Bariatric surgery is a term that encompasses weight-loss surgeries such as gastric bypass. These procedures help implement changes to the digestive system to let the patient lose weight. Bariatric surgery has its place when exercise and diet have not worked, as well as when a patient has severe health problems due to excess weight.

What Does Bariatric Surgery Do?
Some of the procedures counted among bariatric surgery limit the amount the patient can eat. The stomach is made smaller, making the patient feel full that much sooner. Others cause a reduction in the body’s capacity for absorbing nutrients. By changing the small intestine, which absorbs nutrients and calories from beverages and foods, this is accomplished. Some do both.

When is Bariatric Surgery Called For?
Bariatric surgery is a possibility for those who have severe obesity without the ability to lose weight or resist gaining any back when it has been lost due to other methods such as medications or lifestyle changes. It may be an option for those with sleep apnea related to obesity or type 2 diabetes. Other problems related to weight include stroke and heart disease, high blood pressure, and NAFLD, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NASH, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Bariatric surgery can be an improvement on those medical conditions that are linked to obesity, particularly type 2 diabetes.

Is Bariatric Surgery Always Successful?
Studies have shown that many of those patients who have undergone bariatric surgery lost roughly 15-30% of their starting weights. This is reliant upon the type of surgery the patient had. No method, however, is sure to be successful in producing and maintaining weight loss. Some patients do not lose as much weight as they hoped they would. Others regain some of the weight that was lost.

Bariatric surgery cannot take the place of healthy habits. It can, however, make it easier to be more physically active after consuming fewer calories. The choice of healthy beverages and foods both before and after having the surgery may help to lose a greater amount of weight and keep it off in the long term. Regular physical activity also aids in this. A commitment to a healthy lifestyle is essential to improve a patient’s health.