Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is an operative method applied for the highly obese people aiming reduction of weight. This surgery is made on the stomach and also sometimes on intestine with an objective to limit the patient’s food intake. It results in a change in the anatomy of the digestive system of the concerned patient. The outcome of the surgery focuses a significant effect in the perspective of long-term stability of weight loss and also other benefits like an improvement of cardiovascular risk factor and recovery of patients with diabetes.

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is an option to make changes in the anatomy of your digestive system with an aim to lose your body weight by limiting how much food you can eat or by controlling the absorption of nutrients into the body, or both. Bariatric surgery is generally of three type’s namely gastric bypass, gastric band, and gastric sleeve. Most surgeons prefer gastric bypass surgery due to its fewer complications than other surgical methods.

Who are eligible for bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is an excellent substitute for the people having BMI over 40 and unable to manage to lose required weight by other means of exercise and diet control, or both. It is also the best option for the patients having BMI 35 and above with a co-existence of diabetes and cannot lose necessary weight by physical work-out and diet regulation. The National Institute of Health suggests for this surgery for the obese patients of BMI above 40. The surgery provides a dramatic change in health, including reversal of type 2 diabetes and also prevention of cancer (CBS).

How is the bariatric surgery performed?

Surgery is executed by the efficient surgeon under the supervision of anesthetist. Duration of the operative method takes one to four or more hours depending on the type of surgery you needed. For each individual patient type of surgery required and performed are different. Some are open, some are laparoscopic. A bariatric surgeon, in consultation with the patient, decides as to the type operative measure will be undertaken for the particular patient.

What are the pre-operative requirements for a patient of bariatric surgery?

Pre-screening tests are required to be made just before the bariatric surgery. Below-mentioned tests and methodologies are commonly observed for weight loss surgery:

  • Chest x-ray and blood tests as prescribed by bariatric surgeon have to be made
  • Nutritional and psychological consultation reports are required to be available
  • Clearance from cardiologist, pulmonologist and any other specialist as prescribed by bariatric surgeon are must
  • Other devices as regards change of lifestyle as prescribed by bariatric surgeon have to follow meticulously

What are the post-operative requirements for a patient of bariatric surgery?

After any surgery, a patient feels discomfort and limited physical exertion. Bariatric surgery patient also keeping all those in mind must consider a special follow-up measure:

  • Food restrictions after bariatric surgery have to be followed strictly as per direction of bariatric surgeon and nutritionist
  • The limited physical activity that too as per the guidance of surgeon allowed the patient to do is to be made. Time to be taken for normal physical activity is to be assessed step by step by your bariatric surgeon
  • Follow-up with your bariatric surgeon has to be made periodically as directed by him


Authored By Dr G Parthasarathy - Surgical Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad