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Weight loss surgery, sometimes called bariatric surgery, is a treatment for people who are severely obese. It shrinks the stomach, which causes one to feel fuller faster and consume less food.

When diet and exercise don't work or when your weight is causing you significant health issues, bariatric surgery may be necessary. Certain methods of weight loss restrict your food intake. Other methods function by lessening the body's capacity to absorb calories and fat. Some processes perform both.

Even though bariatric surgery has many advantages, all types of weight-loss surgery are serious procedures with potential dangers and adverse effects. To ensure the long-term success of bariatric surgery, you also need to engage in regular exercise and make long-term, healthy dietary modifications.

What Is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery, also called weight loss surgery, is a type of surgical operation designed to help people with obesity lose weight. If you are obese and your health appears to be at risk more than surgery, your healthcare professional might suggest bariatric surgery after all previous weight loss attempts have failed.

With bariatric surgery, the number of calories you may eat and absorb is controlled by altering your digestive tract, which primarily consists of your stomach but can also occasionally include your small intestine. Also, they have the ability to lessen the signals of hunger that reach your brain from your digestive tract.

Why Is Bariatric Surgery Done?

In general bariatric surgery is done in following conditions:

  • If your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or more
  • Your BMI falls between 35 and 40, and you suffer from conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, and breathing issues that could be improved with weight loss
  • You've attempted exercise, dieting, and other weight-loss strategies, but you've had trouble losing the weight or keeping it off
  • You consent to adopting a healthier lifestyle and going to check-ups on a regular basis following surgery
  • If your BMI is 50 or over, surgery may be chosen without needing to try other weight loss methods first

What Kinds Of Conditions Can Be Treated With Bariatric Surgery?

Obesity is associated with numerous chronic diseases, many of which can be life-threatening. Following weight loss and surgery, many symptoms and risk factors significantly improve. If you are a candidate for bariatric surgery, you may already have or be at risk of developing any of these diseases, involving:

Bariatric Surgery: Exploring the procedure:

Your surgeon will make sure you are mentally and physically prepared for the procedure before setting a date for your bariatric procedure. In addition to assessing your physical and mental well-being, a group of experts will meet with you to discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

To ensure your safety during the procedure, you might have to pass some medical screening examinations. You need to stop excessive drinking, smoking, and using drugs before being ready for surgery. Your surgeon will give you the guidance and may also instruct you to follow a pre-bariatric surgery diet for a few weeks to prepare for your operation. This can help you lose fat in the area of your abdomen where the surgery will be performed, making the operation safer and reducing the risk of complications. 

Most bariatric surgeries are carried out using minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopic surgery). Compared to open surgery, this entails smaller incisions, quicker recovery, and less discomfort and scars. Rarely, some individuals' particular problems require open surgery to be treated more effectively.

What Are The Different Types Of Bariatric Surgery?

The different types of bariatric surgery include:

  • Gastric bypass: It is also known as “Roux-en-Y," which is a French term meaning “in the form of the letter Y.” With this technique, your small intestine will end up in that form.  Surgeons first form a little pouch at the top of your stomach and use surgical staples to divide it from the lower part. Subsequently, they separate your small intestine and raise the newly created segment to join the stomach pouch. Food will now travel via your smaller stomach and the lower portion of your small intestine, bypassing the remaining portion. This limits the amount of food your small intestine can absorb as well as the amount your stomach can store. The small intestine is restricted, which increases the effectiveness of this approach over gastric restriction alone.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy: It is also known as gastric sleeve. About 80% of your stomach is removed during a gastrectomy, leaving behind a little, tubular piece that resembles a sleeve. By doing so, you can naturally eat less in a single sitting and feel fuller more quickly. It does, however, also lessen the hormones that your stomach normally produces to stimulate appetite. In addition to lowering hunger and controlling blood sugar, this helps to stabilize your metabolism.
  • Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD-DS): This is the original duodenal switch procedure, which combines an intestinal bypass with a sleeve gastrectomy. Though more drastic, it is comparable to the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Approximately 75% of your small intestine is bypassed with this procedure. This lowers your stomach's and small intestine's production of hunger hormones considerably. It also severely limits the amount of nutrients that your small intestine can absorb. This is why the duodenal switch is the best surgical procedure for treating metabolic disorders like diabetes and losing weight. However, it may also impede your body's ability to absorb enough nutrients to maintain health.
  • Stomach Intestinal Pylorus Sparing Surgery (SIPS): A more recent operation that aims to minimize difficulties is a modified version of the original duodenal switch. The duodenum, the first segment of the small intestine that comes after the stomach, is divided, just like in the original procedure. The small intestine is reattached as a loop this time, necessitating just one surgical connection (anastomosis) as opposed to two. 

What Are The Benefits Of Bariatric Surgery?

The benefits of bariatric surgery include:

  • Significant, sustained weight loss especially for managing class III obesity 
  • Reduced hunger hormones and enhanced metabolism
  • Management of blood sugar and cholesterol
  • Healthier and longer life

What Are The Complications Of Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a common and safe procedure. However, as with any surgery, there are risks. The risks include:

  • Blood clots
  • Wound infection
  • Stomach leak
  • Gastric band slipping out of place with symptoms of nausea, heartburn, and vomiting
  • Blocked gut
  • Gallstones
  • Excess folds and rolls of skin, especially around your breasts, tummy, hips and limbs


Bariatric surgery provides a much-needed, long-term solution to a difficult, progressive disease. The health, lifespan, and quality of life are all significantly impacted by obesity, which is extremely difficult to overcome if left unchecked. The biological mechanisms causing obesity-related difficulties in weight loss and maintenance can be altered by bariatric surgery. Though risks and problems associated with surgery are not often as high as those associated with obesity and associated disorders, they are nonetheless present.

If you recover and lose half of your excess weight after weight loss surgery, it is deemed effective. The success rate is 90% using this measure. After stalling or gaining some weight, many people have consistent weight loss over the first two years. Less than 25% of the initial weight is typically gained again.

You must also consent to dietary and lifestyle modifications as well as ongoing follow-up appointments following bariatric surgery. Usually, you go home one to three days after the procedure, which takes place in a hospital. It takes four to six weeks to recover.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: How much does bariatric surgery cost in India?

A: In India, the cost of Bariatric surgery ranges from Rs. 2,80,000 to Rs. 6,00,000. However, the cost of bariatric surgery is not fixed and is based on a number of variables, including the patient's underlying medical issues, the hospital, the surgeon's fees, the involvement of other healthcare providers, and more.

Q: Is bariatric surgery a dangerous procedure?

A: Surgery for weight loss is usually safe. But there is always a risk of bleeding, infection, and general anesthesia during surgery.

Q: How much weight can be lost with gastric bypass surgery?

A: During the first year or two following surgery, weight loss is frequently substantial. Approximately 70% of the additional weight is average. While some people regain some of their weight over time, the average long-term weight reduction is 50% of the extra weight lost.

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