Understanding Bariatric Surgery


If you’re considering weight loss surgery, one option that may come up is gastric sleeve surgery. This procedure involves reducing the size of your stomach to promote weight loss. But what exactly does it entail? In this article, I’ll delve into the details of gastric sleeve surgery and help you understand its purpose, benefits, and potential risks.

Gastric sleeve surgery also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a surgical procedure that involves removing a large portion of the stomach to create a smaller “sleeve-like” pouch. By reducing the stomach’s capacity for food intake, this procedure can lead to significant weight loss over time. It works by restricting the amount of food you can eat at once and by altering hormonal signals related to hunger and satiety.

Who is a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

When considering bariatric surgery, it’s crucial to understand who might be a suitable candidate for this life-changing procedure. Bariatric surgery is typically recommended for individuals with severe obesity, particularly those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. However, individuals with a BMI between 35 and 40 may also be considered if they have significant obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or hypertension.

The benefits of bariatric surgery are numerous and extend beyond just weight loss. This procedure can lead to dramatic improvements in overall health and quality of life. Successful weight loss through gastric sleeve surgery has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, many patients experience improved mobility, increased energy levels, reduced joint pain, and better mental well-being after undergoing bariatric surgery.

Types of Bariatric Surgery Procedures

There are several different types of bariatric surgery procedures available today. One popular option is gastric sleeve surgery (also known as sleeve gastrectomy), which involves removing a large portion of the stomach to create a smaller “sleeve” shape. This procedure restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time while also reducing hunger hormones.

Another common procedure is gastric bypass surgery. This involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and rerouting part of the small intestine to bypass a portion of the digestive tract. Gastric bypass not only limits food intake but also reduces nutrient absorption by altering digestion.


Other less commonly performed procedures include adjustable gastric banding and duodenal switch surgeries. These procedures work by either restricting food intake using an adjustable band around the stomach or combining restrictive and malabsorptive techniques to achieve weight loss.

Qualifications for Bariatric Surgery

In addition to BMI and obesity-related health conditions, there are certain qualifications that individuals must meet to be considered for bariatric surgery. These criteria may vary depending on the specific procedure and the guidelines set by healthcare professionals and insurance providers.

Some common qualifications include:

  • Age: Generally, candidates should be between 18 and 65 years old.
  • Failed attempts at weight loss: Candidates should have made previous attempts at non-surgical weight loss methods without long-term success.
  • Commitment to lifestyle changes: Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix but rather a tool that requires lifelong commitment to healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and follow-up appointments with healthcare providers.
  • Psychological evaluation: Candidates undergo a psychological evaluation to ensure they are mentally prepared for the challenges and lifestyle changes associated with bariatric surgery.

It’s important for individuals considering bariatric surgery to consult with their healthcare provider or a qualified bariatric specialist who can assess their eligibility based on their unique circumstances.