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Bariatric surgery glossary

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Glossaries

Term Definition
Absorption
The process in which vitamins, minerals, and calories are absorbed by the lower part of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Ninety percent of digestion and absorption occurs in the small intestine.
Adipose
Fatty, connective tissue made up mainly of fat cells.
Bariatric
The medical term used to describe the field of medicine associated with causing, preventing, and treating obesity and excess weight.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
A measurement of body fat based on a person’s height and weight that is used to screen individuals for health problems related to weight.
Certificate of Coverage
A document provided by a health insurance company that describes the details of the plan’s policy, including requirements for eligibility, benefits, deductibles, maximums, and exclusions of coverage.
Colon
The part of the large intestine that starts at the end of the small intestine and ends at the rectum.
Comorbidity
The presence of at least two additional chronic diseases or health conditions that exist as a result of a primary disease or disorder in a patient. For example, obesity can cause a patient to develop type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Dumping Syndrome
A group of symptoms that occur when the undigested contents of your stomach move too rapidly into your small intestine. Common symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Occurs most frequently in patients who have had gastric bypass surgery.
Duodenum
The first 12 inches of small intestine located immediately below the stomach. Bile and pancreatic fluids flow into the duodenum from the liver and pancreas.
Excess Weight
Excess weight is the difference between a patient’s actual weight and a healthy weight, often determined using BMI measurements.
Fill
This term refers to the process in which a bariatric surgeon injects saline solution into a gastric band such as the LAP-BAND or REALIZE Band. A fill will further tighten the band around the upper portion of a patient’s stomach. Gastric banding patients are expected to visit the clinic on a routine basis to adjust their bands as necessary, either to add or remove fluid to meet their needs.
Fully Insured Plan
A type of health insurance plan in which the employer pays a monthly premium for a standardized health plan from an insurance company that assumes all risk and cost involved. The insurance company generally makes coverage decisions and must abide by state and federal regulations.
Gastric
A medical term used to describe processes and functions related to the stomach.
Gastric Banding Surgery
A restrictive type of weight-loss surgery in which a silicone band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach to create a small stomach pouch. The band is then filled with saline solution through a tiny port in the patient’s abdominal region, and can be tightened or adjusted periodically to make the stomach pouch smaller. Weight loss occurs as a result of the patient eating smaller portion sizes.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
A type of bariatric surgery in which a portion of the stomach is cut away to result in a smaller stomach pouch, and in which the small intestine is rerouted in a manner to prevent the body from absorbing calories that contribute to weight gain. Gastric bypass surgery is considered both a restrictive and malabsorptive form of weight-loss surgery.
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