Bariatric surgery is a term derived from the Greek words: ‘’weight’’ and ‘’treatment.’’ Bariatric surgical procedures are major gastrointestinal operations that
(a) seal off most of the stomach to reduce the amount of food one can eat, and
(b) rearrange the small intestine to reduce the calories the bodies can absorb.
There are several different types of bariatric weight loss surgical procedures, but they are known collectively as ‘bariatric or obesity surgery’.
The Sievering Bariatric Surgery Program is a multidisciplinary group of surgeons, physicians, dieticians and other health care professionals dedicated to the comprehensive treatment of morbid obesity. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Along with the weight come a number of related medical conditions that decrease the life expectancy of people who are overweight. The good news is that significant weight loss will improve and, sometimes, cure obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnoea, hypercholesterolemia and even musculoskeletal pain. However, research shows that surgery is the only proven long-term weight loss maintenance intervention for patients who become morbidly obese.
The National Institute of Health Consensus Statement on Surgery for Obesity recommends that people with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or 35 for people with obesity-related medical problems (roughly 100 pounds overweight) consider surgical intervention.
Bariatric Surgery is not a Magic Solution for Weight Loss Bariatric surgery is not an easy option for obesity sufferers. It is a drastic step, and carries the usual pain and risks of any major gastrointestinal surgical operation.
Bariatric surgery compels patients to change their eating habits radically, and makes them very ill if they overeat. And after bariatric surgery is performed, patients remain at a lifelong risk of nutritional deficiencies.
Some patients who undergo bariatric gastrointestinal surgery lose more than 100 pounds in weight – some lose as much as 200 pounds weight. Some reach a normal weight, while others remain overweight, although less overweight than before.
Some bariatric surgeons accept patients in their 60’s, and some even operate on teenagers. But because bariatric surgery is a last-gasp solution to weight loss, to be used when other more conventional weight loss programs have been tried and failed, candidates must generally have severe obesity-related health problems must be morbidly obese. In general, in order to qualify for bariatric surgery, you must be ‘morbidly obese’, which usually means being overweight by 100 pounds (man) or 80 pounds (woman) with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40+.
Alternatively, bariatric surgery may be appropriate if you are 80 pounds overweight and have a serious obesity-related condition like type 2 diabetes or life-threatening cardio-pulmonary problems such as severe sleep apnoea or obesity-related heart disease.
Some people who are suffering from extremely severe obesity (End Stage obesity syndrome) may have to be hospitalized before undergoing bariatric surgery in order to lower the risks of surgery.
The higher the motivation of patients to lose weight and manage the post-operative requirements of dietary modification and behavioural therapy, the more successful Bariatric surgery is likely to be in solving their obesity and weight problems. This may influence the selection of candidates for bariatric surgery.