The Basics of
Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric weight loss surgery is a phrase that describes a medical procedure performed on the stomach or intestines for the purpose of helping a person lose weight. For the most part, bariatric surgeries are only performed on those who have a Body Mass Index of forty or above. These individuals are considered morbidly obese and face the real prospect of their own mortality.

Many times, it is not just the weight that causes a problem for these individuals but the conditions that follow, such as diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. In order to be considered eligible for such procedures, one must pass established outward criteria, provide a complete medical history and pass a detailed health screening.

Bariatric Procedures

There are several bariatric procedures that can help an individual lose weight. While some are minimally invasive, others require an entire rerouting of the stomach and intestines.

  • The most popular procedure to date is called the lap band, whereby a prosthetic device is implanted around the stomach and inflated with silicone or saline solution.

  • A gastric balloon implanted into the stomach and inflated helps to reduce stomach capacity.

  • Gastric bypass involves rerouting the path of the intestines to the stomach to prohibit excess food absorption.

  • BPD or Bandinaro, used in more unique cases, includes the removal of a section of the stomach.

Appropriate Procedures

Each procedure has its pro's and cons and there is no one bariatric weight loss surgery that can work for all individuals. Patients will only be approved for the surgery that best meets their needs.

For instance, a gastric ball is removed from a patient's stomach after six months, it is therefore a good choice for those only wanting or needing a temporary weight loss surgery solution.

For those wanting an adjustable weight loss solution, the lap band can be increased and decreased in size over time to help manage better weight loss.

Most prospective patients aim for surgeries performed by laparascopy. With laparascopy, the surgery consists of a half dozen incisions, barely one centimeter long. This helps ensure faster recovery time and does away with the problem of extensive scarring.

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