Bariatric surgery is a surgery procedure in which the size of the stomach is dramatically reduced by surgical methods such as gastric banding, gastric bypass surgery, or through the removal of a part of the stomach, meaning that the small intestines will be resected and rerouted to a small stomach pouch.
This procedure is usually performed on extremely obese patients, or, more precisely, on the patients with a BMI of 40 kg/m² or higher. These patients either already suffer from hypertension, type II diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, or some other condition which is related to so high a body mass index, or they are in a high risk of getting some of the mentioned problems or even obesity related cancers. It is important to stress out that this is not a cosmetic surgery, like many people think, because with these patients an adequate diet and exercise program have already been tried out before this choice is made, and in their cases the diet and exercise program have unfortunately turned out to be unsuccessful. These patients definitely have to be informed in advance about the possible complications and side effects of this procedure. All the candidates have to go through the psychiatric evaluation and such evaluation is absolutely necessary before it is decided whether or not the patient is ready for such a step. The main reasons for that are the high risk of developing depression after the procedure as well as the fact that more than a half of the candidates are already depressed before this life altering decision.
As for the recovery time, there has to be a carefully made postoperative treatment plan, and this plan might even involve several types of health care professionals who will be included in the patient’s change of the life habits after the surgery. Each case is different, but every patient will have to spend at least three days in the hospital, and when he returns home, he will definitely need assistance of a friend or a family member for some time, starting from meal preparation and medication assistance, to dressing and driving to hospital and back home. However, it will take much longer before he or she will be fully recovered and able to go back to every day activities and normal life. Usually some six weeks have to pass before the patient is allowed to return to work, but even then, any physical exertion should be avoided.