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Bariatrics Glossary


Activity Therapy - see Fitness Therapy

Adjustable Gastric Banding - A restrictive type of bariatric surgery that promotes weight loss by placing a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch that holds only tiny amounts of food.

Bariatric Surgery - Weight-loss surgery performed by shrinking the stomach size and/or connecting the stomach directly to the lower part of the small intestine.

Behavioral Therapy - A thorough psychological evaluation used to identify good and bad candidates for bariatric surgery, as well as to help patients make the most of their surgery. Social history, psychiatric problems, current living situation, and the patient's support system are all taken into account.

Biliopancreatic Diversion (BPD) - A malabsorptive operation that reduces the stomach capacity to about 4-5 ounces. Used less frequently than other types of bariatric surgery because it can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

BMI (Body Mass Index) - A measurement used to calculate excess weight and obesity. Determined by a formula that takes into account weight and height.

Dumping Syndrome - A risk of some bariatric surgeries, this problem occurs when the stomach contents move too rapidly through the small intestine. Symptoms include nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and sometimes diarrhea after eating.

Duodenal Switch (DS) - An improvement over Biliopancreatic Diversion (BPD), this operation has a significant malabsorptive component that helps patients maintain weight loss over the long-term. Patients must be watched closely to prevent severe nutritional deficiencies.

Fitness Therapy - An individualized physical activity and exercise plan for bariatric surgery patients.

Gastric Bypass Surgery - Bariatric procedures that alter the digestive tract so that certain parts are bypassed, inhibiting the body's absorption of calories.

Laparoscopy - Refers to a group of operations that use a tiny camera placed under the skin. Allows for much less invasive surgery techniques. In bariatric procedures, the laparoscope is used to view the abdomen.

LAP BAND® Surgery - Laparoscopic placement of an adjustable gastric band that constricts a section of the stomach, severely limiting the patient's ability to consume large amounts of food.

Malabsorptive Operations - Bariatric surgery operations that reduce stomach content size and directly connect the stomach to the lower segment of the small intestine. Malabsorptive operations pose risks of nutritional deficiencies.

Medical Nutrition Therapy - Methods used to determine a bariatric surgery patient's caloric needs based on weight, medical history, food preferences and meal frequency . Used to individualize meal plans for patients.

Morbid Obesity- Defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is greater than 40. Alternatively defined as men who are at least 100 pounds overweight and by women who are at least 80 pounds overweight.

Restrictive Operations - Bariatric surgery operations that restrict the amount of food intake by reducing stomach content size.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RGB) - The most commonly performed malabsorptive surgery. Special staples are used to section off a tiny portion of the stomach that holds one ounce of food or less. A small Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach as well as the first and second segments of the small intestine.

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG) - The most common restrictive operation for weight control. A combination of staples and a band are used to create a small stomach pouch.

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