Bariatric Surgery Decisions

‘Bariatric Surgery is a term that derives from the Greek words meaning ‘Weight and ‘treatment. Bariatric surgery mainly consists of major gastrointestinal operations that seal off the majority of the stomach so that the amount of food a person can eat is reduces or the small intestine is rearranged to reduce the calories that a persons body can absorb.

There are a number of types of bariatric surgery available although they are commonly known as the term ‘bariatric surgery.

Making the Choice

It should be noted that bariatric surgery is not a magic solution to lose weight. It is not an easy option for those who suffer obesity as it is a drastic step. It carries the typical pain and risks associated with major gastrointestinal surgical procedure.

Any bariatric surgery involves new eating habits. It compels the person to change radically what they eat and the frequency they eat. Following the performance of bariatric surgery, a patient who overeats can become very ill. The patient also faces a life long risk of nutritional deficiencies.

Any bariatric surgery usually leads to major weight loss. Some patients who have bariatric gastrointestinal surgery can lose more that 100 pounds in weight. Many reach a normal weight for their height and some remain overweight although not as overweight as before.

Age Range of Candidates

Many bariatric surgeons operate on patients who are in their 60s and due to our growing obese society, some are even operating on teenagers. Due to the reality that bariatric surgery is the final option to losing weight, it should only be considered when all other traditional weight loss techniques have failed.

Patients must have severe obesity related health problems to be considered for the surgery. A patient should be morbidly obese to qualify for bariatric surgery. This generally means being 100 pounds overweight in a man and 80 pounds overweight in a woman. Both should have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40.


However, bariatric surgery may be the appropriate option if a patient is overweight by 80 pounds and has a serious condition related to that weight such as Type II diabetes or cardio pulmonary complications that are life threatening. Severe sleep apnoea and obesity related heart disease is also an illness in this category.

Some patients, especially those who are suffering from very severe obesity may have to be hospitalised before they undergo bariatric surgery to ensure that the risks of surgery are kept to a minimum. Bariatrics surgerys success and a patients ability to solve their obesity problems all depends on the patients motivation.

The more motivation a patient has to lose weight and manage the post operative requirements such as diet modification, behavioural therapy, the more successful the bariatric surgery is likely to be in solving a patients obesity problems. These factors are often taken into consideration when a patient is being assessed for bariatric surgery.

See Also:

Weight Loss Diets for Obesity