Bariatric Surgery in Adults: Weighing the Benefits and Risks


Bariatric surgery involves modifying the digestive system to limit food intake or reduce absorption of nutrients to reduce weight.

While there are significant benefits for obese adults, there are also certain risks. Let’s take a closer look at what the pros and cons are.

Obesity is a serious problem in India as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to work from home and reduced physical activity. In terms of the number of obese people in the world, India now ranks third after the United States and China. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in India 2019-2021, 1 in 4 men or women in India is obese.

Through public awareness campaigns and programs, more and more people are opting for bariatric surgery (also called weight loss surgery). Still, significant barriers exist due to social stigma and lack of rural awareness of this surgery.

First, let’s understand what bariatric surgery is.

Bariatric surgery is weight-loss surgery performed on people who are severely obese and cannot lose weight with lifestyle modifications such as diet, exercise, and supplements. This is the weight loss balloon he is one of the best alternative techniques being practiced more and more nowadays. It guarantees a 10-15 percent reduction in total body weight (TBW) without the need for surgery or endoscopy. Bariatric surgery involves modifying the digestive system to limit food intake or reduce absorption of nutrients to reduce weight.

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery in Adults

While there are significant benefits for obese adults, there are also certain risks. Let’s take a look at both the benefits of bariatric surgery and the associated risks.

  • Significant Weight Loss: Bariatric surgery leads to significant and lasting weight loss, reducing excess body weight (EBW) by over 70%.
  • Long-term weight maintenance: Weight loss surgery is more likely to help you maintain your weight over the long term than traditional methods. This helps individuals practice new eating habits and promote a healthier lifestyle, leading to lasting weight loss.
  • Improving obesity-related health: Bariatric surgery can have a positive impact on obesity-related health conditions, primarily hypertension and cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and even cancer. Many patients experience an improvement or even complete resolution of these symptoms after surgery.
  • Faster Metabolism: Losing weight makes it easier to exercise. Exercise increases your body’s ability to burn fat effectively. Examples of such activities include cycling, walking and swimming. Additionally, lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and insulin reduce the tendency of the body to store fat.
  • Improving quality of life: Weight loss can improve an individual’s quality of life by increasing self-esteem, mobility and overall well-being. You may feel a positive change in your energy levels and mental health.
  • longer life: Weight loss surgery has been shown to significantly improve life expectancy by over 40%.

Risks Associated with Bariatric Surgery in Adults

Although this procedure has many advantages, it also leaves some risks. Let’s look at those risks.

  • Surgical risk: As with any surgical procedure, there may be risks associated with anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and other potential complications. However, bariatric surgery is generally considered safe, with a relatively low risk of serious complications.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Certain types of bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass, can affect absorption of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. To prevent deficiency, patients may need to take supplements throughout their lives and have regular monitoring.
  • gallstones: Rapid weight loss and changes in bile acids can increase the risk of developing gallstones. This is especially common in his first two years after surgery and may require removal of the gallbladder in some cases.
  • anemia: The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine where most of the iron from foods such as beans, meat, and iron-fortified grains is absorbed. However, after gastric bypass surgery, the duodenum is not used to process food. Therefore, the risk of anemia may be increased, especially after Rouen Wai gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery.

It is important to note that the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery may vary depending on the individual’s health, the specific surgery type, and the expertise of the surgical team. Talking to your doctor about the benefits and risks is essential to making informed decisions and achieving long-term success.

(This article was written by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna, co-founder of HexaHealth and Laser, Bariatric and Minimal Access Surgeon)

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