November 2018

Bariatric Surgery Procedures: How They Work And What are the Risks Part II

In this article we’ll be taking a closer look at the different bariatric medical procedures including how they work, how much weight you can expect to lose and what are the potential risks involved.




Weight loss is induced by reducing the amount of calories your body absorbs by allowing you to aspirate – empty – up to 30% of your stomach’s contents through the tube connecting the inside of your stomach to a device on the outside.[1] This process is usually done 20 to 30 minutes after eating in the privacy of a bathroom and can take up to 10 minutes to complete.[2]

To ensure optimal effectiveness, you should aspirate after every major meal and if you keep to schedule, you may lose up to 30% of excess weight in the first year.[3]

Some possible complications or side effects may include[4]:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Infection around the site of tube implementation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin irritation
  • Swelling


Duodenal Switch

Weight loss is induced through the permanent surgical removal of around 85% of the stretchable portion of your stomach and bypassing between two-thirds to three-fourths of the upper small intestines.[5] This restricts your food intake and decreases the amount of calories absorbed and you may see up to 70% of excess weight within two years.[6]

Only patients with a BMI of 30 or over may undergo this procedure and you’ll have to stay up to 3 days in hospital post bariatric surgery.[7] The average recovery time is between 4 to 6 weeks and it’s recommended to take 1 to 3 weeks off from work.[8]

Some complications that may arise may include[9]:

  • Risk of vitamin  deficiency and/or malnutrition
  • Digestion issues
  • Sagging skin



Gastric Bypass

Weight loss is induced by surgically shrinking the size of your stomach and rerouting your intestines so that you eat less, absorb fewer minerals and if you eat unhealthy foods, you experience “dumping syndrome” – unpleasant digestive issues.[10]

A lot of weight is usually lost within the first three months of surgery – some patients have lost up to a third of their excess weight; and by the end of the first year, they may lose up to two-thirds of excess weight.[11]

You may qualify for this surgery if your BMI is 40 or over or you have a weight related health issue like Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.[12]

After surgery you need to follow a strict diet which begins with liquids before progressing to soft foods then finally, regular foods.[13] Some side effects may include[14]:

  • Body aches
  • Lethargy
  • Feeling cold
  • Dry skin
  • Hair thinning/hair loss
  • Moodiness

To be continued…



[1] ‘The AspireAssist’, in Aspire Bariatrics, viewed on October 27, 2018,

[2] ibid

[3] Shayani, Vafa, Dr., ‘The AspireAssist Device – 14 Ways It Will Affect You’, in Bariatric Surgery Source, last updated October 16th, 2018, viewed on October 27th, 2018,

[4] ibid

[5] ‘Duodenal Switch’ in Center for Weight Loss Surgery – Healthier Living on the Lighter side, viewed on October 27th, 2018,

[6] ibid

[7] Rabkin M., John, MD, FACS, ‘Duodenal Switch (DS) Surgery – 14 Ways It Will Affect You’, in Bariatric Surgery Source, last updated September 17th, 2018, viewed on October 27th, 2018,

[8] ibid

[9] ibid

[10] Rabkin, John, MD, FACS, ‘Gastric Bypass Surgery – 14 Ways It Will Affect You’, in Bariatric Surgery Source, last updated October 1st, 2018, viewed on October 27th, 2018,

[11] ibid

[12] Mayo Clinic Staff, ‘Bariatric Surgery – Overview’, in Mayo Clinic, published August 30th, 2018, viewed on October 27th, 2018,

[13] ibid

[14] ibid