What is Bariatric Surgery?

what is bariatric surgery

In a world where obesity rates are on the rise and the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle is more crucial than ever, bariatric surgery has emerged as a transformative option for those facing severe obesity and its associated health challenges. 

Bariatric surgery, often considered a last resort when traditional weight loss methods prove ineffective, is designed to promote substantial weight loss and improve overall health outcomes. 

In our exploration of bariatric surgery, we uncover the procedures, benefits, and considerations, highlighting its profound impact on individuals seeking sustainable weight management and improved well-being.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure conducted on individuals grappling with obesity, with the primary goal of facilitating weight loss and improving overall health. 

This type of surgery is considered when traditional methods of weight loss, like diet and exercise, have not been successful, and the person’s obesity poses a significant risk to their health.

Why is Bariatric Surgery Done?

Bariatric weight loss surgery is the most successful long-term treatment for obesity. 

As per the National Institutes of Health, sustaining weight loss through diet and exercise alone is nearly impossible for individuals with obesity, as the body tends to resist maintaining a lower weight once it has registered a higher weight as “normal.”

Bariatric surgery works by altering how your body processes food, allowing healthy diet and lifestyle changes for sustained weight loss and overall well-being.

Who Qualifies for a Bariatric Surgery?

In general, bariatric surgery may be a suitable consideration if your:

  • BMI is 40 or higher.
  • BMI is at least 35, and you have at least one associated health issue.

Although BMI is easily measured, you may have to take some medical tests to diagnose obesity-related health conditions.

What are the Advantages of Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery, commonly referred to as weight loss surgery, can offer several benefits for individuals struggling with obesity and related health issues:

  • Significant, sustained weight loss: Bariatric surgery has the potential to result in notable and lasting weight reduction, supporting individuals in reaching and sustaining a healthier body weight.


  • Cholesterol and blood sugar control: Bariatric surgery often induces the remission of diabetes symptoms and enables individuals with various metabolic syndromes to discontinue medications.


  • Enhanced metabolism: Surgery is the only obesity treatment capable of rewiring the body’s metabolic programming post-obesity, leading to reduced hunger hormones and improved metabolism, crucial factors in preventing weight regain.


  • Longer, Healthier Life: Scientific studies of considerable scale have demonstrated that bariatric surgery reduces the overall risk of death by more than 40%. Beyond addressing obesity-related diseases and discomforts, the procedure has the potential to extend life expectancy.

What is Bariatric Surgery Procedure?

Bariatric surgery encompasses various procedures, each with its own techniques and objectives. 

It is usually performed through laparoscopic surgery. This means small incisions, faster healing, and less pain and scars from bariatric surgery of a laparoscopic nature than of a traditional nature. Very rarely, some patients are better treated with traditional open surgery due to their specific conditions.

Here are some common types of bariatric surgery procedures:

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery: 

A small pouch is created at the upper section of the stomach by the surgeon, limiting the volume of food the stomach can contain.

The small intestine is then rearranged to connect to the pouch, bypassing the rest of the stomach and a portion of the small intestine. This procedure not only limits food intake but also diminishes nutrient absorption.

  • Sleeve Gastrectomy: 

A section of the stomach is removed, resulting in a smaller, banana-shaped stomach or “sleeve.”

This procedure limits the stomach’s capacity to hold food, decreasing calorie intake.

  • One Anastomosis Gastric Bypass:

A smaller stomach pouch is formed, and the small intestine is redirected to connect to the new pouch in a Y-shaped configuration with a single anastomosis.

The procedure combines stomach restriction and altered nutrient absorption for weight loss.

Before bariatric surgery, individuals typically undergo a thorough evaluation, including medical tests, psychological assessments, and consultations with a multidisciplinary healthcare team. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and recovery times vary depending on the procedure.

What Does Recovery From Bariatric Surgery?

The recovery duration after bariatric weight loss surgery varies based on the specific procedure undertaken and individual factors.

However, here are some general guidelines and considerations for the recovery process:

  • Hospital Stay: The duration of the hospital stay depends on the type of surgery. You can return to your normal activities in 4 to 6 weeks.


  • Diet Progression: The post-surgery diet typically progresses in stages. Initially, patients are on a clear liquid diet, then gradually transition to pureed and soft foods before returning to a regular diet. Following dietary guidelines is crucial to avoid complications and support healing.


  • Physical Activity: Light physical activities like walking are recommended in the early recovery phase. However, it’s advised to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting initially. Your healthcare team will guide you on when it’s safe to resume more vigorous physical activity.


  • Scarring: Bariatric surgeries often use minimally invasive techniques involving smaller incisions than traditional open surgery. Despite the smaller incisions, scarring is still a natural part of healing. Over time, the bariatric surgery scars tend to fade and become less noticeable. Proper wound care, including keeping the incisions clean and minimizing sun exposure, can contribute to optimal scar healing.

What are the Risks of Bariatric Surgery?

While bariatric surgery can effectively achieve significant weight loss and improve health outcomes, it comes with potential risks and complications, like any surgical procedure. 

Some common risks associated with bariatric surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Hernias
  • Low blood sugar
  • Small bowel obstruction
  • Anastomotic leaks
  • Malnutrition
  • Bile reflux
  • Gallstones
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Need for bariatric revision surgery

Why Might One Need Bariatric Revision Surgery?

Bariatric revision surgery is conducted on individuals who have previously undergone primary bariatric procedures but encountered complications or did not achieve substantial weight loss.

Procedures are usually performed laparoscopically, though open surgery may be required if prior bariatric surgery has resulted in extensive scarring.

Common reasons for bariatric revision include:

  • Weight gain after surgery
  • Inadequate weight loss after initial surgery
  • Ruptured or displaced gastric bands
  • Disrupted staples
  • Enlarged gastric pouch
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Problems swallowing

Consult Dr. Balaji Nagammapudur for Bariatric Surgery in Dubai

Bariatric surgery is a transformative solution for those battling obesity, offering not just weight loss but improved overall health and quality of life. 

If you are considering this life-changing procedure, seek guidance from Dr. Balaji Nagammapudur, an upper GI and bariatric surgeon in Dubai. With his profound expertise and dedication to patient’s well-being, Dr. Balaji can provide personalized advice and support on your journey to a healthier and happier you. 

Book an appointment today!

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