The bariatric surgery term which is also known as obesity surgery or weight loss surgery is derived from the Greek word “baros” meaning weight. Although bariatric surgery methods aim for weight loss, in reality, metabolic problems can be eliminated with this method. Therefore, the full name of this procedure is metabolic and bariatric surgery.
What are bariatric surgery methods?
Bariatric surgery covers effective treatment to help patients to lose weight and treat weight-related health problems. The most common and successful methods operated in a hospital environment under general anesthesia by expert surgeons are listed as follows:
- Sleeve Gastrectomy: In this operation known as gastric sleeve surgery or sleeve surgery, the majority of the stomach is surgically removed and a small tube-like stomach is left behind. Since the stomach is smaller in terms of volume, patients eat less food and feel fuller after the surgery. And patients lose weight like this.
- Gastric Bypass Surgery: Gastric bypass surgery is an operation which both the stomach and small intestine is reshaped. The stomach is divided into two, the top part is turned into a small sac and the bottom part is left large. Later, the surgeon removes a part of the small intestine from the digestive tract. Thus, food absorption path becomes shorter. The first section of the small intestine is skipped and the second part is connected to the upper part of the stomach. All the food consumed by the patient come to this small sac and pass to the second part of the small intestine Thus, a patient can feel fuller with less food. Also, the amount of calorie absorbed by the body is decreased.
- Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band: Gastric banding surgery is an operation to divide the stomach into two and place a silicone band to the connection point with the esophagus. This way, the top part of the stomach becomes smaller. Food will first come to this section and pass to the other parts of the stomach for digestion. Since consumed food first comes into the smaller section, the patient will feel fuller with less amount of food.
Who is suitable for bariatric surgery?
Generally, bariatric surgery methods are a treatment option for patients with the following criteria:
- Patients with body mass index (BMI) over 40, morbid or advanced obesity
- Patients with BMI between 35-40 and with obesity-related serious diseases (type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea).
- Patients with body mass index less than 35 but with weight-related health
Obesity surgeon will decide whether these patients are suitable for surgery after comprehensive testing. Before bariatric surgery, patients also must have tried methods such as diet, exercise and medication treatment. Patients who cannot lose weight with these methods and who have life-threatening health problems are among the suitable patients for surgery.
Eating and care after the surgery
Generally, an eating program prepared by an expert dietitian and approved by the surgeon is followed for the first weeks after bariatric surgery. Patients consume liquid food for the first weeks and transit to puree. Then, they gradually start to eat solid food.
Also, liquid consumption is extremely important in the first few months. Generally, an average of 2 liters of water should be consumed with a minimum 1.5 liter per day.
Other than eating, vitamin, mineral and protein supplements should be used under the supervision of the surgeon.
What are the advantages of bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery includes long term weight loss methods. After the surgery, patients can experience significant weight loss from the first month and within the 1-1.5-year process. Other than that, general health status will improve as weight-related diseases are eliminated.
- Clinical research shows that with bariatric surgery methods, 90% of morbid obese patients can lose at least 50% of their excessive weight.
- In other patient profiles, it is possible to lose 60 to 90% of the excess weight.
- Obesity is a life-threatening disease. Various studies show that the death risk of obese patients who had the surgery is lower than the patients without the surgery.
- Bariatric surgery also decreased or completely eliminates obesity-related diseases. One of these diseases is type 2 diabetes. Also, there are significant improvements in heart diseases, high blood pressure, respiratory disorders, arthritis, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, liver fat accumulation and gastroesophageal reflux after the surgery.
- Gastric bypass surgery has the highest success rates in terms of weight loss.
- The most important advantage of sleeve gastrectomy surgery is that patients can have significant weight loss and there is no need to make any changes in the intestine. Also, the recovery period after this laparoscopic surgery is shorter.
- Since gastric banding surgery is operated with the laparoscopic method, there is fast recovery. Also, the band can be removed anytime.