Bariatric surgery (or more commonly called gastric bypass) has been quite successful, over the past 30 years or so, in helping the morbidly obese with their battle to lose weight. Morbid obesity is described as being; in excess of one hundred pounds overweight and/or having a body mass index of 40 or more and/or having a body mass index of 35 or more, along with a corresponding c-morbid condition (which can be any condition ranging from high blood pressure to cancer, to sleep apnea, or other condition).
Bariatric surgery, compared to other methods of supportive weight loss treatment enjoys a fifty to seventy five percent success ratio, compared to 2-5% for diet and exercise alone, and a surprisingly low 0% success for prescription weight loss medication (These statistics come from a five-year study by Johnson & Johnson).
Bariatric surgery is an umbrella term for a variety of surgical procedures that either limit the amount of nutrients and calories absorbed by the patient's digestive system, or that reduce the size of the patient's stomach, thereby requiring less food altogether for the gratification of the patient's appetite. Bariatric surgery can range from being anything from a gastric bypass (where the patient's digestive tract is diverted) to gastric banding (the patient's stomach capacity is reduced). While these two methods are the most common, you may wish to ask your doctor about other newer procedures.
Each bariatric surgery procedure has its own advantages, as well as pitfalls, and the procedure chosen is one that you and your primary care physician have discussed thoroughly.
Patients who have recently had bariatric surgery are immediately put on a clear liquid diet for the time it takes the surgically altered organs to recover somewhat from the operation. After that point, and for approximately the next two weeks, the patient is then restricted to a diet of blended (pureed) sugar-free food. The food selections at this point are usually along the lines of skimmed milk, cream of wheat, a small pat of margarine, protein drinks, cream soup, pureed fruit, and mashed potatoes with gravy. It is imperative that the bariatric surgery patient not overeat due to the high incidence of nausea and vomiting. This schedule can vary depending on what type of bariatric surgery was performed.
Bariatric surgery has shown to be quite effective in reducing the rate of death and other complications from, morbid obesity. For those patients having extreme difficulty losing excessive weight it is a viable option to discuss with their physician.