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Bariatric Surgery or Weight Loss Surgery – Types, Complications and Results

Last Updated on Nov 05, 2009
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Bariatric surgery is the most effective weight-loss surgery for the morbidly obese. Lap banding and gastric bypass are the most common types of d weight loss surgeries with good results and minimal complications.


Obesity is one of the most common nutritional disorders in the world. A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 and above defines it. BMI is calculated as weight (in kilograms)/height squared (in meters).

Morbid obesity is regarded as a metabolic disease linked with numerous medical problems. The list of co-morbidities is long. The most prevailing problems are the combination of arthritis and degenerative joint disease, sleep apnea, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and gastroesophageal disorders.

Bariatric surgery (Etymology: Greek words "baros," meaning "weight," and "iatrikos," meaning "medicine") is the term for a surgery that helps you lose weight. It originated in the 1950s. The significant risks associated with this surgery prevent it from being used in every individual who is obese. The success of medical therapy for severe obesity is limited.

Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Surgery)

Due to the current high levels of obesity among people in US of all age groups, and the lack of success with non-surgical weight loss methods:

  1. Bariatric surgery is now becoming a very important option for severely obese patients.
  2.  It is estimated that approximately 170,000 bariatric operations were performed in the US in the year 2005.

The procedure was developed out of modifications on cancer/ulcer operations that involve the removal of a part of the stomach or small intestine. It was noticed that patients undergoing these operations lost weight afterwards, and the doctors developed the idea of using similar types of surgery to treat morbid obesity.

These surgical procedures are major gastrointestinal operations that work on the principles-

  1. To bypass most of the stomach to reduce the amount of food one can eat.
  2. To rearrange the small intestine so as to reduce the calories the bodies can absorb.

There are several different types of bariatric weight loss procedures, and they are collectively called as 'bariatric surgery.”


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tammy6, United States

how long is healing period for lap band surgery

bebe1, United States

hello, i too had gb in 97 great until i started with dv in 2005 2008 and now will not go away. am being tested for same thing mg. so far everything is neg. i think it is my gb also. the dumping side of life going to see if i can get into seeing gb surgeon to see if they have an idea?! dont want to scare you but have had friends pass from these same issues. stay on top of this. you know there are not any long term studies on gb. we will be the studies. i have started keeping up with everything i put in my mouth to see if it is affecting my feeling and dv. i take two b12 shots a month and 50,000 units of vit d and 325mg times 3 daily of iron.will have to the rest of my life .keep pushing for answers and research.you have to be your own advocate. God bless . good luck.

kosterholt, United States

please I hope you read this I know this post was 3 years old but it a shot my wife just had the surgery and now has double vision and blurred vision the doctors say its the anesthesia but I do not think so can you tell me if it ever got better

andrea, United States

In addition to my other letter. I also am having trouble with a foot that is going numb. Neruopathy from lack of vitamin b-12 and I am having trouble with my eye sight. I have double vision. they are testing me for mysethina gravis and MS. I am suffering daily all I believe due to the gastric bypass surgery.. I maybe wrong but I was without any of these problems before the surgery.. My dr. once said for being 333lbs. you'd never know it looking at all of my health issues or lack of and lab work. my health status was great I only was fat...I'd do anything to not have done this surgery and have my healthy fat life back...I can't believe I did this surgery so I could do more funny, I suffer daily in pain, losing my teeth, losing feeling in my foot and most of all I have to close my left eye to see or I'll see double vision. that takes away your independence.. OH what I wouldn't do to be a healthy fat functioning independently daily....

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