Bariatric Surgeries for Weight Loss

Bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is a term for a medical procedure to help an individual lose weight. If weight loss cannot be obtained through exercise and diet alone, surgical means might be the only option. But, for the severely obese, it can be the best option. If their weight is affecting daily life and puts them at risk for other harmful health conditions, their physician may recommend bariatric surgery

Here is a quick overview of three common types of bariatric surgery.

  • Lap Band
    The lap band is a device that is placed around the top portion of the patient’s stomach. By doing this the patient feels fuller faster since the amount of room in the stomach is dramatically reduced. The lap band does have the risk of slipping, which means additional surgeries to correct it are common.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
    A large portion, around 75%, of the stomach is removed, leaving what looks like a “sleeve” that connects directly to the intestines. This reduces the amount of room in the stomach for food, making the patient feel full. Since it doesn’t affect the intestines, absorption of nutrients is not affected. This surgery is irreversible, so the patient will have this “sleeve” the rest of his/her life. The risks include blood clots, leaking of the sleeve and infection.
  • Gastric Bypass
    This surgery reduces the size of your stomach via either stapling or banding to create a small pouch. It also bypasses the part of the digestive system that absorbs the food that you eat. There are many possible complications to this type of bariatric surgery. The stomach pouch can stretch and return to the size it was before the surgery. The band or staples used in the procedure can erode over time. There is the risk of stomach acid leaking into the body cavity, which can be very dangerous. And because of bypassing parts of the colon, the body will not be able to absorb the nutrients from food, causing deficiencies in minerals and vitamins.

Having an in-depth discussion with your physician about your weight loss is imperative if you are severely obese. Not only will they be able to determine if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery, but they can also guide you on a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise recommendations.

If you feel that you are in need of a bariatric surgeon’s advice, please go to and search for one in your area.

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