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Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Info

Obesity and Bariatric Surgery

Severe obesity is a chronic condition that is difficult to treat through diet and exercise alone. Bariatric surgery is an option for people who are severely obese and cannot lose weight by traditional means or who suffer from serious obesity-related health problems. The operation promotes weight loss and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by restricting food intake and, in some operations, interrupting the digestive process to prevent the absorption of some calories and nutrients. The best results are achieved when bariatric surgery is followed with healthy eating behaviors and regular physical activity.

Obesity Statistics:

  • About 12 million (16.3%) of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 are obese.
  • Nearly one in three (31.9%) U.S. children (23,500,000) ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese.
  • Nearly one-third (32.9%) of U.S. adults are obese (nearly 72 million adults)

*Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, conducted by National Center for Health Statistics (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


You may be a candidate for surgery if you are an adult with:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women)
  • A BMI between 35 and 39.9 and a serious obesity-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or severe sleep apnea (when breathing stops for short periods during sleep).
  • Acceptable operative risks.
  • An ability to participate in treatment and long-term follow-up.
  • An understanding of the operation and the lifestyle changes you will need to make.


Bariatric surgery produces weight loss by restricting food intake and, in some cases, interfering with nutrition through malabsorption. Patients who undergo bariatric surgery must also commit to a lifetime of healthy eating and regular physical activity. These healthy habits help ensure that the weight loss from surgery is successfully maintained.

There are four types of operations that are commonly offered in the United States: adjustable gastric band (AGB), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch (BPD-DS), and vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). Each has its own benefits and risks. To select the option that is best for you, you should meet with your physician and discuss each operation’s benefits and risks along with many other factors, including BMI, eating behaviors, obesity-related health conditions, and previous operations.
Exercise and eating right are the best ways to lose weight, but many people have tried those methods for years and still can't lose excess weight . For people in this frustrating situation, weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) may be an option.

Looking for Answers?

Consider attending one of our free, weight-loss surgery seminars led by our nationally recognized bariatric surgeons.