Bariatric surgery is a type of surgery targeted towards patients with obesity. It is also known as bariatric metabolic surgery, weight loss surgery, or obesity surgery. The aim of the surgery is to help patients lose about 70 to 80 percent of their excess weight. There are many different ways of reducing the size of the stomach through bariatric surgery.
One of the most common types of bariatric surgery in Malaysia is a gastric bypass, also known as a laparoscopic sleeve. It involves resecting and rerouting the small intestines to a small stomach pouch. A part of the stomach removed contains the hunger hormone, ghrelin. This will result in a reduced functional volume of the stomach, which will alter a patient’s response to food both physically and psychologically.
Here at Thomson Hospital, a lot of patients are in favour of the scarless technique which involves a single incision through the naval and performed entirely through the hole. After that it will follow through a conventional laparoscopic procedure.
Another method is by removing a portion of the stomach through sleeve gastrectomy or duodenal switch procedure, also known as a biliopancreatic diversion. This procedure removes a significant amount of a patient’s stomach and most of the duodenum.
Besides that it can also be done with a gastric band. An inflatable band is placed on top of the stomach which would help the patient to feel full with less food. This helps with reducing food intake and decrease stomach size.
A surgery might sound drastic. However, when the results are compared to conventional medical therapy and lifestyle changes, bariatric surgery brings about the most amount of excess body weight and BMI loss. This helps patients sustain their weight loss. With medication and lifestyle changes, there is always the risk of relapsing into old habits thus not maintaining weight loss.
Besides obesity, there are other medical conditions that would benefit from bariatric surgery. This includes diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, gout, and male infertility.
If you are considering bariatric surgery, there are some criteria that you will need to meet in order to be eligible for the surgery. For Asians suffering from type 2 diabetes, the current BMI indication has been set at 27.5. As for non-diabetic patients, their BMI has to be at least 32.5 to be eligible. People with lower BMI will need to consult with Thomson Hospital’s bariatric surgery team on a case-to-case basis.