Weight-loss (Bariatric) Surgery
View or Print All Sections
Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is an operation that makes changes to the digestive system. It is intended for people who have obesity and need to lose weight but have not been able to do so through other means.
Weight-loss surgery can have immediate and later-emerging side effects, and it may require follow-up procedures.
Weight-loss surgery may be an option for adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more or a BMI of 35 or more with a serious health problem linked to obesity.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.
Related Diseases & Conditions
The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract—also called the digestive tract—and the liver, pancreas, and the gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus.
See more about obesity research at NIDDK.
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.
The NIDDK would like to thank:
Anita P. Courcoulas, M.D., University of Pittsburgh, and Thomas Inge, M.D. Ph.D., Children’s Hospital of Colorado