When you hear the phrase “bariatric surgery,” you may think
of weight loss from a purely aesthetic perspective. But the surgery’s
benefits extend far beyond that.
But before we take a look at the benefits of bariatric (weight-loss) surgery,
let’s first take a look at how obesity is affecting the United States.
More than one-third of American adults today are categorized as obese,
meaning they have a body mass index of 30 or higher. But in simpler terms,
it means that a person weighs at least 20 percent higher than recommended.
Obesity impacts far more than just the waistline—those who are obese are
at a higher risk of many medical conditions, including heart disease,
Type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer.
So how can bariatric surgery help? Isaias Irgau, MD, Medical Director of
Bariatric Surgery at Saint Francis Healthcare, offers some perspective.
Q: What’s the goal of bariatric surgery?
A: All procedures essentially have the same goal, which is to help a person
lose a substantial amount of weight. But these procedures can also help
limit the effects of certain medical conditions like Type 2 diabetes,
high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.
Q: What are the benefits of bariatric surgery?
A: Weight-loss surgery is currently the best treatment we have for obesity.
People who have obesity not only suffer from immobility, pain, and a lack
of self-esteem, but also severe illnesses. By addressing obesity through
surgery, we’re also able to address the many illnesses that are
related to it.
Q: What types of bariatric surgery are available?
A: At Saint Francis Hospital, we perform multiple bariatric procedures,
gastric bypass surgery,
biliopancreatic diversion with the duodenal switch, the
adjustable gastric band, and vertical
These procedures all involve some type of change to the digestive tract
to either make the stomach smaller or to interfere with the body’s
ability to absorb calories—both of which will lead to weight loss.
Q: Am I a candidate for bariatric surgery?
A: You may be a candidate for a weight-loss procedure if you’re 100
or more pounds above ideal body weight for your size. A doctor can help
you determine if you’re eligible and what type of procedure might
be best for you.
The Saint Francis Healthcare Bariatric Program is an MBSAQIP Accredited Comprehensive Center. Learn more about our program
by calling 302.421.4121.