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Bariatric vs. Metabolic Surgery

So, let’s talk a little bit about bariatric surgery and what it is. What is bariatric surgery? Well, that basically means surgery intended for the patient to lose weight or weight loss surgery. A few years, actually almost a decade, ago we really started to call bariatric surgery metabolic surgery.

So where did that come from? Was it a rebranding?

No, the reason for that is the discovery and the progressive knowledge about weight loss surgery that the way it worked really wasn’t just restricting food intake. We used to think you put a band around the top of the stomach or you cut the stomach to make it small. This restricts the amount of calories you can take and you lose weight, right? But what we’re finding out are that there are many mechanisms hormonal and otherwise that allow patients to lose weight when you change the anatomy of the stomach.

Some of them affect the way that your brain senses fullness or satiety. Some of it directly affects your pancreas and the way insulin works on your system to manage blood glucose. All of these types of hormonal effects lead to resolution of many medical problems, whether it’s diabetes or hypertension or metabolic syndrome and that’s where we get the benefits of weight loss surgery.

So that’s where we went from bariatric surgery to metabolic surgery.