BARIATRIC vs METABOLIC SURGERY: Is there a difference?


There has been a lot of hype around bariatric and metabolic surgeries, especially due to the increased obesity rates in the United States in the past decade.  

But a lot of people are unaware of the subtle differences between the two and often confuse one with the other.   

 Is bariatric surgery the same as metabolic surgery? 

Metabolic surgery is a part/type of Bariatric surgery.  

  • Bariatric surgery is for anyone with excessive weight/obesity. 
  • Metabolic surgery is used with the specific intent to manage diabetes and metabolic dysfunctions that have not responded to lifestyle changes and medications. 

What is bariatric surgery? 

Bariatric surgery is a branch of surgery that focuses on changing the anatomy (structure) of your gut- either by reducing the size of the stomach, the small intestine, or a combination of both, to induce changes in gut physiology.  

What is metabolic surgery? 

Metabolic surgery, on the other hand, includes the functional part of weight loss. It directly affects the hormonal balance and metabolism and helps control and/or eliminate chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  

What does bariatric surgery do? 

Bariatric surgery 

  • Limits the absorptive capacity of the stomach/ intestine. 
  • Restricts the size. 
  • Causes malabsorption.

These alterations lead to sustained and significant weight loss in morbidly obese patients. 

What does metabolic surgery do? 

Metabolic surgery changes the way the body metabolizes food and nutrients to control and eliminate chronic diseases when all other long-term measures have failed. 

Is there a difference in Body Mass Index (BMIs) for metabolic and bariatric surgery? 

Bariatric surgery can be performed on a patient who has  

  • a BMI over 35 and associated conditions (like high blood pressure, cholesterol, type 2 Diabetes) 
  • a BMI of 40 without any co-existing diseases. 

Metabolic surgery can be performed  

  • with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 with type 2 diabetes as a co-existing condition. 

What are the techniques used for metabolic and bariatric surgery? 

The procedures are the same and there are three surgical options that can be used depending on the individual case and associated complications. These are gastric band, Roux en Y gastric bypass, or sleeve gastrectomy. 

The Takeaway 

The benefits of bariatric surgery are so noteworthy that your quality of life improves, your will to live and achieve self-improvement becomes stronger, and all your associated medical conditions get better. 

Learn More about Bariatric Surgery 

To learn more about bariatric surgery and the many benefits it may have for you, contact Doral Health & Wellness online or call our offices on 718-DORAL-55 or 347-868-1060. 


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