Surgical weight loss, also called bariatric surgery, refers to a number of procedures that can help morbidly obese individuals lose weight. These procedures have received a lot of attention in the media in recent years. This guide will help answer some of your questions about this type of surgery, including a discussion about who may be eligible.

Surgery can help reduce important health risks in obese individuals. However, the surgery itself has risks and should not be undertaken lightly. Before considering surgery, you should work with your physician to make lifestyle changes to lose weight. These include changes to your diet, eating habits, and level of physical activity. If these measures are not sufficient and you decide to have surgery, all of these healthy habits must be maintained after the surgery as well.

I. Introduction
Step 1: Understanding morbid obesity
Step 2: The health risks of obesity
Step 3: Treatment overview
Step 4: How weight loss surgery might help
II. Surgical Options
Step 5: Gastric bypass surgery
Step 6: Vertical banded gastroplasty
Step 7: Laparoscopic adjustable banding system
III. Post-Surgical Care
Step 8: Nutrition
Step 9: Exercise
Step 10: Lifestyle changes

Helpful Handouts

Body mass index - chart


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Review Date: 12/21/2006

Reviewed By: Alan Greene, M.D., F.A.A.P., Stanford University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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