The Basics of Bariatric Surgery and Life After the Surgery

Bariatric surgery can be a wonderful tool for individuals who are severely obese and have been unable to address their condition through diet, exercise, medicine, and counseling. The procedure is appropriate for individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or above, classifying them as very severely obese, or a BMI of over 35, severely obese, if they have an obesity-related disease. While the procedure has high rates of success, it is not a magic bullet and patients need to commit to a proper diet, exercise, and supplement use after the procedure.

Photo of couple after bariatric surgery Locate A DocThere are two major types of weight loss surgery, restrictive surgery and combination restrictive and malabsorptive surgeries. Restrictive surgeries, like stomach bands, make the stomach smaller, limiting the amount of food one can eat. Combination surgeries are more invasive. The surgeon restricts the size of the stomach and then removes part of the digestive tract preventing the body from absorbing some of the calories. Individuals should consult with their surgeon on which procedure is best for them.

Bariatric prescriptions can be used on their own or prescribed as part of a patient’s post-surgery regimen. Doctors may also encourage their patient to see a counselor to address disordered eating such as binge eating that contributed to their unhealthy weight.

Overall, a bariatric surgery is very successful, with nearly 60% of patients achieving long-term weight loss. But results can fade if an individual is not committed to following the proper post-operative instructions given to them. Speak to a certified surgeon about the procedure and its recovery if you feel like you could benefit from a lifestyle change.

Read more about the benefits of bariatric surgery by checking out our additional resources on the topic.


Further Reading