Bariatric Surgery (Morbid Obesity) Treatment

There are numerous weight-loss strategies for the morbidly obese. Unfortunately, most of them are ineffective and short-lasting. It is estimated that only ≤ 5% of obese patients will succeed in losing the excess weight and maintain their ideal body weight with non-surgical methods.

Going on a diet and minimizing caloric intake, changing eating habits and increasing exercise and physical activity are only some of the weight-loss strategies that are adopted by people. 

Nowadays, surgery is considered to be the only successful and permanent solution for the treatment of morbid obesity.

To qualify for surgery, patients must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a BMI ≥ 40 (ideal BMI is 20-25).
  • Have a BMI 35-40, if certain obesity-related comorbidities coexist, e.g. diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, sleep apnoea etc.
  • Be more than 100 pounds over your ideal body weight.

Any morbidly obese person that meets the above criteria can opt for weight-loss/bariatric surgery. In addition, every patient must be strongly motivated and show clear understanding of the dietary, medical and behavioral guidelines that should be followed for the rest of someone’s life. It is extremely important to note that weight-loss surgery is not ‘magic’, nor panacea! 

Which are the most common bariatric operations performed?

A number of weight-loss operations have been devised by surgeons over the last few decades. The ones most commonly performed are classified according to the mechanism of action in:

  1. The restrictive type, e.g. adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy, and
  2. The malabsorptive /combination type, e.g. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) and mini Gastric Bypass

It is very important to mention that not all patients should undergo the same kind of procedure

Every person has different dietary habits, BMIs, comorbidities, needs and expectations. Therefore, before making any decision concerning the kind of procedure to opt, patient and doctor should discuss extensively all aspects concerning every individual case in order to choose the optimum treatment for each patient.