What is Bariatric Surgery?
The term bariatric surgery is used to describe a general category of procedures which include a variety of weight-loss surgeries. Bariatric surgery effectively helps obese people lose weight either by reducing the volume of the stomach via gastric band, removing of a portion of the stomach, or re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch.
By reducing the volume of the stomach or bypassing it altogether, bariatric surgery physically limits the amount of nutrients that the patient can absorb, effectively leading to weight loss. Bariatric surgery can also help reduce the risk of other health problems such as type II diabetes and atherosclerosis. The preparation involved in bariatric surgery can even detect pre-existing conditions in their early stages, and potentially save the patient’s life.
Who Can Benefit From Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is recommended only for patients suffering from relatively severe chronic obesity. This is a condition that is often difficult if not impossible to treat with diet and exercise alone.
Generally speaking, bariatric surgery is performed on patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35, which is about 100 pounds over their normal weight. In some cases, the procedure can be recommended for patients with a lower BMI if they have health conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, asthma or sleep apnea.
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