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What Is Bariatric Surgery: Definition & Overview

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What is Bariatric Surgery?

When was the last time you were able to look in the mirror and really liked what you saw? When was the last time you felt comfortable in your own skin?

Continued weight gain often leaves us feeling unmotivated, powerless, and alone. We beat ourselves up, only to get caught in the never-ending cycle of shame.

If this is a common occurrence for you, you need to know about bariatric surgery. This is a weight loss tool that will often leave you feeling more energized and ready to take back your life.

 

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery, often called weight loss surgery, is a medical procedure to help those who are obese limit the amount of food intake. Four common types exist.

Four Common Types of Bariatric Surgery

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Duodenal switch with biliopancreatic diversion

 

Mayo Clinic does a nice job of breaking down these four types here.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/gastric-bypass-surgery/in-depth/weight-loss-surgery/art-20045334

5 Tips to Determine Which Type of Bariatric Surgery is Right for You

  1. Talk to your primary care physician. He or she knows your medical history and can provide guidance based on other qualifying conditions you may have (high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease).
  2. Gather information regarding the different types of bariatric surgery
  3. Read reviews from post-surgery patients
  4. Schedule a consultation with a bariatric surgeon to discuss your options
  5. Schedule a consultation with a nutritionist to determine if the pre and post diets are manageable for your lifestyle

Things to Consider

Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix answer. Many insurance companies want to see that a patient has made some weight loss efforts on their end prior to having the surgery. It is not uncommon that insurance companies will grant a six month wait period prior to surgery, so that the patient can be evaluated on various levels of need. Most weight loss surgery candidates are required to have a psychological evaluation. A psychologist will assess to determine the patient’s behavior patterns and identify strengths and areas of need for long-term weight loss success post bariatric surgery. The patient will also meet with a nutritionist, who will go over the diet and nutrition requirements for pre and post surgery.

Many surgeons require that a patient lose some weight prior to their scheduled surgery date. A pre surgery diet is prescribed. The patient will undergo various labs, such as blood work, ultrasounds, stress tests, etc. weeks prior to surgery. The patient may even have an endoscopy to rule out any postoperative complications.

If you are considering bariatric surgery as an option, an appointment with your primary care doctor may be necessary to determine if this is the right option for you. A referral to a bariatric surgeon can be made and more specific questions can be asked to find out which option is best for your needs. Chances are, if you are looking into bariatric surgery, you may already have a team of specialists assisting you with your healthcare needs. It is not uncommon that a surgery candidate be diabetic, have gastrointestinal issues, hypertension, and heart issues.

Many health benefits can be gained by having bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery often reduces the effects of hypertension, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, high cholesterol and sleep apnea. Some of us who were experiencing chronic pain from previous injuries, have found extensive relief post surgery.

Let’s Weigh-In on the Data

Bariatric surgery has become increasingly popular over the last several years. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has recently compiled the data from 2011-2017. The data can be viewed here.

Estimate of Bariatric Surgery Numbers, 2011-2017 (Published June 2018)

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 11.31.45 AM

The ASMBS total bariatric procedure numbers are based on the best estimation from available data (BOLD,ACS/MBSAQIP, National Inpatient Sample Data and outpatient estimations).

Is this decision right for me?

Should you make the decision to have bariatric surgery, many may disagree with you. They may say you are “cheating” or that this option is too “dangerous.” Yes, there are risks involved. However, you and your physician will discuss the various risks that pertain to you. Bariatric surgery is not the answer for everyone.

  • Make an informed decision
  • Gather the facts
  • Speak with your primary care physician
  • Find a reputable bariatric surgeon
  • Create a support system

During the bariatric surgery journey, you will have many questions and a multitude of emotions. This is normal. Thoughts like, “Am I going to be the same afterwards? Will people accept this newer version of me? Will I gain all of the weight back?” Your emotions may go up and down as the surgery date gets closer. You may even postpone the surgery date. Again, this is normal. Change is not easy for any of us.

You are about to make a change that will impact you for the rest of your life. This is not a change to take lightly. BariBoss is here to help support you both during and after this life altering event. We understand the fear, the worry, the excitement and ultimately, the joy of seeing the new you take shape.

Bariatric surgery is simply a tool. This tool allows you to lose weight, often at a quick pace. You will still have to put in the effort and eventually change your mindset about food.

Final Thought

Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.

–Socrates

4 thoughts on “What Is Bariatric Surgery: Definition & Overview

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