Metabolic Bariatric Surgery
Metabolic bariatric surgery, often simply referred to as bariatric surgery, is a specialized branch of surgery focused on the treatment of obesity and related metabolic conditions. This type of surgery is designed to help individuals who struggle with severe obesity achieve significant weight loss and improve or resolve associated health problems. Bariatric surgery is done when diet and exercise haven’t worked or when you have serious health problems because of your weight.
Is Metabolic Surgery Same as Bariatric Surgery?
Weight loss surgery is also known as bariatric and metabolic surgery. These terms are used in order to reflect the impact of these operations on patients’ weight and the health of their metabolism. Metabolic surgery is a subset of bariatric surgery, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there is a distinction between them:
Bariatric Surgery: Bariatric surgery is a broad term that encompasses a range of surgical procedures designed to aid in weight loss and improve health in individuals with obesity. The primary goal of bariatric surgery is significant weight loss, and it can be performed through various surgical techniques. These procedures often lead to metabolic improvements as a result of weight loss, but the focus is primarily on addressing obesity itself.
Metabolic Surgery: Metabolic surgery, on the other hand, is a more specific term that emphasizes the impact of certain bariatric procedures on metabolic health. Metabolic surgery is primarily concerned with improving or resolving metabolic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. While metabolic surgery does result in weight loss, its emphasis is on addressing metabolic abnormalities, even in individuals who are not severely obese.
What are The Key Aspects of Metabolic Bariatric Surgery?
- Weight Loss: The primary goal of metabolic bariatric surgery is substantial and sustained weight loss. It can be a highly effective option for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) above a certain threshold who have not found success with other weight loss methods.
- Metabolic Benefits: Beyond weight loss, bariatric surgery has metabolic effects that can lead to the improvement or resolution of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol.
- Types of Procedures: There are various types of bariatric surgery procedures, each with its own mechanisms of action. Some common procedures include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric banding (Lap-Band), and biliopancreatic diversion.
- Surgical Approach: Bariatric surgery can be performed using open surgery, laparoscopic (minimally invasive) techniques, or robotic-assisted surgery. Minimally invasive approaches often result in quicker recovery and fewer complications.
- Lifestyle Changes: Surgery is only part of the equation. Patients are required to make significant and lifelong changes to their diet and exercise habits to maximize the benefits of bariatric surgery and maintain weight loss.
- Patient Selection: Candidates for bariatric surgery are carefully evaluated by a multidisciplinary team that may include surgeons, dietitians, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals. The selection process considers factors like BMI, overall health, and the presence of obesity-related comorbidities.
- Long-Term Success: Success in maintaining weight loss and managing metabolic conditions often requires ongoing medical follow-up, nutritional counseling, and support from healthcare providers and support groups.
- Psychological Well-Being: Bariatric surgery can have a significant impact on a person’s self-esteem and mental health. Addressing emotional and psychological aspects of obesity is integral to long-term success.
Metabolic bariatric surgery can be a life-changing and potentially life-saving treatment for individuals facing the challenges of severe obesity and related health problems.