methods of weight loss. Additionally, those with serious health conditions like diabetes or sleep apnea may also qualify for this type of operation.

4. What are the risks of bariatric surgery?

Any type of surgery carries potential risks, and bariatric surgery is no exception. The most common complications associated with the anesthesia are vomiting, nausea, and headache. Additionally, there is a slight chance of suffering from infection or leaky gut syndrome following the procedure.

5. How much weight can I expect to lose with bariatric surgery?

People who have bariatric surgery can anticipate a loss of 15-30% of their bodyweight within 12 months of the procedure.

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