What is Bariatric Surgery and What can I expect?

Bariatric surgery, also known as Weight Loss Surgery, or Medical Weight Loss is used to
assist in the reduction of a patient's Body Mass Index (BMI). Carrying excess weight
(obesity) contributes to health risks such as cancer non-insulin dependent type diabetes,
heart disease, inflammation, pain, and an overall lowered quality of life.
A procedure such as Gastric Sleeve surgery assists in reducing the body mass index or overall
body fat percentage rapidly, and therefore improves health by decreasing body fat levels,
using restriction of the amount of food that the stomach can accommodate. The removal of
part of the stomach also results in dampening/reducing certain hormones that can bring about
the feeling of constant hunger, so overall appetite is reduced for a period of time to assist in
rapid weight loss. These factors, combined with lifestyle changes, give the end result of
dramatic fat loss, and with commitment to the dietary guidelines designed to keep the excess
weight off over an extended time, huge improvements in health and quality of life are
achieved for the patient.
Gastric band (or Lap Band) used to be the most popular method of surgical weight loss,
however, the rise of Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass. surgery have the added benefits
of hormonal / metabolic changes, and caloric malabsorption which assist in bringing about
lasting results with less adverse side effects such as severed reflux, or band slipping, or
erosion of the tissues involved.
Gastric bypass surgery is becoming more common; this surgery creates anatomical changes
to the digestive system, leaving a "pouch" of stomach that allows for smaller amounts of food
to be consumed in one sitting... The food passes through to the small bowel to be digested,
which does result in greater risk of nutritional deficiencies than the Gastric Sleeve or Gastric
Banding (Lap band Surgery).
Bypass has been shown to create more significant weight loss, however the risk of "dumping
syndrome" (where unprocessed food passes in to the small intestine too rapidly) and greater
risk of nutritional malabsorption are a few of the considerations that come with this
Gastric Bypass is often used for people where chronic reflux is an issue, however your
Bariatric surgeon will explain the application and will indicate the most suitable solution for
your particular health picture and your weight loss goals. Its important to use professional
advice as a guide to meeting your needs, and giving the best outcomes for your unique