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Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery

“Bariatrics is the field of medicine that specializes in treating obesity. Bariatric surgery is the term for operations to help promote weight loss. Bariatric surgical procedures are only considered for people with severe obesity and not for individuals with a mild weight problem.”

There are many detrimental health effects of obesity with an increased risk of developing: heart disease, diabetes, gall bladder disease, asthma, obstructive sleep apnoea, chronic musculoskeletal problems, polycystic ovary syndrome, impaired fertility as well as some forms of cancer.

Who is eligible for surgery?

Bariatric surgery is considered for those people who:

  • Are aged over 18 years of age
  • Have a BMI greater than 40 or greater than 35 and have two co-morbidities (eg hypertension and diabetes)
  • Have tried all other methods of losing weight (diets, exercise, medication)
  • Are fit enough to undergo an anaesthetic and surgery

How does the surgery work?

Obesity surgery works in two ways: through restriction and malabsorption. The different types of procedures either restrict how much food you can eat at one time, and/or reduce the amount of food that is absorbed by the body.

What types of surgery are available?

The full complement of keyhole (laparoscopic) bariatric operations are provided at the Princess Grace Hospital. These include:

Laparoscopic Gastric Banding

This is a purely restrictive operation. Performed as a keyhole (laparoscopic) procedure a band is placed around the top of the stomach to provide restriction of the amount of food you can eat at one time. Gradually, the gastric band is inflated in the outpatient’s clinic to increase the amount of restriction felt to continue to encourage weight loss.

Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

This operation combines restriction and malabsorption. Performed as a keyhole (laparoscopic) procedure the stomach is reduced in size to provide restriction. In addition a small section of the small bowel is ‘bypassed’ which results in some malabsorption of the food you eat and results in weight loss.

Laparoscopic Duodenal Switch

This is a major operation that combines restriction and malabsorption. Performed as a keyhole (laparoscopic) procedure the stomach is reduced in size to provide restriction and in addition the majority of the small bowel is ‘bypassed’ resulting in significant malabsorption. While excellent weight loss is achieved through this procedure, it also comes with increased risks particularly protein malnutrition, and require life long dietary supplements. This specialised procedure it ideally suited to the super obese.