Bariatric Surgery

To preface this article, allow me to tack on a bit of a disclaimer. I’m not promoting, encouraging, or condoning any of these procedures. Personally, I prefer the good old fashioned less eating and more exercise routine, but this information is for those who are unable to lose weight through exercise because of some sort of glandular condition or other reason. This is not for people who think, “I’ve tried diets and exercise, but it doesn’t work” because they tried it for a week and didn’t see any immediate results. My health teacher used to say, “If you lose the weight gradually, you’ll keep it off. The faster it goes, the faster it comes right back.”

That being said, let’s take a look at bariatric/obesity surgery. Bariatric surgery is a process in which a surgeon, mostly through non-invasive procedures, changes the way you ingest food. There are two main kinds of bariatric surgery: restrictive and malabsorptive. With the restrictive procedure you get full faster, because generally the surgeon will place a band around the “neck” of the stomach. In simpler terms, it’s like wearing control-top stockings. They compress and give the appearance of being thinner, only in the case of the restrictive procedure (gastric banding) it affects how much you can put in your stomach before you get full.

The malabsorptive procedure (gastric bypass) limits the caloric uptake from the intestines. Essentially, a smaller stomach is created and attached to a division of the intestine, so the new stomach bypasses part of the intestinal tract. Both procedures come with the possibility of regaining the weight, and no surgical procedure is without certain risks, so you should always consult your doctor before resorting to such drastic weight-loss measures.