Bariatric and metabolic surgery, often referred to as weight loss surgery, is a medical procedure performed on individuals who are severely obese and have not been able to lose weight through other methods like diet and exercise. In addition to helping patients lose weight, these surgeries can also improve or resolve metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. The primary goals of bariatric and metabolic surgery are to reduce the size of the stomach, limit food intake, and in some cases, alter the digestive process to promote weight loss and metabolic improvements.
There are several common types of bariatric and metabolic surgery, including:
In this procedure, a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach and connected directly to the small intestine, bypassing a portion of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. This restricts food intake and reduces the absorption of calories and nutrients.
This procedure involves removing a significant portion of the stomach to create a smaller, sleeve-shaped stomach. This reduces the amount of food a person can eat and can also impact hormones that control hunger and metabolism.
In this surgery, a band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch. The band can be adjusted to control the size of the pouch and the rate of food passage.
This surgery combines a sleeve gastrectomy with a longer bypass of the small intestine. It both restricts food intake and reduces the absorption of calories and nutrients.
This non-surgical procedure involves placing a deflated balloon inside the stomach, which is then inflated to take up space and reduce the amount of food a person can eat.
These surgeries are typically considered for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35 or higher with significant obesity-related health issues, such as type 2 diabetes. Patients considering these surgeries should undergo a thorough evaluation, including a discussion with a healthcare provider, a dietitian, and a mental health professional. These procedures are not without risks and require lifestyle changes and long-term commitment to diet and exercise to be effective.
Bariatric and metabolic surgery can lead to significant weight loss and can have a positive impact on various health conditions. However, it's important for individuals to be well-informed and work closely with their healthcare team to determine if surgery is the right option for them and to ensure the best possible outcomes.