Bariatric surgery refers to surgeries which help in losing weight. It is done for morbid obesity. Obesity is a medical condition in which there is excess accumulation of fat in the body. It is a very common condition but to objectively tell whether a person is obese or not we need to calculate the BMI which stands for body mass index. The BMI is calculated by weight (in kilogram) divided by height (in meter square). If this value is more than 40kg/m2or > 35kg/m2(with an associated obesity related comorbid condition) then he/she becomes a candidate for bariatric surgery. There are various medical conditions associated with obesity like hypertension, myocardial infarction, diabetes, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian disease, joint pains and arthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD, infertility, sexual dysfunction, cancers and finally last but not the least social isolation leading to depression. When a person’s weight cannot be reduced by diet or exercise, surgery plays a role.
Bariatric surgery requires a multidisciplinary team which includes the surgeon, nutritionist, anesthesiologist, psychiatrist, psychologist and medical specialist. Thorough preoperative evaluation and counselling of the patient has to be done. Patient and the family has to be educated regarding the preoperative, operative and post-operative care.
There are different types of bariatric surgery like sleeve gastrectomy, minigastric bypass, RY gastric bypass, biliopancreatic diversion etc. These surgeries can either decrease the quantity of food intake and/or decrease the absorptive capacity of the bowel. All types of bariatric surgery are done laparoscopically so the recovery is fast. Following the surgery there is gradual weight loss and also improvement in other parameters like sugar and blood pressure control. Patients are educated regarding the dietary changes and encouraged to exercise and follow a healthy life style.