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Bariatric Surgery

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Bariatric surgery has emerged as a life-changing solution for individuals struggling with severe obesity, offering a path to significant weight loss and improved health. In recent years, Thailand has become one of the destinations for bariatric surgery. If you’re considering bariatric surgery and contemplating Thailand as your destination, this article aims to provide you with essential information before making a decision to receive them in Thailand

What is bariatric surgery?

Weight loss surgery, or Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery is surgery of the stomach or other organ within the digestive tract to reduce the size, reduce the rate of metabolism, or alter the property of your digestive tract. Bariatric surgery is one of the appropriate options for patients with severe obesity who requires an alternative method of weight loss rather than the normal diet and exercise. Bariatric surgery is also effective for the treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and sleep apnea for the patient with extreme obesity.


Bariatric surgery is effective in the reduction of metabolism through the modifications of three metabolisms which are

The food intake: Bariatric surgery is being done to reduce the size of the stomach, making the stomach fill faster, making your body trigger the fullness with even a smaller portion of the meal.

Nutrient Absorption: Bariatric surgery is being done to reduce the amount of food passing through the intestine, making your body absorb less nutrients of food

Cell signalling pathways: Bariatric surgery can affect hormones that dictate hunger such as ghrelin, and satiety such as leptin. Making bariatric surgery helps maintain a process called “metabolic adaptation” that affects the weight set point and leads to durable weight loss. 

Types of Bariatric Surgery

Currently, there are five major ways preceding bariatric surgery

  • Sleeve gastrectomy: Sleeve gastrectomy is done by resizing the stomach, removing approximately 80% of them, and reshaping it into the shape of a banana. Sleeve gastrectomy is effective due to the reduction of the stomach size and the “hunger hormone” produced by the stomach. Sleeve gastrectomy is a simple and effective method. However, it is not reversible and may worsen the onset of reflux and heartburn.
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB): The Roux-en-Y or Gastric bypass is done through a division of the stomach into a smaller top portion and then bypasses the lower portion, and the division of the small intestine which bypass the small bowel and connected the bypassed track to the portioned stomach resembling the shape of Y. The RYGB is benefit both from the reduction of the stomach and absorption which mostly begin at the small bowel, making them a reliable and long-lasting solution, but patients can suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and a higher risk of small bowel complications, ulcers, and dumping syndrome.
  • Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB): AGB is a silicone device placed around the top part of the stomach to reduce the amount of food through the creation of a small pouch above the band, reducing the amount of food being held within. AGB is surgery with no division of the stomach and intestines and can be removed when needed. Meanwhile, it requires several adjustments, and some risks of slippage or erosion, and they come with lower and slower weight loss.
  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS): BPD/DS is quite the same as sleeve gastronomy. However, it requires a portion of the small intestine divided, and the latter part of the intestines would be connected with a trimmed stomach. BPD/DS provided the best results due to the control of food amount and the reduction of bowel hormones, which is a trade-off with higher rates of complications, malabsorption, and looser and more frequent bowel movements.
  • Single Anastomosis Duodeno-Ileal Bypass with Sleeve Gastrectomy (SADI-S): SADI-S is beginning with sleeve gastronomy, then a division of the small intestine just after the stomach which will be reconnected at the latter portion of the intestines. SADI-S is highly effective as a long-term weight loss with a simpler operation than BPD/DS or patients with sleeve gastronomy who seeking further weight loss. However, there are some complications as same to BPD/DS, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies, on-set reflux, and looser and more frequent bowel movements.

Do you really need bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery can significantly improve patient quality-of-life as around 90% of patients after bariatric surgery lose 50% of excess body weight and keep this extra weight off long-term. The significant and rapid weight loss after surgery can lead to changes in hormones and lead to even more weight loss. The surgery also helps them feel more energetic, have less pain, and be more enthusiastic about doing things they have not done in years, which also helps them effectively control their weight.

Even though, deciding whether or not to undergo bariatric surgery is a significant decision that should be made in consultation with a qualified professional as Bariatric surgery is typically recommended for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35-39.9 with obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea that normal weight loss method is being ineffective for the reduction of weight.

It is important to note that bariatric surgery is not a quick fix or a cosmetic procedure. It is a tool that can assist in weight loss efforts and improve overall health. Before considering surgery, individuals are encouraged to explore other weight loss options such as lifestyle changes, diet modifications, and exercise programs. Bariatric surgery is usually recommended when other weight loss methods have been unsuccessful in achieving significant and sustained weight loss.

Bariatric Surgery: Preparations, Operations, and Rehabilitation

Before undergoing bariatric surgery, individuals will go through a comprehensive evaluation and preparation process. This may include consultations with a surgeon, dietitian, and psychologist to assess their readiness for the procedure. Pre-operative requirements such as dietary changes, lifestyle modifications including physical activities, and the stop using tobacco will also be discussed and implemented.

The surgical procedure itself is typically performed under general anesthesia and can involve either open surgery or laparoscopic techniques. The choice of procedure will depend on factors such as the individual’s specific needs and the surgeon’s expertise. The surgery aims to reduce the size of the stomach or alter the digestive system, as per the chosen technique.

Bariatric Surgery

Following the surgery, patients will require a period of recovery and rehabilitation. This involves adhering to a specialized diet and gradually reintroducing solid foods under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor progress, address any complications, and provide ongoing support and guidance.

Bariatric surgery is a significant intervention that can lead to life-changing weight loss and improvements in overall health. However, it is important to remember that surgery alone is not a guarantee of success. Individuals must commit to making long-term lifestyle changes, including adopting a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity, to maximize the benefits of bariatric surgery.

What to consider when receiving bariatric surgery in Thailand?

Bariatric surgery is as same as other major surgery that requires qualifications and expertise to be done properly. Here are some important factors to consider while deciding who will be allowed to operate on you, which including:

  • Safety and Quality Standards: Look for internationally recognized accreditations or certifications that guarantee the hospital’s commitment to patient safety and a high standard of care. 
  • Consultation and Evaluation Process: Look for a hospital that provides a comprehensive preoperative consultation and evaluation process, including medical assessment, discussion of your specific needs and goals, and an evaluation of your suitability for bariatric surgery. 
  • Surgeon Expertise and Experience:  Look for surgeons who have specialized training in bariatric surgery, a significant number of successful procedures under their responsibilities, and positive patient testimonials. 
  • Postoperative Care and Support: Look for a hospital that offers comprehensive postoperative care, including nutritional counseling, support groups, and access to healthcare professionals who can address any concerns or complications that may arise.
  • Communication and Language Support: Hospital that provide the language support services will highly benefit for the ensure of clear and accurate communication throughout the medical process.
  • Travel, Logistics, and Insurance Coverage: Compare your cost of treatment in  combination with cost of travel, accommodations, and transportation during the full course of treatment. Check with your health insurance provider to determine if bariatric surgery in Thailand is covered under your policy. If insurance coverage is not available, consider the overall cost savings compared to other countries and factor that into your decision-making process.

Bariatric Surgery at Phyathai 1 International

Our Weight Control Clinic of Phyathai 1 International is highly experienced in dealing with obesity through the personalized treatment plan including meal management and activity plan. Meanwhile, in case of severe obesity, we can provide bariatric surgery in coordination with our professionals from the gastrointestinal center, using state-of-the-art technologies to ensure effectiveness and reduce complications both in the short-term and long-term.

If you considered about professionally-consulted weight control procedure, we recommend consulting with our specialist at the Weight Control Clinic of Phyathai 1 International, which is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm. To ensure the fastest procedure time, We recommend taking a reservation by phone at number (+66)2-201-4600 ext.2148 or by E-mail at [email protected].

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