Bariatric Surgery Review

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0

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Bariatric Surgery is the collaborative name for surgeries conducted on the stomach to decrease the amount of food it can hold, and can include Gastric Bypass, Gastric Banding, and Vertical Banding Gastroplasty. Gastric Bypass is the most popular form of Bariatric Surgery followed by Gastric Banding. Bariatric Surgery is regarded as a dangerous and drastic way to help morbidly obese people lose weight by shrinking the size of their stomach, and numerous complications can arise, including malnourishment and death.

Resorting to surgery to lose weight is often not recommended by physicians because it is permanent and sometimes life-threatening, but morbidly obese patients may need to resort to this if diet and exercise do not work. Other issues, such as the risk of developing obesity-related diseases, are a concern that may need to be remedied with weight loss. Sometimes surgery may be needed in these situations.

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There are several types of bariatric surgery, but the most popular types are Gastric Bypass and Gastric Banding. Gastric Bypass is the most popular type of Bariatric Surgery, where part of the stomach is sectioned off and a bypass is connected to the small intestine. There are numerous risks with this procedure, including anemia, infection, and cramping, but can be avoided if patients take caution to avoid binging and impacting the surgery site immediately after the procedure. It is documented to have the biggest impact on morbidly obese patients, helping them lose weight in excess of 150lbs or more. A new diet must be adapted shortly after the surgery to become accustomed to the smaller portion sizes, however.

Another popular form of Bariatric Surgery is Gastric Banding. This is preformed on patients who do not want to make any permanent changes or need to lose smaller amounts of weight; chances of complication decrease with this procedure. The physician simply attaches a silicone band to the upper portion of the stomach, which can be adjusted in other procedures to accommodate bigger portions of food. It is not permanent, does not involve any risky surgery on the stomach, and is FDA-approved for use in obese individuals. Patients must adhere to a medically-approved diet as well, but tends to be less strict than other Bariatric-related diets.

Any Bariatric Surgery will involve medical assistance and approval from a physician. Dieters seeking to lose a few pounds are not eligible, and at-risk obese patients are typical candidates. Other factors, such as risk of disease, heart-related issues, and their current health play important factors into their eligibility. It is also expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

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  • Only recommended for morbidly obese individuals who need to lose weight to improve their health.
  • Is an FDA-approved procedure.


  • Side effects, which include bleeding and death, are serious risks to consider.
  • Is only available to patients who meet specific guidelines.
  • Some surgeries may be permanent and cause lifelong issues.


Bariatric Surgery is a medically-approved procedure for helping obese patients lose excess amounts of weight to help their health, and is not available for everybody. The risk of complication is another issue patients should consider with their doctor. Nevertheless, it is documented and approved by the FDA to help obese individuals lose weight, and may interest patients who need to lose a lot of weight when diet and exercise are not enough.

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Editor: Paul Blake

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One User Review about Bariatric Surgery

  • 1

    I had this surgery ten years ago. I was very sick for aprox. 10 months eating pureed foods and Ensure. I also have iron problems and need a B-12 injection every month. This surgery is extremely serious and should be researched by the individual very carefully before getting this done. I was fortunate enough to lose aprox. 170lbs, The first 65lbs were easy, but don’t be fooled! The remaining weight loss was not easy. People seem to think once you have it done, the weight simply falls off .IT DOESN’T! You really have to work on it and follow a strict disciplined diet. I did gain several pounds in the following years (around 25lbs) and realized that just because you had the surgery it doesn’t mean you’ll never gain weight again. I quickly lost the weight safely and constantly watch my weight. I basically follow the diabetic diet and watch my calories. I walk every day (even though I wear 2 leg braces and use a walker) and don’t keep high calorie foods in the house. This surgery was a life-saver for me and I don’t plan to gain weight again, so I monitor myself very carefully. To patients considering this drastic surgery, please, research it well and talk to someone who has had it if possible. It can be a true life-saver, but it can kill if you don’t watch your diet and assume you can eat whatever you want, as much as you want. A good suggestion? Try to find a good support group BEFORE the surgery and offer others your experiences. Supporting yourself and others is really a key to making this life-changing opportunity a great experience. I’m glad I did!