Bariatric Surgery

What is Bariatric Surgery and Who is it Recommended to?

Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, but is an especially serious concern in economically developed countries. Obesity is a medical condition in which increased amount of body fat induces health threatening problems. It is generally attributed to multiple factors like excessive food intake, lack of exercise, genetics or hormonal disorders.

When traditional methods fail to produce the desired result, usually by the incentive of a medical practitioner, patients for their own physical and emotional well-being should consider weight loss surgery (aka. bariatric surgery).


Weight loss surgery is a range of surgical practices that aim to lessen the size of the stomach (with the help a gastric band), or reduce the capacity of the small intestines (gastric bypass surgery) and to achieve long-term weight loss and health benefits.

Bariatric surgery is recommended to

  • Patients 40kg/m² or higher Body Mass Index.
  • Patients unable to reach significant weight loss with traditional methods.
  • Whose health is at risk due to so called co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension.
  • Type 2 diabetes patients.

Below you will find some related articles with a list and detailed description of all the weight loss procedures, suffice it to say here that bariatric surgery is performed via laparoscopy or endoscopy and they can be classified into three main categories.

  • Malabsorptive procedures: an intervention into food digestion, preventing calorie absorption. Not very common nowadays because the long follow-up treatment and strict nutritional monitoring as in this type of surgery malabsorption and nutritional deficiency can be a risk factor.
  • Restrictive procedures: restricts the amount of food ingested gastroplasty, placement of gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy.
  • Mixed procedures combine the first two.

What to Expect After a Bariatric Surgery?

  • Laparoscopic bariatric surgery requires no more than a one or two day long hospitalization. Right after the operation some diet restrictions should be observed, no solid food, only clear liquid is permitted in the form of broth or fruit juices.
  • After a few days you can experiment with pureed food and stick to it for two weeks.
  • Overeating will immediately take its toll and result in vomiting and nausea.
  • As patients have reduced gastric capacity, in the first few months dehydration can occur for not being able to consume enough liquids.
  • With any weight loss surgery you can expect a spectacular and quite fast and long-lasting weight loss.
  • Evidence shows that life expectancy will considerably increase.
  • Lowers risk of cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.
  • Enhanced metabolism, more balanced hormonal functions.
  • The success of the intervention requires a total life-style change, healthy eating habits, more exercise and taking dietary supplements for the rest of their lives.

It should be noted that weight loss surgery might provoke quite a few complications, especially in the first six months after the surgery. The most common side-effects are bloating, discomfort after eating, leaks infections and hernias. In some procedures insufficient food absorption has been detected.

Precautions to Take Before Bariatric Surgery

  • Make sure that your choice is an experienced and dedicated specialist.
  • Ask an extensive explanation about all the possible techniques, their results, risks and to what extent you have to live a different lifestyle than before.
  • When you calculate bariatric surgery costs take into consideration the regular costs of vitamins, minerals, other supplements, in addition, developing healthy eating habits might also deplete your bankroll.
  • Luckily in more and more U.S. states and countries medical insurance coverage is extended to bariatric surgery. When you start the consultation sections, find out what type of weight loss surgery methods are covered by the local health insurance provider.
  • In the U.S.A in average terms bariatric surgery cost ranges between 20.000 and 25.000 dollars. Being a quite costly procedure many patients decide to consider bariatric surgery abroad.

Weight Loss Surgery Abroad

  • In a number of countries some techniques are unaffordable, maybe inaccessible or not covered by health insurers, which makes low-cost, less developed countries very attractive for obese patients with no other hope than surgical means.
  • A natural consequence of open borders and global competition is that patients enjoy a relative freedom in their choice of internationally recognized specialists. The eternal rule of supply and demand well applies here.
  • People are in need of weight loss surgery often combine their treatment with plastic surgery to recontour their bodies with liposuction and skin grafting. The costs of such a package can be astronomical and make it worthwhile to consider weight loss surgery abroad.
  • You can avoid long waiting lists, as in local hospitals you might have to wait years for pre-programmed, non-urgent surgeries.

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