Am I a candidate for Bariatric Metabolic Surgery?

Bariatric metabolic surgery (BMS) is the only treatment modality which provides significant and sustainable weight loss. We acknowledge that not everyone needs nor wants bariatric metabolic surgery, however everyone needs to know the facts, so as to make an informed decision.

BMS should be considered as part of a comprehensive treatment delivered by a multi-disciplinary team including GPs, dietitians, psychologists, exercise physiologists, physicians and surgeons. The potential benefits of surgery need to be assessed for each individual by suitably trained and experienced practitioners and balanced against the individual risk profile.

The NHMRC 2013 clinical practice obesity management guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity state that taking into account the individual situation, bariatric (metabolic) surgery may be considered for adults with:

  • BMI >40 kg/m2
  • BMI >35 kg/m2 and comorbidities which may improve with weight loss
  • Have poorly controlled type 2 diabetes and BMI >30 kg/m2, should have discussions about bariatric metabolic surgery as a treatment option *

* Recently endorsed by the Australian Diabetes Society during the 2nd Diabetes Surgery Summit (Diabetes Care 2016)

There are several different bariatric surgery procedures, but the two general ways in which they help with solid food portion reduction include:

  • Restricting/ limiting the amount of food you can eat. Whether it is a gastric banding device around the stomach or surgically created smaller stomach pouch, bariatric surgery helps patient feels satisfied with less food.
  • Restricting/ limiting the number of calories and nutrients your body can absorb. During malabsorptive procedures, the surgeon re-routes the small intestine so that fewer calories (but also fewer nutrients) are absorbed.

For individuals not interested in pursuing surgery or who are unsuitable for surgery (eg medically unfit for an operation etc) alternative treatment options will be offered and discussed.

Patients must be psychologically prepared to undergo treatment because following post-surgical management advice is critical. They must also be ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle, follow strict nutritional advice and participate in regular structured exercise. These are important; consider them as foundation stones -upon which other treatment therapies are built upon.

what does bariatric mean?

Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity.

Originates from the Greek word “baros” which means “weight”

  • The University of New South Wales
  • Obesity Australia
  • ANZMOSS – Australian & New Zealand Metabolic and Obesity Surgery Society
  • Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • Care Specialist
  • Strategic  Centre for Obesity Professional Education
  • World Obesity