Guest Article: Bariatric (Weight loss) Surgery – The Facts -


Bariatric (Weight loss) Surgery - The Facts

By Nicole Basa, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Cedar Park Surgeons, PLLC,

US statistics show that 1/3 of the population is overweight or a Body Mass Index (weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared) over 25. 1/3 of all Americans are over a body mass index of 30. It is actually more common to be overweight and obese than it is to be in the ideal weight range.

As we increase our weight we are at risk to develop medical issues such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Sleep Apnea and Cardiac Disease which all increase with increasing BMI. Over time these medical problems can lead to heart attacks, cancer or even death.

Bariatric doctor

Less than 1% of patients who would qualify for bariatric surgery, BMI greater than 35 with a medical issue or a BMI greater than 40 actually have surgery. Surgery is not “easy,” and must be combined with a healthy diet and exercise. How many times do we have to succumb to yo-yo dieting where our weight seems to trend upward?

One thing that we have to understand is that our body does not want to lose weight.  It is actually ABNORMAL to lose weight.  Our body has internal mechanisms that resist weight loss.  There are numerous studies to show that in comparison to non-surgical weight loss, bariatric surgery is more successful for weight loss long term.  Ultimately weight loss after bariatric surgery is reproducible, safe and sustainable.

A study published in Obesity Biology and Integrated Physiology in 2016 followed biggest loser contestants from 2009 and showed that fourteen out of the fifteen contestants had regained their weight.  The interesting fact is that these contestants were noted to require 600 calories less than what their calculated basal metabolic rates were based on their muscle mass.  So after losing weight you have to eat less calories than someone else who is your same body composition who had not lost weight. 

Losing weight slows your metabolic rate even if you preserve your muscle mass.  This is termed “metabolic adaptation,” and lasted for 6 years in these biggest loser contestants.  This may contribute to why it is SO HARD to maintain weight loss.  This can contribute to you always going back to your SET POINT after dieting.

The only thing that has been discovered to help break a Set Point is bariatric operations such as the Sleeve Gastrectomy and the Gastric Bypass. This is because it changes the physiology of your body through hormonal changes which result in decreased hunger, increased satiety hormones and taste bud changes. It also allows you to resolve diabetes within days after surgery. 

If you want to learn more about the different bariatric operations or are interested in bariatric surgery you are more than welcome to visit our website at