There are many weight loss management options one of which includes weight loss surgery. Its important to know the types of surgery, the side effects and the alternatives available.

Why is weight loss important?

A decrease in 5% of body weight has been clinically proven to have very positive effects on health. It’s essential to understand that all weight management approaches are effective when combined with diet and exercise. 

There are multiple weight loss treatments options. They include tablets, meal replacement shakes/bars/supplements, prescription injections, or surgical procedures.

Bariatric surgery is recommended for individuals who fall into two categories. Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 and those with a BMI over 35 who also have significant health issues like type 2 diabetes or health problems (e.g. heart or other medical condition).

Weight loss Surgery

Bariatric surgery, also referred to as weight loss surgery, is a medical procedure designed to change the size of the stomach and its impact on food digestion. The main aim is to limit stomach capacity, enabling individuals to feel full with smaller amounts of food.

In Australia, the most prevalent bariatric surgery procedures include lap band surgery, gastric bypass surgery, and gastric sleeve surgery. These surgeries are generally performed using minimally invasive techniques, involving small incisions in the abdomen.

Weight loss surgery has potential health risks both in the short and long term. Short-term risks include excessive bleeding, infections, anesthesia reactions, blood clots, breathing issues, gastrointestinal leaks, and, rarely, painkiller dependence.

Long-term complications vary by surgery type and can involve bowel obstruction and symptoms like diarrhea, flushing, lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting. Other complications are gallstones, hernias, low blood sugar, malnutrition, ulcers, vomiting, acid reflux, and the possibility of needing a second revision surgery.

Types of Surgery

This surgery is called gastric banding. This procedure involves placing an adjustable gastric band around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small pouch thus extending the time food remains in the stomach.

This surgery is called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This surgery staples and removes a part of the small intestine, forming a small stomach pouch. This pouch is then directly connected to the small intestine, allowing food to bypass most of the stomach, resulting in reduced calorie absorption.

This surgery is called sleeve gastrectomy. It is a procedure in which a significant portion of the stomach, including the area that produces a hunger hormone is removed. Further reducing the amount of food held in the stomach. 

Quality of life post surgery

In a study of 80 research articles, they looked at how much weight people lost 5 to 10 years after different weight loss surgeries. 

– After lap band surgery, people lost around 47% of their extra weight.

– After gastric bypass surgery, people lost about 62% of their extra weight.

– With gastric sleeve surgery, people lost roughly 53% of their extra weight.

Weight loss surgery can be a big change for those who are very obese, but it’s not the same for everyone. Before considering surgery, it’s important to carefully think about it, do some research, and weigh the pros and cons


Weight loss surgeries though commonly performed should be approached after considering other alternatives. Typically, the first step involves making changes to your diet and lifestyle, including eating habits and exercise routines. 

Some individuals find they get better results through exercise while others feel altering eating habits and calorie control are best. Additionally nutrient dense foods like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains can promote well being. 

Reducing weight is a gradual process and though people may yield short term results from crash diets, they may have long term consequences. Individuals should try to stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and manage stress. Weight loss medications with doctor’s support can also be an option to explore or consulting a dietitian can be a step in the right direction.

Consult a doctor


Surgery for weight loss in adults – PubMed (