For those battling obesity, bariatric surgery is a proven medical solution for achieving long-term weight loss. While bariatric surgery has become an increasingly common and safe operation, it is still considered major surgery with short and long-term side effects. \nAnesthesia for bariatric surgery is necessary and plays a major role in the surgery procedure.\nWhat should bariatric patients expect from anesthesia and what type of anesthesia is used?\nWe will explore all of this in the guide below to help prospective bariatric patients prepare for their operation.\nWhat This Article Covers:\n\nWhat Type of Anesthesia is Used for Bariatric Surgery?\nAnesthesia Practices for Bariatric Surgery\nMaintenance of the Anesthetic Technique\nAnesthesia for Bariatric Surgery Considerations\nBariatric Surgery Anesthesia in Children\nNon-Surgical Bariatric Weight Loss\nPost-Bariatric Surgery Considerations\n\nWhat Type of Anesthesia is Used for Bariatric Surgery?\n\nBariatric surgery is considered a major operation. \nFor this reason, general anesthesia is used. This means that the patient is fully unconscious throughout the entire procedure. \nThere are various different types of bariatric surgery available. Common procedures include:\n\nRoux-en-Y gastric bypass\nSleeve gastrectomy\nBiliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch\n\nThe course of anesthesia will depend on the individual circumstances.\n\nAnesthesia Practices for Bariatric Surgery\nWhen it comes to anesthesia for bariatric surgery, inhaled anesthetic medications are often preferred. \nStrict anesthesia protocol for bariatric surgery is important because there are greater complications involved in anesthesia with obese patients. \nLarger doses of anesthesia induction agents are required for obese individuals, but obese patients are also more sensitive when it comes to these agents. \nThis is why anesthesia practice for bariatric surgery needs to follow a strict pre-operative process to determine the best practices for the individual, as well as thorough post-operative care. \nMaintenance of the Anesthetic Technique\n\nAnesthesia for bariatric surgery is generally done through intubation by direct laryngoscopy. \nIntubation is most common, however for those experiencing difficulties fiber-optic intubation may be required. Some patients may experience the aspiration of gastric contents if there is insufficient intubation.\nThe anesthetic technique varies between individual patients and cases. \nBariatric patients are uniquely challenging for anesthetists and methods can vary between patients to ensure the safest and most effective procedure. \nIs There a Weight Limit for Anesthesia?\nWhile obese patients do have a greater risk of complications regarding anesthesia, there is no weight limit for anesthesia. \nIf the patient's BMI is over 30, which is considered obese, there is a greater risk involved with anesthesia. \nA liver reduction diet is generally recommended before bariatric surgery in order to decrease the size of the liver. This can help the surgeon gain better access to the stomach and decrease surgical complications. This liver reduction diet can result in weight loss before surgery which can also decrease some complications regarding anesthesia and surgical difficulties. \nThe greatest concern around anesthesia for obese patients is a condition called sleep apnea. This is when patients can momentarily stop breathing while being asleep. General anesthesia can cause concern regarding oxygen and airflow for patients with sleep apnea.\nSleep apnea and bariatric surgery can cause a high risk of complications both during the operation and postoperative. This is why obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) screening needs to be done before anesthesia methods are considered. \n\nBariatric surgery is a effective tool for significant weight loss in the obese population. Potential complications of weight and surgery are taken into consideration. Anesthesia for bariatric surgery is considered a safe process, as this is a fairly common procedure. \nDo Obese Patients Need More Anesthesia?\nObesity can affect the metabolism of certain drugs including anesthetic agents.\nAnesthetic drugs are generally dosed based on body weight. So in this sense yes, obese patients will likely require a higher dose of anesthetic drugs. \nDosing will be properly decided between the anesthetist and surgical team to ensure your safety.\nGeneral Anesthesia for Gastric Bypass Surgery\nGastric bypass is one of the most common bariatric surgery procedure types. This procedure does require a general anesthetic. The patient is not awake while the surgery is performed, so no pain will be felt. \nWhen anesthesia for bariatric surgery is done, patients will be connected to machines that monitor vital signs. Respirators are also used to assist with breathing while under anesthesia. \nHowever, in some cases, it is possible to undergo laparoscopic bariatric surgery under epidural anesthesia. This is not a particularly common procedure, and the vast majority of bariatric surgery patients will go through a general anesthetic.\nAnesthesia for Bariatric Surgery Considerations\nThere are various anesthetic considerations for patients presenting with bariatric surgery. \nBecause of the complications that are present around obesity and anesthesia, preoperative evaluations, as well as postoperative management is important.\nPreoperative Evaluation\nBariatric surgery patients require certain pre-operative tests and clearances. This includes things like consulting with the anesthesiologist, going through a sleep study, and certain lab work. \nA thorough preoperative evaluation is essential to make sure that the right candidates are chosen for bariatric surgery. \nPreoperative evaluations also help to enhance the success of the surgery procedure. \nIntraoperative Considerations\nAnesthetists need to go through a thorough assessment process of each patient in order to reduce any risks related to anesthesia for bariatric surgery. \nAs mentioned earlier, carefully monitoring the patient's vital signs and using respirators during surgery is important. \nPostoperative Management\nDischarge from the hospital can take up to 4-6 days after surgery due to monitoring efforts and pain management. This allows some time for the gastrointestinal tract to start healing properly. Usually, patients will be discharged from the hospital on a full liquid diet. \nMost bariatric practitioners will recommend starting post-bariatric surgery supplements to help with the recovery process and prevent deficiencies. Vitamins for bariatric patients are an important step in order to assist the body in receiving the proper nutrition during the recovery period and for life-long success. \nBariatric Surgery Anesthesia in Children\nBariatric surgery in morbidly obese children can be performed to provide maximum benefits with low risk. \nThe most common bariatric procedures in adolescents include a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and vertical sleeve gastrectomy.\nAnesthesia for bariatric surgery in children is carefully considered, with anesthesia doses being properly adjusted to meet the patient's body weight. \nNon-Surgical Bariatric Weight Loss\n\nNon-surgical weight-loss options are available and can be beneficial in certain cases. This includes the gastric balloon procedure. \nAnesthesia is not required for this procedure. The doctor will provide you with a mild sedative to reduce discomfort during insertion. An endoscope will be guided through the mouth to insert the balloon into the stomach.\nThe gastric balloon procedure is based on the idea of making you feel full quickly to avoid overeating. The balloon takes up about ⅔ of stomach space; thus, you’ll reach satiety after consuming a smaller amount of food.\nPost-Bariatric Surgery Considerations\nPlastic Surgery\nPost-bariatric plastic surgery is a consideration for patients after weight loss surgery. Reconstructive plastic surgery may be required for patients with loose skin that is causing complications, like irritation and infection. \nBariatric Surgery and Diabetes\nOne of the benefits of bariatric surgery includes improvements in type 2 diabetes. Some weight loss surgeries have shown to produce a long-term remission of the disease. \nBariatric Surgery Benefits\nThere are numerous bariatric surgery benefits that patients can experience. \nThis may include:\n\nDecreased risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea\nImproved cardiovascular health\nRelief of joint pain \nIncreased fertility\nImproved quality of life and mental health\n\nBariatric Surgery Support Groups\nBariatric surgery can be life changing and the last thing you want to do is go through your weight loss journey alone.\n\nIn the long run, following a support group for bariatric surgery patients will help remind you of why you chose surgery in the first place, how hard it was, and everything you went through to reach your optimal weight.\nAll bariatric patients require support and encouragement throughout the journey. Support can come from family, friends, healthcare providers and individuals who have been also been through bariatric surgery.\nUtilize the resources available to you. Don't let excuses and barriers get in your way of success. \nConclusion\nAnesthesia for bariatric surgery can be particularly complicated due to the various risks involved in regards to obese patients. Patients typically require general anesthesia for bariatric surgery operations.\nWhile this surgery has become a fairly common and low-risk procedure, anesthetists need to pay special attention to obese patients. This includes careful preoperative assessments, as well as thorough post-operative care to avoid certain risk factors involved in the operation. \nConsider checking: Bariatric Surgery Hospital Checklist\nDid you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking:\n\n\nWhat Pain Medication Can You Take After Gastric Bypass.\nWhat To Buy Before Bariatric Surgery\nMultivitamins For Bariatric Patients\nBariatric Protein Bars\nProbiotics For Bariatric Patients\nRecovery After Gastric Bypass Surgery\nHow Long Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Procedure\nGastric Bypass Long Term Results\nTummy Tucks After Gastric Bypass\n6 Months After Gastric Sleeve\nGastric Bypass Facts\nBariatric Cookbook\nBariatric Resources\n\n**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition.