A Bariatric Surgery Primer
- 19 June 2013
Dr. Broudo and Dr. Masri both have a lot of patients who have undergone bariatric surgery and lost massive amounts of weight. While they are left with improved health and a new fitter body, they are often left with saggy folds of loose skin. That is where the plastic surgeons come into the picture. The list of post bariatric procedures available on the Face + Body website is extensive. Today though, we learn about the bariatric surgery itself.
Before writing this post I understood that bariatric surgery changed the digestive tract somehow; I was not clear however, on how it was done or the various procedural options available.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that is commonly recommended for candidates that are significantly overweight, medically defined as morbidly obese. Their excess weight is putting them at risk for health problems. This surgery is designed to help people lose a great deal of weight through alteration of the digestive system.
How does bariatric surgery work? There are several different types of bariatric surgery, but all work on the same principle: The stomach size is reduced and some of the intestines are bypassed, hence the name gastric bypass.
The smaller stomach size means that one feels fuller sooner. The bypassing of intestines means that less nutrients from the food being digested are absorbed.
If I am interested in bariatric surgery, what is the process? Before you book your procedure, you will need to undergo an extensive evaluation. This exam will include medical and psychological testing to ensure that you are able to manage the effects of the surgery and the dietary changes that you must incorporate to prevent gaining back the weight or causing dangerous side effects.
Most people who plan to have bariatric surgery are evaluated for 1-3 months. This gives the healthcare team time to evaluate lifestyle habits and overall health. Psychological evaluations for bariatric clients can take up to six months to complete. During this time, prospective surgical patients work on breaking overeating habits that could impact the success of the procedure.
Keep in mind that it may take longer than six months to schedule a procedure. Many facilities that specialize in bariatric surgery have limited appointments available. Your insurance company may also require you to finish the evaluation process before they will agree to cover the expenses associated with your surgery.
In an upcoming post, I will write about the criteria for selecting appropriate surgical candidates for bariatric surgery, as well as post-operative lifestyle issues.