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Bariatric Surgery 

Bariatric surgery can result in sustainable, long-term weight loss.  Bariatric surgery helps individuals with serious weight issues lose excess pounds by limiting how much they can eat, reducing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients or a combination of both. When successful, bariatric surgery can improve a patient’s general health and quality of life.  

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Bariatric Surgery? 

Bariatric surgery should only be considered for people who meet certain medical criteria and have unsuccessfully attempted other weight loss methods. To be considered obese, someone must weigh at least 100 pounds more than their ideal body weight or have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35. Candidates for weight loss surgery generally need to have a BMI of 40 or more or a BMI of 35 or more combined with serious health conditions.  

Bariatric surgery can help prevent the development of a variety of obesity-related complications, including: 

  • Heart disease and stroke 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease 
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes 

Bariatric Surgery Details 

There are three types of bariatric surgery: 

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) - This type of bariatric surgery induces weight loss by limiting the amount of food you eat and by limiting digestion and absorption of food. It can be performed laparoscopically (using a camera through small incisions). 
  • Sleeve gastrectomy – In this procedure, a stapling device is used to divide the stomach vertically, thereby making the stomach a banana-like tube that restricts intake of food. Because the intestines are not re-routed like in gastric bypass, there is no malabsorption, but lifelong vitamin and nutritional supplementation is still required.  
  • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding – In this procedure, a temporary band is placed around the upper part of the stomach where the esophagus feeds into the organ. When the band is inflated, it constricts the area through which food passes and restricts the amount of food that can be digested. The band can be periodically adjusted over time. 

What to Expect With Bariatric Surgery 

Gastric bypass surgery has been reported to produce a 55% to 70% reduction in excess body weight, while sleeve gastrectomy patients can expect a reduction of 50% to 60% of excess body weight. However, there can be negative sides to these procedures, including:  

  • Nutritional and vitamin deficiency 
  • Dumping syndrome 
  • Abdominal hernias 
  • Bowel obstruction 
  • Ulcers 
  • Blood clots in the lungs or legs 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Vomiting 
  • Gallbladder inflammation 

How Effective is Bariatric Surgery? 

Individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery must also make major changes in their lifestyle and eating habits if they want the surgery to be a success. Most patients who follow these steps will lose about 60% to 80% of their excess body weight, with substantial weight loss happening within two years of surgery.  

At Tampa General Hospital, we specialize in bariatric surgery and offer a comprehensive range of services that are designed to help patients jump-start their weight loss and maintain their results after surgery.