An Overview of Bariatric Surgery Options

Obesity: A Disease

Obesity has emerged as a health epidemic around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups. An estimated 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese. That figure represents more than 50% of the American adult population. Of this group, 11 million adults suffer from severe obesity.

Obesity is an excess of total body fat, which results from caloric intake that exceeds energy usage. A measurement used to assess health risks of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing body weight (lbs.) by height in inches squared (in2) and multiplying that amount by 704.5. The metric calculation for BMI is kg/m2.

Classification BMI
Underweight <19
Ideal BMI 19-24.9
Overweight 25-29.9
Obese > 30
Severely Obese > 35
Morbidly Obese > 40
Super Obese > 50

The American Obesity Association reports that obese individuals have a 50-100% increased risk of death as compared to normal weight individuals, with 300,000 to 587,000 deaths each year. This substantial increase in health risks has made obesity the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Morbid Obesity

A person who generally weighs at least 100 pounds more than his or her ideal weight or has a BMI of 40 or more is diagnosed as morbidly obese. The National Institutes of Health report that morbid obesity may considerably reduce life expectancy and is associated with an increased risk of developing conditions or diseases such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Joint Problems
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Cancer
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Respiratory Problems

Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Treatment

Dieting, exercise, and medication have long been regarded as the conventional methods to achieve weight loss. Sometimes, these efforts are successful in the short term. However, for people who are morbidly obese, the results rarely last. For many, this can translate into what's called the "yo-yo syndrome," where patients continually gain and lose weight with the possibility of serious psychological and health consequences.

Recent research reveals that conventional methods of weight loss generally fail to produce permanent weight loss. Several studies have shown that patients on diets, exercise programs, or medication are able to lose approximately 10% of their body weight but tend to regain two-thirds of it within one year, and almost all of it within five years.1 Another study found that less than 5% of patients in weight loss programs were able to maintain their reduced weight after five years.2

Surgical Treatment

Over the years, weight-loss surgery has proven to be a successful method for the treatment of morbid obesity.3 Surgical options have continued to evolve and at The Baricenter, we are pleased to be able to offer patients the LAP-BAND® System surgery as well as the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, The sleeve gastrectomy, The biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, as well as revisional laparoscopic surgery. To date, there is no specific operation that is known to be the best, and at The Baricenter we will help you select the optimal surgical procedure.