Bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure that helps people lose weight by reducing the size of their stomach or altering the way their digestive system works. It is typically recommended for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or for those with a BMI of 35 or higher who have obesity-related health problems. Bariatric surgery is performed by surgical gastroenterologists who specialize in this type of surgery.

Types of Bariatric Surgery:

There are several types of bariatric surgery, including:

  1. Gastric Bypass Surgery: This surgery involves creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach and connecting it directly to the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. This restricts the amount of food that can be eaten and reduces the absorption of calories and nutrients.
  2. Sleeve Gastrectomy: This surgery involves removing a portion of the stomach to create a smaller, sleeve-shaped stomach. This restricts the amount of food that can be eaten and reduces the production of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
  3. Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery: This surgery involves placing a band around the upper part of the stomach to create 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 surgery involves removing a large portion of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine to reduce the amount of food that can be absorbed.

Preoperative Evaluation and Preparation:

Before undergoing bariatric surgery, patients undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine if they are good candidates for surgery. This includes a physical exam, blood tests, imaging studies, and psychological evaluations. Patients must also meet with a registered dietitian to learn about the preoperative diet and lifestyle changes they need to make.

Intraoperative Procedure:

Bariatric surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia and can take several hours to complete. The surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen and inserts a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera and surgical instruments, to perform the surgery.

Postoperative Care and Follow-up:

After surgery, patients are closely monitored for complications and receive pain management, nutrition support, and physical therapy. Patients must also adhere to a strict postoperative diet and exercise plan. Regular follow-up appointments with the surgical gastroenterologist, registered dietitian, and other healthcare providers are crucial for long-term success.

Benefits and Risks:

Bariatric surgery can help patients lose significant amounts of weight and improve or resolve obesity-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. However, bariatric surgery also carries risks, such as bleeding, infection, blood clots, and malnutrition. Patients must carefully weigh the benefits and risks before deciding to undergo bariatric surgery.


Bariatric surgery is a highly effective treatment option for individuals struggling with obesity and related health problems. With the help of a qualified surgical gastroenterologist and a multidisciplinary healthcare team, patients can achieve significant weight loss and improve their overall health and quality of life.