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.
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.”