The word ‘bariatric surgery’ stems from ‘baros’, which is Ancient Greek for ‘weight’. The surgery is designed to restrict how many calories someone can consume, thereby encouraging dramatic weight loss. There are a number of different types of bariatric procedures out there, and a physician will explain which option is the most applicable to someone who is obese.
Who Qualifies for Bariatric Surgery?
The National Center for Biotechnology Information has released guidelines for the suitability of bariatric surgery. They have stated that a good candidate:
- Has a BMI (Body Mass Index) of at least 40, meaning they are usually 100 pounds or more overweight; or
- Has a BMI of over 35 and is also suffering from a health condition related to them being overweight, including high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or severe sleep apnea.
Is Bariatric Surgery Right for You?
If you meet the criteria listed above, it is still not guaranteed that you are eligible for weight loss surgery. More and more bariatric clinics have stringent requirements and they will screen potential patients who show that:
- They are ready to make permanent lifestyle changes, altering their own behavior.
- They are willing to have long term, at times permanent, medical follow ups.
These rules are in place because only those who are truly committed will be able to enjoy long lasting effects from this surgery. Through StopObesityForLife.com – bariatric surgery, you will be able to gather more information.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
There are many different types of bariatric surgery, but two are the most common. These are the gastric band and the gastric bypass. Both of these surgeries can be performed through laparoscopic methods, meaning that the patient does not have to be fully opened up. However, not everybody is able to go through keyhole surgery, meaning that some will have open surgery. Recovery time in hospital, therefore, is generally between 2 and 5 days, and most are able to return to work between 2 and 6 weeks after having the procedure.
A gastric band is a type of restrictive surgery. This means that the size of the stomach is reduced using staples, bands or balloons. As such, it is also possible to reverse this procedure after some time. However, a lot of people find that this method allows them to ‘cheat’, which is why banding is losing in popularity.
The bypass, therefore, is becoming more popular. It is also known as ‘malabsorptive’ surgery, because it actually stops the body from absorbing nutrition and calories. This procedure goes through two stages. Firstly, the size of the stomach is reduced. Then, the size of the jejunum and duodenum (small intestine) is reduced as well. This means that, if people try to cheat by overeating, their body will not absorb the nutrients or calories. However, this procedure is more significant and alters the body, which means it is much more difficult, if not impossible, to reverse. There is also a potential risk of people developing malnutrition if they are not committed to a healthy diet.