Bariatric surgery - what are the options?

01/20/2010 - Articles

Bariatric surgery - what are the options?

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Bariatric surgery is an option for those who are obese, because it can dramatically improve their health and quality of life. With nearly half of all men and one third of women being overweight and 13% of men and 16% of women being obese (UK figures) the demand for bariatric surgery is likely to increase.

Mr Ahmed R Ahmed, a bariatric surgery consultant at the London Clinic, says ‘It is important that people do not see weight loss surgery as an easy option to help them lose weight. Bariatric surgery should only be performed following an in-depth consultation with a surgeon, like myself, who can provide expert advice on a case-by-case basis and assess a patient’s suitability for surgery.

So what are the options in bariatric surgery? Often, a non-surgical approach will be tried first, with the patient being encouraged to lose 5-10% of their body weight through diet and exercise. If this is not successful, bariatric surgery might be considered. Usually it is the ‘morbidly obese’ patient, with a body mass index of 40 or more who is the ideal candidate for bariatric surgery. A gastric band is the simplest form of bariatric surgery. It involves placing an inflatable silicone ring in the stomach to limit the amount of food that can pass into the digestive tract. The gastric band is also the least invasive form of bariatric surgery.

The gastric bypass involves stapling the stomach to leave a smaller pouch. The staple attaches this pouch to the lower intestine. And finally, there is the sleeve gastrectomy – a newer form of bariatric surgery, where the stomach is stapled into a banana shape while the rest of it is cut away. Obviously, this is quite invasive and is irreversible, but actually has fewer side effects than the gastric bypass. All forms of bariatric surgery offer significant and long-term weight loss – this is the value of this approach to the obese patient.



The London Clinic Healthcheck Issue 11 December 2009


Created on: 01/20/2010
Reviewed on: 01/20/2010

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Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 4 days ago

What an utterly useless article. "And finally, there is the sleeve gastrectomy " as if to infer this is an exhaustive treatise on the subject. There are several gastric bypass procedures, each with different results and potential complications. I'd love to find an unbiased, comprehensive study on the MGB.

Anonymous wrote 9 weeks 6 days ago

Yes...Nice information. From my side, Surgery on the stomach and/or intestines to help the patient with extreme obesity lose weight. Bariatric surgery is a weight-loss method used for people who have a body mass index (BMI) above 40. Surgery may also be an option for people with a BMI between 35 and 40 who have health problems like heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

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