Bariatric Surgery: Types Benefits & Risks


Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Types of Bariatric Surgery
  • Who needs Bariatric Surgery?
  • Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
  • Risks Involved
  • Conclusion

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a procedure that is performed on individuals who are struggling with obesity. The surgery aims to help the patient achieve significant weight loss and improve their overall health. The decision to have bariatric surgery is not one that should be taken lightly, as it is a major undertaking that requires a significant commitment to lifestyle changes.

The surgery itself is not a magic solution, rather it’s a tool to help with weight loss and it requires a significant commitment to lifestyle changes. Bariatric surgery patients need to change their eating habits, eat smaller portions, chew slowly, and more importantly for long-term success and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

There are several different types of bariatric surgery that are commonly performed. Some of the most popular types include:
  1. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: This procedure involves creating a small stomach pouch and then attaching a section of the small intestine to the pouch. This allows food to bypass a portion of the stomach and small intestine, resulting in less calorie absorption and weight loss.
  2. Sleeve Gastrectomy: This procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving a smaller stomach “sleeve” that can hold less food and reduces the number of calories that are consumed.
  3. Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB): This procedure involves placing a band around the upper portion of the stomach to create a small stomach pouch. The band is adjustable, allowing the size of the pouch to be modified over time. This procedure is less invasive and is reversible.
  4. Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS): it’s a complex procedure that consists in creating a small stomach sleeve, similar to sleeve gastrectomy, but also re-routes the intestine to reduce calorie absorption and malabsorption.
  5. Intragastric Balloon: This is a non-surgical procedure that involves the placement of a balloon into the stomach to reduce the amount of food it can hold. The balloon is temporary and is removed after a period of 6 months.
  6. VBloc Neurometabolic therapy: This is a non-surgical procedure that uses a neurostimulation device implanted under the skin to control hunger signals to the brain, helping with weight loss and reducing hunger.
The type of surgery that is recommended for an individual will depend on a number of factors, including their body mass index (BMI), medical history, and overall health. It’s important to consult with a qualified bariatric surgeon to determine which procedure is right for you.
types of Bariatric surgery

Who needs Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or for those with a BMI of 35 or more with at least one serious medical condition related to obesity, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, or heart disease.
  • The National Institute of Health (NIH) also recommends bariatric surgery for individuals with a BMI of 30 or more and at least one obesity-related medical condition, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, or severe non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • It’s important to note that bariatric surgery is not a cosmetic procedure, it’s a serious medical intervention, and it should be used as a last resort after other weight loss methods have failed. Bariatric surgery is considered an option when less invasive methods (diet and exercise) have failed to achieve significant weight loss and improve the patient’s overall health.
  • The decision to have bariatric surgery is a personal one and should be made in consultation with a qualified medical professional. It’s important to consider the risks and benefits, as well as the commitment required for long-term success.
  • Additionally, patients should have the ability to comply with follow-up care and lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and a healthy diet. They should be well informed of the risks, and potential complications. They also should understand that it is not a one-time procedure, but a lifelong commitment to healthy habits.

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery can have a number of benefits for individuals struggling with obesity. Some of the most common benefits include:
  1. Significant weight loss: Bariatric surgery can help patients achieve significant weight loss, which can improve overall health and reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases.
  2. Improved health conditions: Bariatric surgery can help improve or resolve several health conditions related to obesity such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and acid reflux.
  3. Increased lifespan: Studies have shown that bariatric surgery can lead to an increase in lifespan and a reduction in mortality rates.
  4. Increased mobility and physical activity: Weight loss after surgery allows patients to move more easily, and thus, to be more physically active, improving the overall quality of life.
  5. Improved psychological well-being: Bariatric surgery can also lead to an improvement in self-esteem, mood, and overall quality of life.
  6. Cost-effective: In the long run, bariatric surgery can be more cost-effective than continued treatment for obesity-related medical conditions.
It’s important to note that the benefits of bariatric surgery are not immediate and that the surgery is only one aspect of the weight loss journey. Successful weight loss after surgery also depends on commitment to lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and regular physical activity.
Also, it is important to remember that bariatric surgery is not a cosmetic procedure and it has risks and that all patients should be well informed and evaluated by a qualified medical professional before making a decision.
bariatric surgery

Risks Involved

Like any surgical procedure, bariatric surgery does come with some risks. Some of the most common risks associated with bariatric surgery include:
  1. Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. Patients should take care to follow proper wound care to reduce the risk of infection.
  2. Blood clots: Blood clots can form in the legs or lungs after surgery.
  3. Leakage from the surgical site: The stomach, intestines or stomach staple line, if there is a leakage it can cause serious infection.
  4. Nutritional deficiencies: Bariatric surgery can cause deficiencies in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, if not properly followed up with a dietitian and a supplementation plan.
  5. Gallstones: Rapid weight loss can cause the formation of gallstones.
  6. Hernias: Hernias can occur at the surgical site.
  7. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea: These symptoms can occur after surgery, mostly caused by the change in diet and gut adaptation.
  8. Unsatisfying weight loss or weight regain: This happens in some patients and it can be due to a lack of commitment to the lifestyle changes required or due to technical issues in the surgery.


In conclusion, Bariatric surgery is a serious decision that should be carefully considered. It’s important to work closely with a qualified medical professional and also to understand the lifestyle changes that will be required after the surgery. With commitment and support, bariatric surgery can be a life-changing tool for those struggling with obesity and help to improve overall health and well-being.

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