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Pros and Cons of Bariatric Surgery


Weight loss surgeries like gastric bypass make changes to the digestive system to help lose weight. They limit how much a person can eat or reduce the absorption of nutrients. These methods are done when diet and exercise haven’t worked or when an individual has acute weight-related problems.

There are various types of weight-loss surgery, collectively known as bariatric surgery. As one of the most common types of bariatric surgery, gastric bypass has fewer complications than other surgeries. Still, different forms of weight loss surgery like gastric bypass are procedures that can pose side effects and other serious risks. It is important to have permanent healthy changes to your diet. Plus, a regular exercise ensures the long-term results of bariatric surgery.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is an ideal option for heavy people to lose weight. It is highly recommended by obesity medicine specialists and other experts. However, patients ignore it often. Yes, it is the only option that always works to help many patients bring back their sexy and healthy figure.

The operations are divided into four. The two most popular procedures are the gastric sleeve and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Both are found effective to make the stomach smaller. They also reroute the small intestine.

The gastric band, a simpler procedure, has fallen out of favor because it’s less effective. When it comes to the biliopancreatic diversion, it is a more drastic operation. It is the process of bypassing a large part of the small intestine. Because of its higher mortality and complication rate, healthcare professionals rarely use it for safety purposes.

The average cost of a gastric bypass is between $20,000 and $25,000. The sleeve gastrectomy is around $16,000 or $19,000. The good news is that there are insurance plans for patients to choose from. These cover the cost of those people who qualify. But some plans require the patients to give dieting a try within a short period of time.

Pros of Bariatric Surgery


  • Greater weight loss than with gastric sleeve
    Patients who are considering bariatric surgery have a variety of options. From gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic band surgery, to gastric sleeve, each has its own benefits and side effects.
    When deciding which surgery that best suits your needs, it is important to compare the treatments. You should understand the similarities and differences. Both surgeries are very similar procedures. The hospital ranges from 2-3 days and the process is not reversible.


But bariatric surgery is generally recommended for obese patients with a BMI over 45. Normally, people lose between 50 to 80 percent of bodyweight within a year.



  • It is a mixed procedure
    There are ways in which bariatric surgery promotes weight loss in the long run. It is either malabsorptive or restrictive. Malabsorptive procedure enhances weight loss. It alters the normal structure of the digestive tract and allows food to bypass some portions of the small intestine.  Restrictive procedure, on the other hand, also promotes weight loss. It makes changes to stomach capacity. Considered as restrictive, this form of weight loss reduces the amount of food that patient can eat.




  • Better control of diabetes
    A recent study conducted by Cleveland Clinic shows that bariatric surgery controls type 2 diabetes. The procedure is effective for obese individuals with diabetes. It allows patients to remain free of insulin and adjunct treatment for three years.
  • It has been done for more than 4 decades
    Despite the newest weight-loss procedures, bariatric surgery remains undefeated. Over the past few years, it has been proven effective and tested. The procedure is fast and reliable because of the development of cutting-edge materials. Plus, the scope of knowledge and experience of professionals are key to achieve a successful operation. Just be cautious when choosing a specialist. Opt the one that has an excellent reputation in the industry.  
  • Extensive experience in short, medium and long-term results
    According to the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery study in Jama Surgery, patients that underwent RYGB experienced significant weight loss from baseline (28.4%). They also benefitted from a good rate of long-term relief from high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, diabetes mellitus, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, hypertension, and high level of triglycerides.


Cons of Bariatric Surgery

The sector of weight-loss treatment does not have a flawless medication or surgery. Each has a downside and bariatric surgery is no exception. Here are some of its disadvantages:

  • Anastomotic mouth ulcers
    After the first several months of bariatric surgery, some patients suffer from anastomotic mouth ulcers. This typically occurs at the gastrojejunal anastomosis and experts believe that there are triggering factors such as ischemia, staple erosion, increased gastric acidity, tobacco use, gastrogastric fistula, disruption along the staple line, and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.  

Anastomotic mouth ulcers may also be a cause of bleeding post-bariatric surgery. The common symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, iron deficiency anemia, nausea, and heme-positive stools. These can be managed non-operatively by using anti-acid, buffers (sucralfate), and proton pump.


  • Internal hernias / intestinal obstruction

Small bowel obstruction is another complication of bariatric surgery. But the incidence after the operation is not clearly established. In Capella, et al’s case series, they noticed the average time to presentation with internal hernias or intestinal obstruction was 585 days after a bariatric surgery, particularly laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery (LGBS). Plus, the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery states that bowel obstruction can happen any time. Symptoms include crampy abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation, swelling of the abdomen, and inability to have a bowel movement. Consult a physician ahead of time.


  • Pouch growth with consequent weight gain
    bariatric surgery consists a series of weight loss procedures to help obese patients lose weight. Despite being an effective surgery, some people don’t lose weight after the operation. Here are a few of the reasons:


  • Lack of compliance. None of the bariatric surgery help people lose weight directly. Each treatment requires commitment and compliance for a better result. Before and after the surgery, patients have to follow a strict diet to continue healing and decrease side effects.


  • Morbidly obese patients develop comorbidities. These are medical conditions that have been linked to obesity. Bariatric surgery is proven to help people lose weight that can lead to improvement in overall health. But, there are other health issues related to the comorbidities. This occur when patients have to take medication that can significantly influence weight loss. Among the conditions is diabetes.  
  • Malnutrition
    Vomiting occurs during the first months after the operation. It happens once or thrice a week. Usually, it is because of not chewing food adequately or overeating. As a patient, you have to adjust. Bariatric surgery diminishes your stomach ability to grind foods. If it becomes more frequent, low level of magnesium and potassium often occur.


As weight loss slows down, the risk of other health problems increases. The two most common health issues are iron deficiency and B 12. The worst part is that they don’t respond to multivitamin supplementation.


  • Anemia
    commonly known as iron deficiency, anemia after gastric bypass is seen in menstruating women. Early after the operation or years later, patients can develop iron deficiency. So, it’s important to monitor the iron levels or erythrocyte counts. Studies show that iron store declined up to 7 years after the procedure. Because of the bypass of the lower stomach, it’s hard for patients to absorb enough iron. Over the long run, intramuscular iron can be impractical. Seek the help of a professional before your health condition gets worse.  
  • Chronis Diarrhea
    bariatric surgery is the most efficacious method of achieving sustainable weight loss among morbidly obese patients. The most commonly applied procedures are sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. In 2013, around 47000 bariatric procedures have been performed across the globe. Weight loss is also achieved by a variety of mechanisms that have several effects on bowel habits. Not only do the alterations of the anatomy affect the sensitivity of diagnostic procedures, but they also affect the pharmacodynamics of the used medication, leading to treatment failure.  
  • Very malodorous stools and flatulence
    Bariatric surgery, particularly distal RYGB and BPD-DS, results in a significant change of bowel habits with increased frequency of diarrhea and malodorous flatus. Diarrhea exposes people at risk for uncomfortable fecal incontinence. Studies show that more than 50% of patients are affected. BPD-DS also has an extreme impact on quality of life and vitamin absorption. 
  • Difficulty revising or converting to another procedure
    some patients who suffer from weight loss relapse need revision or conversion surgery. However, this is more than complicated than you imagine. You would experience a hard time revising or converting to another treatment. Ask the help of a professional to avoid hassles.  
  • “Ashen” appearance of the skin
    commonly called as pale skin, ashen is the result of a lack of oxygenated blood. The blood carries oxygen around the body and when it’s disrupted, you can see a discoloration or graying skin. Patients who underwent bariatric operation see ashen appearance in their skin. 
  • Increased risk of complications
    hiring a reliable physician lessens your risk of experiencing severe complications. However, when the process is not done properly, other health issues to expect are infection, weight gain, etc.

Bariatric surgery is no doubt effective. It is proven and can drive successful results in real time. But before you decide to undergo the operation, ask your doctor about it for your safety.

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