Healthy Living

What is Weight Loss Surgery?

What is Weight Loss Surgery?

Surgical options that help to limit the intake of food or absorption of nutrients resulting in the loss of weight are known as weight loss surgeries. Also referred to as bariatric surgery, this option is often recommended for those who have severe obesity. This option has been in practice for many years, but attained popularity only in the recent times for reducing weight in obese people. The number of people undergoing this surgery has increased considerably.


The three results from biatric surgery include:

  • Limiting the amount of food in stomach
  • Limiting the absorption of nutrients
  • Combination of the above said two methods

Two types of surgery that depends on limiting the amount of food held in the stomach include gastric banding and vertical sleeve gastrectomy. In gastric banding, a small band is placed at the top end thus separating off a small pouch-like structure that can hold only a small portion of the food. As the capacity is small, it gives a full feeling with small amount of food which is released gradually into the larger compartment later. In vertical sleeve gastrectomy, about 75% of the stomach is removed leaving a small tube-like structure connecting esophagus to the intestine.

Gastric bypass surgery and billiopancreatic bypass limits the absorption of the nutrients from the intestine. The small intestine is severed and connected to the small pouch-like stomach directly. Thus the food bypasses major part of the stomach and intestine in this gastric bypass surgery. In billiiopancreatic surgery, a major portion of the stomach is removed and the pancreatic juice enters the intestine near its end rather than the beginning.

These techniques make the person to eat less as it is very uncomfortable with a small stomach. Furthermore, with a small pouch-like stomach, the person feels full soon, even with a small amount of food. People who have weight loss surgeries will also have to take up a changed diet with fewer amounts of fat and carbohydrate, reducing calorie intake.

Now who should opt for weight loss surgery? Not everybody would be recommended with restrictive or malabsorptive surgery. These surgical options are suggested to those who have a body mass index (BMI) more than 40. Those who have a BMI between 35 and 40 would be recommended with weight loss surgery if they have obesity-related health issues including heart disease, diabetes or sleep disorders. Before taking up the surgical options, one should try the different dietary methods to control weight. Once taken up, these surgical options require extensive control in diet and exercise for the rest of their lives.