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What Is Meant by Bariatric Surgery?

Apr 25, 2022

Surgery Center of Anchorage

What Is Meant by Bariatric Surgery?

Often known as weight loss or metabolic surgery, bariatric surgery involves making certain changes in the digestive system to help you lose weight. It is generally done when exercise or diet isn’t working or if you are suffering from serious health problems due to your weight. Some of the procedures limit how much you can eat, while others work by reducing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Losing excess weight can reduce the risk of suffering from life-threatening weight-related issues like sleep apnea, heart stroke, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. However, such forms of weight-loss surgery are major procedures and can pose serious side effects and risks. Those who undergo this procedure have to make permanent healthy changes to their diet and exercise regularly to ensure the long-term success of bariatric surgery.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

The common types of bariatric surgery include:

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

It is the most common method of gastric bypass that works by decreasing the amount of food you can eat in one sitting and reducing the absorption of nutrients.

Sleeve gastrectomy

Here, about 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving a long tube-like pouch. The small stomach cannot hold much food, which leads to less production of ghrelin (appetite-regulating hormone), which will also lessen your desire to eat.

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch

This is a two-part procedure. During the first step, a procedure similar to a sleeve gastrectomy is performed. The second part involves connecting the end portion of the intestine to the duodenum near the stomach, bypassing the majority of the intestine.

The type of surgery that will suit you best will depend on the specific situation. Furthermore, the surgeon will consider many factors like eating habits, body mass index, and more.

How to Prepare for the Surgery?

  1. Start by maintaining a workout routine to reach the weight loss goals.
  2. Lower the daily calorie intake to between 1200 and 1500 calories (you can also discuss this with your doctor).
  3. Stop consuming caffeinated beverages around one month before surgery.
  4. The doctor may perform some tests and exams before the surgery.
  5. Arrange for help at home if you think you may need it after the surgery.

What to Expect during Bariatric Surgery?

The specifics of the surgery will depend on your situation, the type of weight-loss surgery, and the doctor’s or hospital’s practices. Some weight-loss surgeries are done with open, or traditionally large, incisions in the abdomen. This procedure is performed in the hospital using general anesthesia; you will be unconscious during surgery.

Today, most bariatric surgeries are performed laparoscopically. The laparoscope is inserted through small incisions made on the abdomen. This will allow the surgeon to see and operate inside the abdomen without having to make any traditional large incisions. This procedure generally takes several hours, and after the surgery, the medical professionals will monitor you while you recover. Though this surgery isn’t suitable for everyone, it can make the recovery process shorter and faster.

See Also: Open Surgery vs Laparoscopic Surgery: Which Is the Best Procedure?

How Do You Reduce the Risks of Bariatric Surgery?

There are many ways you can reduce the various bariatric surgery risks:

Know about the Surgery

 Even though bariatric surgery has been around for a long time, it is still a major procedure. Educate yourself about the benefits and risks before deciding which weight loss surgery is right for you.

Attend Support Group Sessions and Scheduled Appointments

You may need to see the doctor annually for many years. Once your first-year post-op is complete, the first 12 months after the surgery are crucial. To help identify and correct complications, follow-up appointments are very important because of how you will need the most medical attention and support.

Move around after Surgery

After surgery, exercise and movement can be beneficial and prevent various complications like blood clots. You can start with activities like stretching before moving on to swimming and cardio once the doctor says it’s okay.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most common complications after bariatric surgery is dehydration which may require hospitalization. Drink up to 8 cups of water every day to stay hydrated.

Try Counseling

See a therapist and discuss your psychological well-being before, during, and after the procedure. This way, the medical professional will be familiar with any medical problems and behavior modification that can offer you support as you begin a new lifestyle.

Weight Loss before Surgery

Try to lose weight before surgery. Talk to the doctor about a nutritional plan to help you lose weight before surgery.

See Also: What Are the Different Types of Oncologists?

Final Takeaway

Bariatric surgery, like all other surgical procedures, carries various risks. However, your surgeon will make you aware of both long and short complications before the surgery is performed. Furthermore, most insurances cover bariatric surgery costs. You should check with your insurance companies and do as your doctor says before the surgery.


If you are someone looking for surgical oncology in Anchorage, AK, you can contact us. Our medical professionals at Far North Surgery are committed to providing safe and successful surgical procedures, focusing on cancer treatment surgery and colon cancer surgery.

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