Obesity Treatments & Bariatric Surgery

Obesity Treatments & Bariatric Surgery

Nowadays obesity is considered as one of the major health problems in western world. The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) estimates that more than 1.6 billion people in the world are obese.

As a result, the demand for bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) increases considerably.

Spain is one of the more advanced European countries for obesity treatments. The surgeries that are performed are similar to those in other European countries.

The surgery for morbid obesity (bariatric surgery) and metabolic obesity are specialties offered by Vithas Xanit International Hospital.

Our surgical team has extensive training in this area, with more than 20 years of experience in the field of weight-loss surgery, including surgeries to reduce the stomach, by-passes or deviation surgeries that reduce absorption. All of them are carried out by laparoscopy.

There is a rising demand for bariatric surgeries, especially for gastric band and gastric bypass.

The bariatric surgery aims to reduce the absorption of food, therefore decreasing the daily calorific intake, and combats obesity.

Reasons for bariatric surgery

Cases of morbid obesity with body mass index greater than 40kg/m2.

Bariatric surgery techniques

Weight loss surgery comprises various techniques that can be classified into two groups:

  • Restrictive bariatric surgery :
    Reduces the gastric capacity and the volume of the stomach. By decreasing the capacity of the stomach, the transit of the food is slowed down, and the patient experiences a satisfied feeling after eating.
    The most frequently used techniques are the gastric band and the gastric sleeve (vertical banded gastroplasty)
  • Combined bariatric surgery:
    These are restrictive surgeries in which a bypass surgery is also carried out in order to decrease the absorption of food through the intestines.
    The most commonly used technique is the gastric bypass.

Almost all of these bariatric surgery techniques are performed through laparoscopy, guaranteeing a shorter and more favourable postoperative recovery.



Reasons for gastric balloon:

The gastric balloon is a treatment for obesity and recommended for weight loss of between 10kg to 25kg, in cases of obesity with a body mass index above 27 kg/m2 and less than 40kg/m2.

Gastric balloon procedure:

The intra-gastric balloon is inserted into the interior of the stomach from the oesophagus with the help of a catheter. Once placed inside, is filled with a saline solution or with air. When full, the catheter is removed and the ball “floats” in the stomach.

Types of gastric balloon:

There are several types of gastric balloons that are filled with a saline solution, or with air.The choice depends on the patient’s body mass.

Fitting of gastric balloon:

The fitting of the gastric balloon takes about 20 minutes but requires medical follow-up in the hours immediately  following h the intervention.

It is usually in place for a period of 6 months.

At the end of this period of time, the gastric balloon is removed in the same way that was fitted, using sedation.


A follow-up is recommended every two months.

The gastric band

  • Gastric band surgery:
    Gastric band surgery consists in placing a ring of silicone around the top of the stomach creating a smaller stomach over the ring and thus reducing the opening towards the “bottom” of the stomach. Food passes more slowly to the intestine.
    The patient still feels full after eating.
    The ring of silicone is inflated with a fluid and can be adjusted by adding or removing the fluid.
  • Type of surgery and anesthesia:
    The gastric band surgery takes a couple of hours. This is normally performed through laparoscopy under general anaesthesia.
    The patient usually remains in hospital for 24 hours.

Gastric sleeve

  • Gastric sleeve surgery
    The gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive form of stomach surgery. It “removes” the outside part of the stomach leaving a narrow vertical gastric “tube”  (sleeve) that can only contain a small amount of food.
  • Type of surgery and anesthesia:
    Gastric sleeve surgery takes several hours. This is normally performed through laparoscopy under general anaesthesia.

The sleeve gastrectomy is an alternative to the gastric bypass. It is a minor surgery, since no bypass is performed.

Gastric bypass

  • Gastric bypass surgery
    It is a restrictive and derivative surgery in which the volume of the stomach is reduced, thus creating a smaller stomach, from which a bypass is placed to the small intestine.
    The restriction decreases food intake to the small intestine which leads to a decreased absorption of food.
  • Type of surgery and anesthesia:
    The gastric bypass is a major surgery that lasts from 4 to 5 hours under general anaesthesia.
    The patient usually remains in hospital for several days.

BPD: Bilio- Pancreatic Diversion

  • BPD surgery:
    This is a resection surgery which reduces the stomach to 50% -60% of its original size, and whose purpose is to reduce the acidity.
    This is not a restrictive bariatric surgery.
    In a second intervention a derivation of bile and pancreas secretions is performed to create a “bad” intestinal absorption.
  • Type of surgery and anesthesia:
    The BDP is major surgery that lasts from 4 to 5 hours using general anaesthesia.
    The patient usually remains in hospital around 7 days.
    This is normally carried out in two different surgical interventions, with a period of 12 months between the two interventions when performed by laparoscopy.


1- Information and reasons for your bariatric surgery

Within 24 hours of receiving your request for information, we will contact you by e-mail or phone to assess your needs, identify your reasons for surgery and answer your questions directly.

2- Diagnosis and type of weight loss surgery

To begin with we recommend that you visit our Bariatric Surgery Unit In order that the specialist can discuss your case, and decide which kind of Bariatric surgery best suits your particular requirements.

  • Medical records:
    We will send you the list of examinations and medical tests results that we will need to see during your first visit to Vithas Xanit International Hospital. In the event that our doctors deem necessary an additional screening test, this could be carried out during the same visit (except in the case of tests which require anaesthesia in which case they will need to be pre-booked).
    You may send us a copy of your medical information before planning your first visit.
  • Diagnosis:
    The professionals involved in the diagnosis and treatment of obesity will study your medical history, examinations and medical tests, and establish a precise and reliable diagnosis.
    We will help you to choose the bariatric surgery which best suits your individual case.

We will provide you with complete information: treatment process, programming and a detailed quote.

3- Process for Obesity treatment

  • Treatment protocol
    The process and the scheduling of your bariatric surgery depends on your particular case.
  • An assigned medical team.
    Throughout the treatment process, you will always treat with the same team of doctors.

4- Your medical travel

Once your weight loss surgery has been confirmed and accepted, our International Services Team at Vithas Xanit International Hospital will be at your disposal to assist you with the organising of your trip to Malaga and will remain in constant contact with you.

5- Your arrival

Upon your arrival in Malaga, a representative of Vithas Xanit International Hospital will be waiting to greet you. We will help you to organise your transfers and accompany you to our hospital.

6- Follow-up after your bariatric surgery

  • Maintaining contact with you.
    Once you have been discharged, our International Services Team will be at your disposal should you require any further medical assistance, and shall assist you with any administrative requirements you may have.
  • Informing your referring doctor.
    We shall provide you with a full medical report which you can give to your own doctor back home.

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