What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery describes a group of different surgeries that help with weight loss by reducing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness, after a meal, so that a person can comfortably eat less as they have a lower appetite drive. All surgeries are done laparoscopically (keyhole surgery) and require a short (few days) hospital stay. 

Not everyone living with overweight and obesity will need bariatric surgery to be able to lose weight and it is important to receive trustworthy, independent advice first from your health professional, such as your Alevia doctor, before making any decisions.  However, where it is appropriate for the individual patient, it can be a dramatic and effective tool to help manage excess weight long-term, where other treatment plans haven’t been successful, or where excess weight is causing health problems, such as diabetes.  

What Kind of Bariatric Surgery Is Available?

There are a few varieties of bariatric procedures available, but the most common types are the gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass surgery, and lap band surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as a “sleeve gastrectomy,” is a bariatric procedure that involves removing about two thirds of the stomach, leaving you with a smaller banana sized stomach that is less stretchy and gives a greater feeling of fullness after a meal. This  surgery involves removing the part of the stomach that makes ghrelin, our major appetite stimulating hormone, so that it is easier to manage a healthy diet plan without cravings or excessive hunger. 

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery involves creating a small pouch in your stomach which is then connected to the latter part of the small bowel, bypassing the first part of the small bowel. The smaller stomach gives rise to a greater sense of fullness after a meal and the it also affects the gut hormones involved in hunger and cravings, thus fewer calories are consumed. 

Lap Band Surgery

Lap band surgery involves placing an adjustable band or ring around the the top of your stomach. The band helps to slow down food entering the stomach, making you feel fuller more easily and with less food intake. Unlike some other bariatric procedures, this surgery is considered reversible as the ring can be removed when desired or needed. 

There are now a number of effective weight loss medications that, when combined with dietary change, can approach the results achieved with bariatric surgery.  If you’re considering bariatric surgery for weight loss, come chat to one of our Alevia doctors first to see if there might be other suitable and less-invasive alternatives to try first. And if you do end up needing bariatric surgery, then we can refer you to reputable bariatic surgical teams. We’re here to provide you with trusted, independent and evidence-based advice to help you lose weight in the safest, most medically appropriate and cost-effective way for you! 

To discuss further with one of our doctors, book an appointment today!