Bariatric Surgery Risks, Benefits and Types

The number of obese people across the world is growing at an alarming rate, reaching epidemic levels. Overweight, obesity and morbid obesity are the fifth leading health risk for global deaths. Experts say at least 2.8 million people die each year due to overweight or obesity.

How to find if you are obese?

People are considered obese when their body mass index (BMI) exceeds 27.5 g/m square. If the BMI is equal to or greater than 35 kg/m square, it is called as morbid obesity.

BMI is calculated by dividing the person’s weight in kilograms with the square of height in meters i.e, BMI = Weight (in kgs) divided by Height square (m square).


Obesity can be treated both medically and surgically. However, medical treatments for obesity are quite time consuming and difficult, as the amount of weight loss is small and patients gain back most of the weight within no time.

Even a combination of diet, exercise, lifestyle modifications and medicines cannot ensure adequate and durable weight loss.

Weight Loss Surgery:

Surgeries designed to deal with weight loss in patients who are dangerously overweight or obese are called bariatric or weight loss surgeries. Most of the surgeries are done laproscopically.

This decreases the time spent in hospital and post-operative recovery. However, controlled diet regimen and healthy lifestyle should be followed of best results of obesity and weight loss surgeries.

Bariatric Surgery

How Does it Help:

• Bariatric or gastrointestinal surgery alters or makes a significant impact on the digestive process.

• When the energy intake is higher than the energy output, it causes problems of overweight and obesity. The surgical process for obesity and weight loss therefore is directed at decreasing the energy intake and increasing the energy output.

Also Read: Top 5 Yoga Positions for Natural Weight Loss

Types of Bariatric Surgery:

There are many types of restrictive, malabsorptive (reduces the amount of nutrition absorbed by the body) and combined procedure that can result in sustained weight loss.

1. Gastric Banding: A band is placed around the upper part of stomach to create a small pouch to hold food. The band limits the amount of food that the person eats by giving a feeling of fullness after eating a small portion of food.

2. Sleeve Gastrectomy: This is a restrictive procedure in which the stomach is stapled in such a way so as to create a long narrow sleeve.

3. Gastric Bypass: This is the most commonly undertaken weight loss surgery. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small pouch in the stomach by using specially designed staples to restrict food intake.

Then a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch toll allow food to bypass the lower stomach, thereby reducing the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.

Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery:

• Controls food intake, thus leading to rapid weight loss.
• Controls the craving for sweets or sweet foods.
• It can be reversed in case of any medical emergencies.

Risks of Gastric Bypass Surgery:

• Hemorrhage
• Ulcers
• Vomiting, if food is not properly chewed

Obesity surgery or bariatric surgery is a highly personalized treatment procedure. The cost of surgery depends on the patient’s condition, type of weight loose surgery performed and post-operative recovery.

Reports say at least 2.8 million people die each year due to overweight year due to overweight or obesity.

SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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