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Bariatric Surgery-All You Need to Know


Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries - are collectively known as bariatric surgery. It involves making changes to your digestive system to help you reduce your weight.


People who cannot reduce weight through diet and exercise and have severe health issues due to excess weight can go for bariatric surgery. Some bariatric surgery procedures reduce how much you can eat. Some procedures work by minimizing the body's ability to take in nutrients.


Why is Bariatric Surgery Performed?


Bariatric surgery can help you lose extra weight and reduce your risk of life-threatening weight-related health conditions, like:

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart stroke and disease

  • Sleep apnea

  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

  • Type 2 diabetes

Bariatric surgery is done only after trying to reduce weight by improving your diet and exercise habits.


Who is Bariatric Surgery For?


Bariatric surgery can be an option if:

  • Your BMI is 40 or higher, which means an extreme case of obesity.

  • Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and have severe weight-related health issues, like high blood pressure, serious sleep apnea, or type 2 diabetes.

Bariatric surgery isn't for every overweight person. You may have to make it through specific medical guidelines to be eligible for weight-loss surgery.


You will most probably have a lengthy screening procedure to check if you qualify. You must also be ready to make permanent changes to live a healthier lifestyle.


The doctor may also require you to follow long-term check-up plans that include monitoring your nutrition, lifestyle and behavior, and medical conditions.


Risks in Bariatric Surgery


Both long term and short-term risks are associated with Bariatric surgery.

Surgical procedure risks can include:

  • Adverse anesthesia reactions

  • Increase in bleeding

  • Infection

  • Blood clots

  • Gastrointestinal system leakage

  • Breathing problems

  • Death in rare cases

Longer-term complications after weight-loss surgery may vary depending on the type of surgery you have done. These risks include:

  • Bowel obstruction

  • Gallstones

  • Malnutrition

  • Hernias

  • Ulcers

  • Low blood sugar

  • Vomiting

  • Dumping syndrome

  • Acid reflux

  • Requiring second surgery

  • Death in rare cases

Post-Bariatric Surgery


After the surgery, you cannot eat for 1 or 2 days to heal your stomach and digestive system. The doctor will then create a specific diet for you to follow for some weeks.


You will start with liquids, move on to pureed, very soft foods, and finally to regular foods. There will be restrictions or set limits on how much and what you can eat and drink.


After your surgery, you will have several medical check-ups, especially in the first few months. You may go through some more laboratory testing, blood tests, and various exams.


Results of Bariatric Surgery


Bariatric surgeries can provide you long-term weight loss. How much weight you reduce depends on the type of surgery you have undergone, also how you change your lifestyle. It is possible to lose half, or more, of your extra weight in two years.


Conditions which are related to being overweight are also solved; these include:

  1. High blood pressure

  2. Heart disease

  3. Type 2 diabetes

  4. Obstructive sleep apnea

  5. Gastroesophageal reflux disease

  6. Joint Pains

The surgery can also improve your ability to undertake daily routine activities and enhance your lifestyle.


When Does Bariatric Surgery Not Work?


Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries may not work as planned. If a weight-loss surgery stops working or does not do well, you may stop losing weight and develop severe health issues.


If you start noticing that you are not losing weight or having other complications, visit your doctor immediately. The doctor will monitor your weight loss and find factors that contributed to your lack of weight loss.


Sometimes the weight loss procedure worked correctly, but you do not make the necessary changes in your lifestyle to maintain your weight.


Even though bariatric surgery offers many benefits, it can pose serious risks and side effects. You will also have to make healthy changes to your diet and exercise regularly to ensure the long-term success of bariatric surgery.