Is Bariatric or weight loss surgery effective in losing weight?

May 30, 2019
Bariatric surgery for weight loss

Bariatric surgery for weight loss

Bariatric surgery, often referred to as weight loss surgery, is known to include a number of procedures which are performed on people suffering from obesity. This type of weight loss is achieved by the aid of a gastric band which is tied around the stomach in order to constrict it or reduce its size.  It can also be done by removing a portion of the stomach and this procedure can again be performed in two ways- sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. Another way to perform bariatric surgery is by resecting and re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch. This is called gastric bypass surgery.

Bariatric surgery is considered as a type of last resort option. Doctors recommend it only if all other methods of losing weight for better health have failed. The right type of surgery to suit you depends on a number of different factors. These factors ought to be discussed with your doctor well in advance and in detail before you opt for the surgery.

In open bariatric surgery, a single large cut is made in the abdomen by your surgeon. More often than not, laparoscopic surgery is performed in which several small cuts are made and thin surgical tools are inserted into the body through the cuts. A small scope attached with a camera is also inserted which helps to project internal images on a video monitor. The latter is much less riskier and less painful than the former. Plus, chances of scarring are also quite less in laparoscopic surgery. It also provides for a faster recovery.

If you’re someone who has had a stomach surgery before, suffering from a high degree of obesity or are facing some other serious medical risks, your surgeon might suggest you an open surgery.

The following is a comparative study of the different types of bariatric surgeries.

Gastric Band

An inflatable band is placed around the top of the stomach which, in turn, creates a small pouch with an adjustable opening.


  • Can be easily adjusted or even reversed.
  • There is no change in the intestines.
  • Lowest chance of vitamin shortage in the body


  • The weight loss that occurs is less than what occurs in other kinds of bariatric surgery.
  • There are frequent visits to be made to and from the doctor following the surgery to adjust the band. In fact, some may not even be able to adjust the band.
  • Plausible future surgery to remove or replace whole or part of the band system.

Gastric Sleeve

80 % of the stomach is removed by the surgeon and a long banana shaped pouch is made instead.


  • Weight loss degree is more than in gastric band method.
  • No change in the intestines.
  • Hospital stay is shorter.
  • No foreign objects need to be inserted into the body.


  • Irreversible surgery.
  • There is a chance of vitamin shortage.
  • There is also a chance of acid reflux.
  • There is a higher risk of surgery-related problems in gastric sleeve than in the former.

Gastric Bypass

The top part of the stomach is stapled leading to the creation of a small pouch which is then attached to the small intestine.


  • Degree of weight loss is much greater than the former two.
  • No foreign bodies need to be placed inside the body.


  • Very difficult to reverse.
  • May increase the risk of disorder due to alcohol usage.

What is the amount of weight that you can expect to lose after a bariatric surgery?

The amount of weight that can be lost after a surgery depends on the individual undergoing the process and the method of bariatric surgery being performed. Most people tend to gain a bit of weight once again after the surgery over time. However, weight regain is usually quite less as compared to initial weight loss.

Remember that losing weight by the help of a surgery not only depends on the procedure itself but also the kind of lifestyle which you are going to adopt after going for it.

It’s true that bariatric surgery can help in improving lifestyle by helping you get rid of obesity. Plus, it can improve mood and body function. However, the few side effects that it poses should be kept in kind while opting for the surgery. Such side effects include infection, diarrhea, nutritional shortages, gallstones, and hernias. In fact, bariatric surgery side effects may strike any time just after or much later.

What are the benefits of Bariatric surgery?

People who are not able to lose weight with exercise or a diet plan can get the benefit of losing weight by choosing a Bariatric surgery. There are many benefits of Bariatric surgery listed below:

  • Bariatric surgery is a great option for the people who want to lose body weight.
  • It reduces the amount of food consumed and absorbed by the person.
  • It reduces the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. by lowering down the body weight.
  • There is a lower risk of vitamins and mineral deficiencies.

What can you expect after the surgery?

After the surgery, the patient is advised to take proper rest for a quick recovery. The patient is advised to visit the hospital for a follow-up. The doctor will ask you to take a few supplements to prevent the deficiency of vitamins and minerals. You have to move around to recover quickly. The doctor will advise you about the physical activity. You may have to take a liquid diet for a few days and slowly switch on to the solid foods as per your doctor’s recommendations. The doctor will give you a proper diet plan.