Bariatric Surgery (Obesity Weight Loss Surgery)
Bariatric Surgery is a procedure performed on people who are dangerously obese, for the purpose of losing weight. This surgery is performed on the stomach and intestine causing a reduction of the patient's food intake. It changes the anatomy of your digestive system to limit the amount of food you can eat and digest. Results from this obesity surgery are significant long-term weight loss, recovery from diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, and a reduction in mortality. After this surgery, resuming your normal life will require changes in your lifestyle.
Although this surgery requires a in general hospital stay of 1-2 days it is a permanent procedure that requires a lifetime commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Benefits are not limited to weight loss, but can help improve your overall health, well-being and self-esteem. The National Institutes of Health recommend this surgery for obese people with a BMI of at least 40, and for people with BMI 35 and serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes. Bariatric surgery is an excellent alternative for people who cannot lose significant weight through exercise and dieting and whose general health is compromised.
Lose Weight Fast and Keep it Off
A majority of American adults are overweight, with more than 30% of adults suffering from obesity. An increasing number of adults are extremely obese, with a BMI of 40 or more. Bariatric surgery can change these individuals from sad statistics to healthy, happy survivors.
This surgery restricts stomach size, or leads to decreased absorption of nutrients, or both. These procedures can provide dramatic health benefits, including reversal of type 2 diabetes and prevention of cancer (CBS). However, as with any surgery, there are risks and considerations. Use the menu options on the left to discover whether you are a weight loss surgery candidate.
There are many types of bariatric surgery, but gastric bypass surgery, LAP-BAND® surgery and the gastric sleeve procedure are the three most widely practiced types. Each type is different and the technique used depends on a number of factors that only a surgeon can determine. Read our site to know more about the different types and how each one is performed.
In some cases, a mix procedure of surgery types may be needed. A mixed bariatric procedure applies different techniques simultaneously.
A consultation is a very easy process. If you are significantly overweight and you have been unable to achieve or maintain a healthy weight with diet and exercise, or if your weight is causing medical problems, you may be a candidate for this procedure. Make an appointment with a bariatric surgeon to review your weight loss options.
Browse our site to find a complete list of centers and qualified and experienced specialists located in your area.
A consultation also provides an opportunity for you to learn more about the bariatric procedure and how you can expect to feel, physically and emotionally, after the surgery.
Asking questions like these can help you feel more comfortable with the bariatric procedure and help you prepare to make lifestyle changes to ensure that your long-term outcome is successful.
Bariatric Surgery Is Mainstream
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognized this surgery as an effective means of weight loss. Here is a quote from their publication "Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS)":
"Currently, the most effective means of losing substantial weight and maintaining that
weightloss is through bariatric surgery (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)."
The publication notes that this surgery rose almost tenfold in the United States from the early 1990s to 2003, when over 103,000 patients underwent bariatric surgery. Latest figures indicate that in 2007, that number nearly doubled again, with 200,000 patients undergoing this procedure.
Provides Real Health Benefits
Studies and thousands of results prove that this surgery reverses type 2 diabetes, prevents many cancers, cures sleep apnea, improves hypertension (blood pressure) and coronary artery disease (cholesterol). The diabetes and cancer benefits are overwhelming. Each year over 100,000 people die of obesity-related cancers. For those people in the risk group, their risk of developing cancer is cut by 50% after undergoing bariatric surgery (CBS). The numbers are even better for diabetes. Approximately 80% of patients with diabetes go into complete remission of their type 2 diabetes after undergoing the procedure.
Most patients who undergo surgery lose an average of one-third of their body weight. For a morbidly obese individual, this figure is a life saver.
How Is it Performed?
It is performed under general anesthesia and generally takes one to four or more hours, depending on the type of surgery that you are having. Each type is performed differently. Some are open and some are laparoscopic. For detailed information on the specific types, see the menu options on the left.
After procedure, resuming your normal life requires changes in your lifestyle. The most significant change is the amount of food you can eat. Most bariatric surgeries reduce stomach capacity to a few ounces or less of food or liquid. At first, you may have less energy for daily activities after the surgery. Recovery time varies, but many people can return to normal activities within six weeks.
Eating After Surgery
Your diet changes immediately after surgery. You are restricted to a clear liquid diet (foods such as clear broth, diluted fruit juices or sugar-free gelatin desserts). This diet is continued until the gastrointenstinal tract has recovered, generally one-three days. The next stage is a bland diet consisting of blended or pureed foods for at least two weeks. (This diet may consist of skimmed milk, cream of wheat, a small pat of margarine, protein drinks, cream soup, pureed fruit and mashed potatoes with gravy).
Post surgery, overeating is curbed because exceeding the capacity of the stomach causes nausea and vomiting. Diet restrictions after recovery from this surgery depend in part on the type of surgery. Many patients will need to take a daily multivitamin pill for life to compensate for reduced absorption of essential nutrients after their surgery. Because patients cannot eat a large quantity of food, physicians typically recommend a diet that is relatively high in protein and low in carbohydrates and alcohol. A controlled diet will also enhance your changes of greater weight loss and helps you achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Cost & Insurance Coverage
Bariatric surgery can be complex and costly. The cost generally comprises the pre-op lab and X-ray fees, anesthesia, hospital facility, and surgeon's fee. These costs vary based on the extent of the procedure and length of recovery. Post surgery costs are additional, such as for dietary plans, a fitness regimen, behavioral modification, nutritional supplementation, and body contouring surgeries to remove excess skin.
Health insurance providers are beginning to cover some or all of the costs of this surgery if medical necessity is established by your doctor and if you meet the National Institutes of Health requirements. Most cases of chronic morbid obesity (especially with a body mass index above 40) are covered by insurance if your doctor informs the insurance company that the surgery is medically necessary and provides appropriate documentation, including records of your doctor-supervised attempts to lose weight such as drug therapy and group therapy.
Coverage surgery is also more likely if your doctor demonstrates that you suffer comorbidities such as diabetes or heart disease.
Your doctor can help you put together a strong case that will improve your chances of insurance coverage. Coverage varies among insurance carriers. If the initial attempt to authorize coverage for it is denied, you can appeal the decision; you should initiate your appeal immediately. Aftercare insurance reimbursements for a dietician, psychologist, exercise program and nutritional supplements such as vitamin B12 injections may be minimal, if covered at all.
There are many types of bariatric surgery, but gastric bypass surgery, LAP-BAND® surgery and the gastric sleeve procedure are the three most widely practiced type. Each type is different and the technique used depends on a number of factors that only a surgeon can determine. Read our site to know more about the different types and how each one is performed.
Find Out More About
There are several types of bariatric surgeries; LAP-BAND® and gastric bypass are only two. Each procedure provides different benefits, risks, and considerations. Use the menu options on the left to find out more, including if you are a candidate.
Use our doctor locator to find a bariatric surgeon near you.
Achieve a better you: Find Out More About This Procedure!
Choosing to have this procedure is an important decision. Like any other medical procedure (liposuction for example), this one provides different benefits, risks, and considerations. Making an informed decision is a very important part of the process. It will not only assure that you are getting all the benefits from this procedure, but it will also help you find the right surgeon for you; increase your chances of having a smooth recovery; obtaining the best results and achieving complete personal satisfaction.
Use the menu options on the left of our site to learn more, including if you are a good candidate. Then you can review all the information on our site and decide if you are ready to get bariatric surgery. If you are sure about the procedure and that you want to get it done; the next step is to find that you want to perform your procedure. Visit the different physicians websites, read their credentials and browse their before and after photos. Once you have chosen a surgeon the next step is to schedule a consultation. In most cases you can call the doctor's office or send them an e-mail or use a contact form on their site to find out more information or schedule a consultation.
During the consultation; you will be examined and you can talk to your surgeon about how the procedure will be performed; what to expect, how long it takes, how long is the recovery process and if there are any special considerations about your case. Make sure that all your questions are answered and that you are fully aware of all possible complications and have realistic expectations about the results that can be obtained.
In some cases, a person might not be a good candidate for the procedure, the procedure may represent big risks for them or the results that can be achieved might not be significant. In this case you can explore with your doctor other alternatives to bariatric surgery that can give you similar results without any problems. Please keep in mind that every person is different and that each body can react differently to each procedure. That is why is so imperative that an expert and skilled specialist evaluates your case and performs this procedure.
If you are unsure about getting it; you can continue your research, talk to accountancies that may have had this procedure. People who have had this procedure done can tell you more about their experience, how they feel about the procedure and the doctor that performed it. In some cases a second opinion from other physicians can answer questions; clear doubts and help you make a clearer decision.
After your procedure remember that all recoveries are different. If someone you know has had this surgery performed they can let you know about their experience but it does not mean that your results will be the same, not that your recovery will be the same either. Some people are more sensitive to pain that others, some recover faster while others recover slowly; and in very few cases there may be complications. Having the best physicians will lower your changes of complications and increase your chances of success.
Use our surgeon locator to find a surgeon near you.
In most cases, complimentary treatments before or after this procedure can help you also achieve faster and better results. Ask your doctor about available treatments and how you can benefit from them.
After your procedure follow the doctor's instructions carefully and consistently. These recommendations are meant to make sure that you have minimal discomfort after the procedure, minimize the risk of infection and other complications and that you heal fast among others. Failure to follow these instructions can create severe problems for your health, make your recovery low and painful and interfere with the expected results. Be especially careful about any prescription medications especially when it comes to the time when you are to take them and any other instruction. Your doctor will most likely ask you to abstain from alcohol, smoking and any other substances that may interfere with your recovery for a short period of time.
You can also ask your doctor about any side effects after the procedure or with any of the medications prescribed in case of any; and how to reduce these side effects. Remember that your doctor may perform the procedure, but it is your body and your health and your responsibility to follow his or her recommendations.
Always remember that the objective of bariatric surgery is to help solve a problem or need. Having this procedure done does not change nor defines who you are. The goal is to allow you to live a happier life by correcting a situation that causes either discomfort, pain or other problems in your life; and allowing you to feel better about yourself.
We hope that you find all the information you need about bariatric surgery on our site and visit us soon!