Fighting Obesity: A Comprehensive Guide To Bariatric Surgeries

Gastric Bypass



According to the World Health Organization,  there are more than 1.9 billion adults who are overweight and over 650 million are obese. This number has tripled since 1975. Obesity puts people at risk of various diseases like Diabetes, Stroke, Heart Attack, Hypertension, Sleep Apnea, Asthma and Osteoarthritis.


Fortunately, Obesity is highly preventable. However, overcoming it takes a lot of work. Lifestyle changes, special diets and plenty of exercises usually do the trick. 

But there are certain cases when all of these methods don’t work.  This is when Bariatric Surgeries come in. 

Bariatric Surgeries are performed to help patients with obesity attain a substantial amount of weight loss. There are several forms to this surgery such as removing a portion of the stomach (Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch), gastric bypass surgery or reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band.


Sleeve Gastrectomy


In simpler terms, the procedure includes removing 80 percent of the top part of the stomach. The top and bottom areas of the stomach have different functions. The top part’s main function is food storage while the bottom involves the grinding of food and sending it out to the intestines.  The reduced size of the stomach will be able to hold less food.


By removing the top part of the stomach, there will be changes to the body’s hunger hormone and with the communication of the stomach and the brain. This procedure is usually best for patients with bowel issues like inflammatory bowel disease. 


Unfortunately, Sleeve Gastrectomy like gastric bypass is irreversible. There is also a risk of vitamin deficiency in the long run.


Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass


Perhaps considered as the most popular Bariatric Surgery, Gastric Bypass is a little complicated than Sleeve Gastrectomy. It involves creating a small pouch at the top part of the stomach. Food goes only to this small part of the stomach, which limits the person’s food and drinks intake. 


The small intestine is then cut short and attached to the new pouch. The remaining part of the stomach, however, maintains to produce digestive juices. A portion of the small intestine, attached to the main part of the stomach is relocated farther down thus allowing the digestive juices to flow to the small intestine. 


The complex procedures involved in gastric bypass makes it susceptible to higher risks.


Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding


The Lap-Band procedure is simple. An inflatable band is placed around the top part of the stomach. It expands and creates a small pouch at the top half which then leaves a narrow opening. It restricts the amount of food we can handle, leaving us feeling full. 


A port is placed under the skin of the Abdomen. A tube is used to connect the port to the band.  The band can be expanded and deflated by injecting and removing liquid through the port. Unlike the other two procedures, Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding does not reduce the absorption of vitamins and nutrients to the body,


The procedure, however, poses certain risks like the band inflating and hitting nearby organs which may cause pain or other complications.


Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch


Like Sleeve Gastrectomy, this procedure starts with removing a large part of the stomach. The pyloric valve that releases food to the small intestine is left along with a small portion of the small intestine called duodenum that usually connects to the stomach.


The next step is for the surgeon to close off the middle section of the intestine and attaches the last part directly to the duodenum. This is called the Duodenal Switch.


While this procedure is very effective, it has risks of vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition.

Only patients with a BMI higher than 50 are recommended for this type of operation.


Risks, Complications, and Side Effects


These are the most common risks, complications, and side effects when undergoing Bariatric Surgery;


Post-Op Possible Side Effects


  • Infection
  • Acid reflux
  • Side-Effects brought by Anesthesia
  • Chronic nausea and vomiting
  • Dilation of esophagus
  • Obstruction of stomach
  • Unwanted weight gain or failure to lose weight

Long Term Risks and Complications


  • Dumping syndrome, a condition that can lead to symptoms like nausea and dizziness
  • Low blood sugar
  • Malnutrition
  • Vomiting
  • Ulcers
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Hernias


Final Words


Fighting Obesity is a life-long commitment. It is not just losing the unwanted weight but maintaining the ideal weight as well. If you are borderline obese, it’s now time for you to consider a lifestyle change. It’s not yet too late to take the bend in the road to the path to better health. If you plan to undergo  Gastric Bypass or any Bariatric Surgery, its best to consult our doctors to give you the right advice and proper treatment.