Weight Loss Surgery Glossary

Absorption – The process whereby food gets absorbed by the lower portion of the small intestine and then into the body’s bloodstream.

Adipose – Pertains to fat, fatty.

Anastomosis – Two structures that are surgically connected.

Bariatric – Pertains to weight reduction or weight

BMI – Short for Body Mass Index.  It is a method to calculate excess weight.  It is based on body surface area and weight.

Cardiovascular – Pertains to the blood vessels and heart.

Clinically severe obesity – A BMI of 40 or higher, which is the equivalent of 45.4 kg or higher over one’s ideal body weight.  Morbid Obesity, or a level of weight that puts life at risk.

Co-Morbid – Disabling conditions and illnesses that are associated with health conditions related to obesity or clinically severe obesity.

Colon – The large intestine that starts where the small intestine ends and ends where the rectum starts.

Contraindications – Any circumstance or symptom that indicate the inappropriateness of a treatment that is otherwise advisable (i.e., sociopathic personality disorder (antisocial); drug dependency; alcoholism).

Criteria – Defines potential surgery candidate

Digestion – Process where food gets broken down into absorbable forms by the upper small intestine and stomach.

Dilation – Anastomosis or process of a passage becoming enlarged.

Disease – Process that is injurious to longevity and/or health.

Divided Gastric Bypass – Operation for clinically severe obesity to be managed.

Dumping Syndrome – Uncomfortable feelings of diarrhea, upset stomach, lightheadness and nausea that area associated with consuming dairy products, high calorie liquids or sweets.

Duodenum – The initial 30cm of the small intestine that is right under the stomach.  Pancreatic fluids and bile flow into the duodenum via the ducts from the pancreas and liver respectively.

Gastric – Pertains to the stomach.

Gastric Banding – An operation where the stomach size is restricted through putting in a band device around the stomach’s upper portion.

Gastric Bypass – An operation that is designed to make part of the stomach non-functional.

Gastrointestinal – Pertains to the intestine or stomach.

Gastroplasty – Operation where the stomach is reshaped in cases of morbid obesity.

Genetic – Pertains to the transmission of characteristics that are hereditary.

Hernia – An abdominal wall weakness that results in a bulge that is noticeable.

Herniation – Formation of a hernia.

Hyperosmolality – The presence of very concentrated substances that can result in dumping syndrome being produced.

Hypertension – Refers to high blood pressure

Ileum – The part of the small intestine that is responsible for digestion; ten feet in length.

Laparoscopy – A procedure using long fiber-optic instruments used to visualise and treat intra-abdominal issues.

Morbid – Increase risk of death due to illness or disease.

Morbid Obesity – BMI of 40 or higher.  This is equivalent roughly to 45 kilograms or higher over one’s body weight; life risking weight level.

Mortality – Pertains to death.

Multidisciplinary – Refers to a team approach to evaluating and treating clinically severe obesity.  It includes exercise physiology, psychiatric, nutrition, internal medicine and surgical assessments and treatment methods.

Obesity – Pertains to adipose tissue or excess weight.

Obstructions – Narrowing of part of the gastrointestinal tract or anastomosis which retards the normal passage of waste materials or food.

Psychotherapy – Evaluating and treating mentally related disorders and conditions.

Pulmonary – Pertaining to the lungs

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass – Refers to the surgical method where the upper small intestines and stomach are reconnected in a Y-like shape.

Staples – devices that are surgically sterile and used to connect tissue; made from titanium or stainless steel and usually are permanent.

Strictures – Narrowing of a section of the intestines or anastomosis; often related to ulcers or scarring.

Therapy – A type of treatment

VBG – Short for Vertical Banded Gastroplasty; a kind of operation for treating clincally severe obesity.  Restricts and reshapes the stomach.