When combined with a comprehensive treatment plan, bariatric surgery may often act as an effective tool to provide you with long term weight-loss and help you increase your quality of health. Bariatric surgery has been shown to help improve or resolve many obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more. Frequently, individuals who improve their weight find themselves taking less and less medications to treat their obesity-related conditions.
Significant weight loss through bariatric surgery may also pave the way for many other exciting opportunities for you, your family, and most importantly – your health.
Patients undergoing bariatric surgery must commit to a program of lifestyle changes, diet, vitamin supplementation, and follow-up.
Patients typically lose more than 50% of their excess weight after bariatric surgery. Obesity-related diseases markedly improve after bariatric surgery, reducing cardiovascular risk and improving life expectancy.
The weight-loss procedures in use today range from placement of an intragastric balloon (the least invasive option) to open biliopancreatic diversion (the most invasive). Bariatric procedures are classified according to their mechanism of action: restrictive, malabsorptive, or a combination of restrictive and malabsorptive.
Restrictive procedures are so called because the surgeon creates a small gastric pouch with a narrow outlet that restricts the amount of food that the patient can eat at one time. The two restrictive procedures most often performed are vertical banded gastro-plasty and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.
Malabsorptive procedures bypass a segment of the small intestine so that less food is absorbed. Biliopancreatic diversion was developed in 1979 by Scopinaro et al, and is performed at specialized centers using the open and laparoscopic techniques. The duodenal switch, a modification of the biliopancreatic diversion, was developed to decrease the incidence of dumping symptoms and anastomotic ulceration seen with biliopancreatic diversion. It too can be performed laparoscopically.
Bariatric Surgery Benefits
- Average three-year weight loss 62 percent of excess weight.
- More than 90 percent of patients experience improvement in related medical conditions, including: Asthma, High blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Sleep apnea.
- Short-term mortality rates less than 0.5 percent.
- Rate of serious complications less than 5 percent.
- Laparoscopic surgery offers faster recovery with less pain and scarring.
A Life Long Commitment
Surgery is only a tool to accelerate weight loss. Patients who follow physician-recommended dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes will have the best chance for life-long success. People who undergo bariatric surgery should expect to visit a doctor for regular checkups several times a year for the rest of their lives.
Patients are required to show proof that their attempts at dietary weight loss have been ineffective before surgery will be approved. Surgeons also require patients to demonstrate serious motivation and a clear understanding of the extensive dietary, exercise and medical guidelines that must be followed for the remainder of their lives after having weight loss surgery.
Quality of Life and Psychological Status
In addition to improvements in health and longevity, surgical weight-loss improves overall quality of life. Measures of quality of life that are positively affected by bariatric surgery include physical functions such as mobility, self-esteem, work, social interactions, and sexual function. Singlehood is significantly reduced, as is unemployment and disability. Furthermore, depression and anxiety are significantly reduced following bariatric surgery.