Bariatric Surgery

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery, also known as metabolic surgery or weight loss surgery, is a surgical intervention for obesity.

This type of surgery has been proven to be more effective than lifestyle, dietary and medical interventions in the management of obesity. It modifies different parts of the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract to bring about weight loss.

Types of bariatric surgery

Illustration of bariatric surgery including LAGB, LSG, LRYGB, and laparoscopic biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch

There are 4 types of minimally invasive bariatric surgery:

  1. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), used to manage morbid obesity. This surgery reduces the size of your stomach by placing a silicone band around the upper end of the stomach. You should feel full faster, eat less, and thus lose weight.
  2. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), used to permanently reduce the size of your stomach to about 25% its original size, such that it resembles a sleeve or a tube.
  3. Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB), used to reduce the size of your stomach to a small pouch by clipping off a section of it. This small pouch is then directly attached to the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper end of the small intestine.
  4. Laparoscopic biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, used to reduce your stomach to about 25% of its original size, such that it resembles a sleeve or a tube. In this procedure, the middle section of the small intestine is clipped and the last part of the small intestine is attached directly to the duodenum. The separated middle section is reattached to the end of the intestine, bypassing most of the small intestine.

Why do you need bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery can successfully manage your weight and greatly improve obesity-associated disorders, such as:

To qualify for gastric bypass, your body mass index (BMI) must be:

  • More than 32.5, and you must have an obesity-associated disorder such as Type 2 diabetes.
  • More than 37.5.

Weight loss surgery can help you to enjoy a better quality of life and a longer lifespan. It can also help to prevent future health problems. However, you must be willing to make lifelong lifestyle changes to benefit from bariatric surgery.

Who should not undergo bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery may not be suitable for everyone who is severely overweight. You need to meet certain medical requirements to qualify for weight-loss surgery.

Your doctor will determine:

  • Whether you are a suitable candidate
  • Which procedure is best for you

What are the risks and complications of bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is considered safe in general. There are some inherent risks as with all major surgery, such as:

  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Adverse reactions to anaesthesia
  • Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis
  • Intestinal leaks in staple line or joints
  • Lung or breathing problems

Depending on the type of surgery, long-term complications of bariatric surgery may include:

  • Bowel obstruction
  • Dumping syndrome, causing diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting
  • Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies
  • Gallstones
  • Hernias
  • Ulcers

In the long-term, you may not lose the weight you hoped for and the weight may return. This usually happens if you do not stick to your doctor’s recommendations or fail to make the required lifestyle changes including adopting a healthy eating habit and regular exercise regime.

Why choose Mount Elizabeth Hospitals?

At Mount Elizabeth Hospitals in Singapore, we are committed to giving you comprehensive care and medical advice in a private and personalised setting.

Our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, nurses and dietitians are here to guide you through the entire bariatric surgery process from pre-surgery diet and exercise preparation to post-op recovery.

Our general surgeons

Mount Elizabeth's panel of general surgeons are skilled and experienced in performing bariatric surgery to lower the risks of obesity-related disorders.

They are supported by a team of dietitians and nurses who will work closely with you for a smooth recovery and long-lasting change in your health.

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