If you are obese, and diet and exercise haven’t helped you reach a healthy weight, weight-loss surgery may be an option. While this may seem like a quick fix, it’s far from it. Not only is bariatric surgery a complex medical procedure, but after the surgery, you must adjust how you eat and commit to maintaining those changes for your lifetime.
Bariatric surgeries can work in two ways to help you lose weight. Some procedures physically limit the amount of food your stomach can hold, which means you eat less, while other surgeries change how your body digests and absorbs nutrients.
Who Is Eligible for Weight-Loss Surgery?
- BMI of <18.5 : Underweight
- BMI of 18.5-24.9: Normal weight
- BMI of 25-29.9: Overweight
- BMI of 30 or greater: Obesity
If you have a BMI of 35 or greater and one or more obesity-related condition such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disorders, osteoarthritis or heart disease, or if you have a BMI of 40 or more, or are more than 100 pounds overweight, surgery may be a good option for you. Your surgeon will consider additional factors, such as your willingness to follow the surgeon’s recommendations, general health and age.
Types of Weight-Loss Surgery
Several types of weight-loss surgery are commonly performed.
- Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG): In sleeve gastrectomy, a large part of the stomach is surgically removed and the remaining part forms a smaller structure that cannot hold as much food, so you eat less. The smaller stomach also produces less ghrelin, the hormone that makes you hungry.
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: In contrast to sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass does not remove any of the stomach but makes a small pouch at the top which is the only part of the stomach that can receive food. In addition, the small intestine is rerouted so food bypasses most of this organ, limiting the absorption of calories and nutrients.
- Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch: The duodenal switch also involves removing part of the stomach, but in addition, reroutes the intestine directly to the duodenum. This allows food to bypass most of the small intestine, so fewer calories and nutrients are absorbed.
These surgeries can be performed robotically or laparoscopically. When you have your initial meeting with your bariatric surgeon, they will help you determine which one is best for you based on your medical issues and eating habits.
Are you curious about weight loss surgery?
Learn more about bariatric surgery, your options and our approach with a free 90-minute session with details on weight loss surgery and an opportunity to speak with a weight loss surgeon by making an appointment or calling (321)-8HEALTH.Learn More