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The Ultimate Guide to Bariatric Surgery

Simply relying on the exercise and diet combination often fails for people who are morbidly obese and have tried every other alternative before. In a case like this, an affordable bariatric surgery can be a viable option to help people lose weight quickly. Research has repeatedly suggested that a successful bariatric surgery can reduce mortality rates for people dealing with obesity. That said, merely going through the surgery isn’t enough.

To lose weight efficiently with the help of a bariatric surgery, patients need to adopt a healthy lifestyle that incorporates clean eating and exercise.

How It Works

The basic idea behind bariatric surgery is simple. Every human starts to gain weight when consume a lot of food. Bariatric surgery, on the other hand, aims to restrict food intake and decreases the amount of food that our body can digest. As a result, less food passes through our intestines and stomach.

The food digestion process begins in our mouth where our food gets chewed and is then mixed with enzyme-containing secretions and saliva. The food then reaches our stomach where it is mixed with other digestive juices so it gets broken down. This is when the nutrients and calories become a part of our blood stream. The digestion process becomes a lot faster when the food moves into the small intestines where it gets mixed with pancreatic liquids and bile.

The bariatric surgery procedure has been designed to interrupt or alter this process of digestion. It stops the food from being digested the usual way and, quite simply, reduces the size of your stomach so it can hold less food. A person who has gone through the bariatric surgery procedure gets full quicker and has a  lower chance of holding fat on their body. A significant reduction in the amount of calories you can consume enables you to lose weight quicker and also decreases the risk of obesity related diseases.

Body Mass Index

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of a person’s weight in relation to their height. It is used to define different levels of obesity and it can help a person decide when an intervention may be needed. An extreme case of obesity is when a person is over 40kg/m2 or if a person has a BMI of over 35. This may also means that this person has a long list of severe health-related problems.

Some of the health-related problems associated with obesity are:

• Type 2 Diabetes,

• Heart disease,

• Arthritis, and

• Severe sleep apnea

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved using adjustable gastric banding for patients who have a BMI of 30/m2 or more. They must have also have one of the above mentioned conditions.

The Different Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are a few types of bariatric surgeries that can be done on a person who is obese. A surgery can be performed with an “open” approach during which a person’s abdomen is cut open or it can be performed with a laparoscopy in which surgical instruments are put into a person’s abdomen after small incisions.

Nowadays, most bariatric surgery procedures are laparoscopic because they require less cuts than open surgery. This causes less damage to the body’s tissue, fewer complications after the operation is complete, and a quicker discharge from the hospital. A person wanting to go through the bariatric surgery procedure can have three options:

1. Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

2. Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass

3. Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

This surgery is sometimes also called the gastric sleeve and the surgical procedure only involves an operation on the stomach. Surgeons remove 80% to 85% of the stomach, after which the patient has a smaller “sleeve” in place.

Some surgeons say that a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is better than a laparoscopic gastric bypass. This risk of complications in this surgery is only 3%.

Who Is It Good For?

This procedure is usually opted by people who have had abdominal surgeries in the past. According to bariatric surgeons in Alabama, operating on the small intestine is impossible is there is a scarred tissue around it, which is why patients are recommended a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. In this procedure, surgeons only operate on the upper part of the abdomen, which has lesser scar tissue.

In other cases, this surgery can also be recommended to people who have a compromised immune system. That’s because this operation is simpler, the anesthesia duration is shorter, and the speed of recovery is faster. So if you’re a person who has past history of a heart disease or have lung problems, this process can be suitable for you.

That said, this process also has a weight limit of 450 to 500 pounds. If there’s excessive fat on the body or inside the abdomen, surgeons can’t have enough room to reroute the GI tract. If there isn’t enough space, the gastric bypass can’t be done.

Additionally, people who take multiple medications for a psychiatric illness shouldn’t opt for this procedure as well. That’s because a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy can affect how your body responds and absorbs medications. If a person has severe depression and their medications keep them stable, they shouldn’t opt for a medical procedure that changes the way their body absorbs medicine.

Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass

This is an affordable bariatric surgery that shrinks the size of a patient’s stomach while also reducing the amount of calories your stomach can absorb. When this procedure is done, the stomach is disconnected from the top and a loop to the body’s small intestine is connected to the pouch that reroutes to the gastrointestinal tract. This way, when patients eat food, it enters the small intestine directly and bypasses 90% to 95% of the stomach.

Compared to the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, the gastric bypass is more powerful since patients lose 10 to 20 pounds just because of the surgery. This also leads to positive hormonal changes in the body, which also assists in controlling diabetes.

Who Is It Good For?

People who have severe reflux disease should opt laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery because it can significantly improve acid reflux. Moreover, this surgery is almost mainly recommended to people who have diabetes. However, according to surgeons, the difference between a gastric bypass or a gastric doesn’t matter if the patient is willing to take a proactive approach towards the procedure. If you are willing to change your diet and exercise, both procedures can prove to be effective.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band

In this procedure, a silicone band is placed on the upper part of the stomach to decrease the amount of food one can intake and it also reduces the size of a patient’s stomach. It has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for weight loss and has helped several people escape the strong grip of obesity. In this procedure, the surgeon places a band around the upper portion of the stomach and then attaches a tube to this band. This tube is accessible through a port which is under the skin of the abdomen.

With the help of this port, the surgeon then inserts a saline solution in the band for inflation. Different adjustments to this band can change the levels of constriction on the stomach. When the process is complete, there’s a small stomach pouch above, while the rest of the stomach is below. Because of a smaller pouch, the stomach can hold lesser food at a point in time. This causes the “fullness” feeling a lot quicker even if you’ve eaten a small amount of food. This ultimately reduces the amount of hunger and also reduces a person’s overall food intake.

One prominent advantage of this procedure is that it allows the process of digestion to carry on as usual, there isn’t any malabsorption.

Who Is It Good For?

In the past, dietary guidelines dictated that the gastric band placement can only be done if a person has a BMI above 35. Some people with a BMI of 30 to 34.9 were allowed to have the procedure if they had obesity-related health concerns such as hypertension, sleep apnea, or diabetes. In this case, the procedure was only allowed because life had become increasingly difficult for these people.

However, advancement in affordable bariatric surgery technology has significantly improved the safety of the overall laparoscopic adjustable gastric band procedure. Nowadays, a doctor can recommend the procedure to individuals if they have a BMI of 30 to 35. However it is imperative that they have obesity-related health concerns and previous non-surgical approaches have proved to be ineffective.

These non-surgical approaches can be:

• Physical activity

• Changes in diet

• Medications

However, a doctor’s advice can vary from person to person.

The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

healthy lifestyle after bariatric surgery
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash


Diabetes Remission

One of the most prominent conditions linked with an affordable bariatric surgery is diabetes. In fact, research suggests that 11.8% of all overweight adults and 20.7% of all obese adults suffer from diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, starts to progress gradually and causes nerve damage, eye damage, and kidney damage in the long run. It also increases the risk of a stroke and heart attack. Fortunately, an affordable bariatric surgery can help patients contain these symptoms and, in some cases, they can be eliminated entirely.

One study also found that after going through the bariatric surgery procedure, 65% of diabetic patients didn’t require medication.

Joint Pain Relief

Carrying excessive weight puts intense weight on the joints of our body that bear weight. This often causes joint damage and chronic pain. The considerable weight loss after a bariatric surgery can relieve our joints from the excessive pain. Because of the procedure, you can also stop taking pain medications and enjoy increased mobility.

Improved Erectile Function and Fertility

Some women that are within their childbearing years can have problems conceiving if they are obese. That’s because these women have a higher chance of experiencing problems caused by periods or ovulation. If you’re considering having children and haven’t been lucky in the past, an affordable bariatric surgery in Alabama can improve your chances of getting pregnant.

On the other hand, for men, this can cause erectile dysfunction, which is often the result of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Fortunately, there’s extensive research to prove that bariatric surgery can improve sexual function.

Lower Mortality Rate

Obesity also increases your risk of developing serious and deadly conditions and diseases. Some of them are breathing disorders, diabetes and heart disease. Losing 40% to 70% of excess weight from your body within the 1 or 2 years of your bariatric surgery procedure can significantly improve your chances of recovering from life threatening conditions.

Sleep Apnea

Your upper body, throat and neck will be the first three areas that show signs of improve after you’re done with the affordable bariatric surgery in Alabama. When you start to lose weight in these areas, you’ll start taking in more oxygen, which will significantly improve your sleep. If you’re using a CPAP machine to deal with sleep apnea, you may have to continue with it initially. But with the passage of time, you won’t need it.

Several patients report that after an affordable bariatric surgery, their need for the CPAP machine decreased in the first few months. However, for a more accurate understanding, talk to your pulmonologist.


After you’re done with the bariatric surgery procedure in Alabama you can expect to lose 1kg – 2kg every month for about a year. With time, the speed of weight loss will slowly decrease when you hit a plateau. When you do, you’ll lose more weight with the help of exercise and a clean diet. However, some patients also choose to exercise before they hit the 6-month mark.

So what’s the hold up? There are several ways you can benefit from an affordable bariatric surgery, which is why the process has changed lives of several people. If you’re willing to go through the process, contact Alabama Bariatrics & Minimally Invasive Surgery by calling us on (256) 274 4523 or click here to learn more about our Bariatric Travel Program.