Bariatric Surgery – A Weight Loss Miracle?

Bariatric surgery (also called weight loss surgery) is not a weight loss miracle. It is an invasive surgical procedure for morbidly obese people resistant to traditional weight loss methods. Very specific guidelines are followed to decide who can and who can’t undergo the surgery.

Please, consult your doctor before making any decisions or forming any opinion about a particular weight loss method.

The information found in this article is intended to educate those interested in bariatric surgery and is not intended to diagnosis or score your eligibility for surgery.

Candidates for Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss surgery is for morbidly obese people resistant to traditional weight loss methods. Resistance to losing weight is a specific condition reserved for people who have never successfully lost weight. If the scale has never displayed a lower weight when you tried to diet, then you have weight loss resistance.

Weight loss resistance excludes dieters that lose weight early on, only to gain weight back within a short period of time. Does this sound like you? If so, the problem you need to focus on is weight gain, not weight loss.

Specifically, your barrier to lasting weight loss is a specific form of weight gain called weight regain. It is caused by dieting itself and is preventable.

Here’s a composite of an ideal candidate for bariatric surgery:

  1. Morbid Obesity (BMI>35) with medical problems from obesity
  2. Morbid Obesity (BMI>40) without medical problems
  3. Resistant to losing weight
  4. No personal history of heart or lung problems
  5. No formal age restrictions exist, individually determined by you and your doctor
  6. Not currently sick, depressed, or recovering from an illness or injury

Depending on your doctor, this list can vary greatly. It is only meant to give you an idea of some basic requirements for undergoing weight loss surgery.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery, essentially, places a physical barrier to the number of calories you can eat or drink in one setting. Patients also experience “fullness” after consuming fewer calories than before the surgery. Some procedures act more like a barrier while others act more on the early feeling of “fullness.”

By eating less, a negative energy balance develops. This is a true energy deficit which forces the body to utilize stored fat as an immediate source of energy. As the stored fat is used up, your weight drops.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are many different types of Bariatric surgeries available. Common types fall into three categories:

  1. Gastric Bypass
    • Gastric Bypass — “Roux en-Y”This weight loss surgery achieves its effects by creating a small stomach pouch from which the rest of the stomach is permanently divided and separated. The small intestine is cut and re-arranged to provide an outlet to the small stomach, while maintaining the flow of digestive juices at the same time.The lower part of the stomach is bypassed, and food enters the second part of the small bowel within about 10 minutes of beginning the meal. After this type of surgery the patient will not have to eat a lot to feel full.
    • Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass — “Roux en-Y”This type of gastric bypass surgery uses a small, light-weight, high-resolution video camera to allow surgeons to “see” into the abdomen using a pencil-thin optical telescope. The benefits are very small incisions which in turn causes less pain and little scarring.
    • Distal Gastric BypassThis is a modified version of the gastric bypass that alters the absorption of food. This type of surgery effectively shortens the bowel available for absorption of food.
  2. Gastric Banding
    • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric BandingThis type of weight loss surgery is purely restrictive. A band is placed around the outside of the upper stomach which creates an hourglass shaped stomach. It is made of implantable silicone rubber containing an adjustable balloon. It can be inserted laparoscopically so the stomach is neither opened nor stapled. The effects of this type of surgery are not as profound as the gastric bypass however the recovery time is shorter.
  3. Gastroplasty (a combination of gastric bypass & banding)This type of weight loss surgery is accomplished by stapling the upper stomach to create a small pouch where food goes first after it is swallowed. The outlet of this pouch is restricted by a band of synthetic mesh, which slows down its emptying; giving the patient a sense that he or she is full after only a few bites of their food.

Is Bariatric Surgery Safe?

This surgery is a safe and effective weight loss method for morbidly obese people resistant to losing weight. However, like any surgery, it’safety-bariatric-surgery.html”>Safety of Bariatric Surgery, follow this link.

Is There A Better Alternative?

For most people, bariatric surgery should be a last resort. Weight loss surgery is dangerous, and can have many complications. For these reasons, we recommend you consider a diet plan specifically for people who need to lose more than 100lbs first.


If you need to lose a lot of weight, we recommend you try The Gabriel Method before surgery. Focusing on natural healthy food, it has a very supportive community of people who have lost hundreds of pounds. The program also contains strategies to give you mental help to help keep you motivated and sticking to the plan for the time it takes for you to reach your healthier weight.