Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Surgery)

Surgical weight loss procedures for the severely over weight.

By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: October 17, 2011

Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Surgery)

Weight loss can be a struggle that can impact on other areas of your life. If you've tried diets, exercise and all other weight loss medical treatments have failed,weight loss surgery may be the answer to help you re-shape your life.

Is Weight Loss Surgery The Answer?

Bariatric surgeons specialize in obesity solutions and can help you decide on the procedure most suitable for your weight loss goal, whether you want a treatment that is permanent or reversible. Weight loss surgery is only performed on patients who are classified as obese. 


Bariatric surgery is only suitable for patients who are classed as medically obese.

How Does Weight Loss Surgery Work?

Using restrictive and malabsorptive methods, bariatric surgeons can limit the amount of food your stomach can hold and the amount of calories the body absorbs from food. By changing the way your stomach and intestines (gastrointestinal tract) work, surgeons can help patients loose weight rapidly and maintain the weight loss over a prolonged period.


Popular surgical, options for non-reversible treatment of obesity include Gastric Bypass Roux-en Y which shortens your bowel and shrinks the size of your stomach and Sleeve Gastrectomy which removes the majority of your stomach. 


Less invasive options for obesity surgery include Gastric Balloon treatment where a balloon is used to shrink the stomach and adjustable Gastric Band surgery, using a band to allow the size of the stomach to be restricted.


Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery is a recommended weight loss procedure for patients with a BMI of 30+. Bariatric surgeons perform this surgery, which reduces the effect of obesity-related health problems, for patients who have failed to lose weight through exercise and diet alone. Gastric bypass surgery combines the malabsorptive and restrictive methods of bariatric surgery - restricting how much food can be consumed by shrinking the stomach and limiting the number of calories the body absorbs from food. Gastric bypass can help patients loose up to 80% of excess weight and patients begin to see weight loss results instantly.   

Gastric Band Surgery (Lap Band)

Gastric Band (lap band), also known as gastric banding, is a reversible surgical treatment to overcome obesity. Bariatric surgeons perform the procedure by looping a silicone belt around the top of the stomach. The loop makes the stomach pouch smaller, preventing overeating. Limiting the amount of food patients can eat post surgery is the essence of bariatric surgery and weight loss surgeons help candidates decide which weight loss procedure is most suitable. Candidates for gastric band are normally overweight with a BMI of less than 30+. Gastric banding can be reversed and the stomach pouch returned to normal size once a patients has reached the weight loss goal and is confident that the weight loss and eating habits are maintainable. 

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a surgical procedure to overcome obesity guaranteed to result in extreme weight loss. The purpose of Sleeve Gastrectomy is to remove the left side of the stomach. The remaining stomach is the shape and size of a banana and only 20% the capacity of the pre-surgery stomach. 

Gastric Balloon

Gastric balloon is a non-surgical solution to overcoming obesity. Performed by bariatric surgeons as the procedure reduces the size of a patients stomach, gastric balloon is a reversible treatment for obesity which can help patients start a healthy weight loss journey. Gastric balloon surgery involves a balloon being inserted into the stomach. Once inflated, the balloon shrinks the size of the stomach preventing patients from overeating. Limiting food intake drastically reduces a patients' calorie intake which instigates weight loss. Gastric balloon is a recommended weight loss treatment for patients who are classed as overweight. Patients suffering from obesity with a BMI of 30+ may be recommended different weight loss surgery methods.  Bariatric weight loss surgeons will be able to advise patients if they are a suitable candidate for gastric balloon following an initial weight loss consultation.

Diet after weight loss surgery

Diet after weight loss is a crucial component in the success of treatment. Most doctors recommend strict diets while you become adjusted to the new size of your stomach. 

Is Weight Loss Surgery The Answer?

If you are considering weight loss surgery it is important you understand how the digestive system works to process food. Understanding the natural way the body controls weight will help you understand how bariatric surgeries prompt weight loss with restrictive and malabsorbptive methods.

Reasons For Weight Gain

Simply put, people gain weight when the amount of calories put into the body are higher than the calories burnt off. If you consume more calories than you use in your daily life, the excess calories are stored in the body as fat. Although weight gain is caused by health problems in only 1% of obese patients, there are medical reasons for excess weight.

Restrictive and Malabsorptive

Weight loss surgery works by restricting the amount of food one can intake and preventing the body from absorbing all the calories consumed. These 'restrictive' and 'malabsorptive' aspectsensure rapid and sustainable weight loss.

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