Bariatric Surgery: Learn More About The Different Types of Bariatric Surgery
Types of Bariatric Surgery
What is bariatric surgery?
A weight loss surgery is known as bariatric surgery or even metabolic surgery. It is used as a treatment for people who are very obese and have comorbid health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. To understand who falls under the obese criteria, we must know it’s generally accepted definition. The International Classification of Diseases 11 states, ‘Obesity is a chronic complex disease by excessive adiposity (too much fatty tissue in the body) that can impair health.’ Various external and internal factors, including genetics and diet, can cause obesity.
Body Mass Index is usually used to understand whether a person falls in the ‘healthy’ weight category. BMI categories are different for children and adults. If someone’s BMI is 30 or higher, they are identified as obese. However, one must note that not everyone in this category suffers from comorbidities, and not everyone will require weight loss surgery.
The decision to undergo bariatric surgery is taken after conventional weight loss methods do not bring the desired results. This surgery is also not undertaken to bring cosmetic change solely. However, a physical transformation is expected post-op.
Why is bariatric surgery done?
The ultimate purpose of bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery is to ensure that a person’s quality of life improves, has a longer life span, and does not have to face obesity-related risks. This surgical intervention only occurs when other steps like diet and exercise have not worked for weight loss. These surgeries aim to reduce the size of the stomach to reduce food consumption and sometimes even remove a part of the intestine to reduce the absorption of nutrients by the body.
Reducing the stomach size means reducing food intake, changing how the body absorbs energy from the food, and allowing the patient to experience more satiation and a feeling of fullness. Bariatric surgery is a major procedure with severe risks and side effects. Additionally, people who undergo this surgery are expected to create a significant shift in their lifestyle to maintain the result of the weight loss surgery.
Bariatric surgery is done for people who are at risk of:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Kidney disease
- Non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or non-alcohol-related steatohepatitis (NASH)
Types of bariatric surgery
With the advancement in surgery techniques, any bariatric or weight loss surgery is done by making small incisions, i.e., laparoscopically. However, the doctor can opt for open surgery, depending on your case. In minimally invasive surgeries, the surgeon will insert a laparoscope with a camera attached to its head inside the abdomen for a full view. The surgeon can perform the procedure without creating large incisions, which is ideal for fast recovery and post-op pain management.
There are several bariatric surgeries, but the one you need will depend on your case specificities. Each of these weight loss surgeries has its pros and cons.
Some common bariatric surgery types are:
- The gastric band is minimally invasive and reversible. Here, an inflatable band is put around the top of the stomach to reduce its size and food intake.
- Gastric bypass divides the stomach into two gastric pouches. The uppermost pouch is also smaller than the latter half and is connected to the small intestine. The objective is to change how your stomach and small intestine digest food and absorb nutrients. The new, smaller stomach and lower small intestine act as a bypass for food flow.
- Sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve removes at least 80% of the stomach, so you cannot eat as much. Your stomach will also not release the hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin, so the desire to eat wanes.
- A gastric Balloon is a temporary procedure for weight loss. A deflated balloon is inserted through an endoscope into the stomach and then inflated to reduce the space within, leading to a reduction in the food-holding capacity of the stomach and, eventually, food intake.
Bariatric Surgery is a life-changing process and causes significant physical and mental stress. So, you can speak to your doctor to clear any doubts and queries regarding the process.
Preparing for Surgery
There are some routine assessments done before surgery like:
- Learning the patient’s medical history like any comorbidities and previous surgeries
- Assessing patient’s mental health
- Physical examination like blood tests, X-rays
Besides these, you will be advised to refrain from smoking. You might be put on a calorie-deficit diet before the surgery and asked to engage in physical activity. The doctor will also advise on any medication to take.
You will remain in the hospital for the doctors to monitor your vitals after the surgery. Post-surgery, you will be put on a liquid diet and asked to incorporate and monitor your physical activity. You will experience fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and post-surgical pain, which are all normal after undergoing this operation.
Risks of bariatric surgery
Undergoing bariatric or weight loss surgery can have severe short-term and long-term risks and complications. Before you decide to have the surgery, you must discuss the pros and cons of it with your surgeon.
Short-term risks include
- Acid reflux
- Anaesthesia-related risks or allergy
- Chronic nausea and vomiting
- Dilation of oesophagus
- Food intolerance with some items
- Wound infection
- Obstruction of stomach
- Gall stones
- Weight gain or failure to lose weight
Long-term risks include
- Dumping syndrome, where food ends up in the small intestine instead of the stomach
- Excess skin after weight loss
- Low blood sugar
- Bowel obstruction
Though weight loss surgeries have mostly proven to be beneficial and effective, there are some chances that they might not work. If this is the case, then keeping up follow-up sessions with your doctor will help you find out why weight loss is not happening. Patients should also remember that it is possible to regain weight after the weight loss surgery. This happens when the prescribed dietary and physical activity changes are not incorporated or followed.
Meril Life offers several superior surgical instruments for laparoscopic procedures like bariatric or weight loss surgeries. The MIRUS POWERED ENDOSCOPIC LINEAR CUTTER AND RELOADS from Meril give consistent staple formation and transect tissue stability and control. This instrument is battery-operated and comes with a safety switch, so the surgery is secure.
Besides abdominal surgeries like weight loss, this instrument is also used during gynaecologic, paediatric, and thoracic procedures.
Bariatric surgeries are often the last resort for people who are obese and have or are at risk of obesity-related diseases. These surgeries help lose weight when other steps don’t work and help reduce the risk of mortality.