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Bariatric and Metabolic resources for a healthier life

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GLOSSARY

Abdominal wall

The muscles and connective tissue that extend from the ribs to the pelvis.

Absorption and malabsorption

Absorption is the process in which digested food is absorbed by the lower part of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Malabsorption means digested food is not fully absorbed by the small intestine, and some of it passes into the large intestine and out of the body.

Adipose

Fatty; having to do with fat.

Adjustment

A simple procedure in which saline is added to or removed from an adjustable gastric band in an effort to control the restriction of the band on the stomach. Adding saline (also called a "fill") will tighten the band to increase the amount of restriction, so patients feel full sooner and stay satisfied longer with less food than before the adjustment.

Anastomosis

A surgical connection between two structures.

Band fill

A procedure in which saline is added to an adjustable gastric band in an effort to increase the restriction of the band on the stomach. A fill will tighten the band to increase the amount of restriction at the stoma, allowing the patient to feel full sooner and stay satisfied longer with less food than before the fill.

Bariatric

Having to do with weight or weight reduction.

Bariatric program

The team may include your bariatric surgeon, primary care physician, psychological counselor, dietitian, weight management center, nutritionist, and fitness expert.

Bariatric surgery

Weight loss surgery.

Barium

A compound that shows up on x-ray and fluoroscopy. When you swallow a drink that contains barium sulfate, a fluoroscope tracks the barium’s path through your digestive system.

Barrett’s esophagus

A condition in the esophagus that is associated with an increased risk for esophageal cancer.

Biocompatible

A material that is not harmful or toxic to living tissue.

Body mass index (BMI)

A method of figuring out the degree of excess weight. A person’s BMI is calculated based on weight and height.

Carbon dioxide gas

A natural gas in the atmosphere that is also exhaled by humans.

Cardiovascular

Having to do with the heart and blood vessels.

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.

Chronic pancreatitis

Ongoing inflammation of the pancreas that changes the normal structure and function of the pancreas.

Cirrhosis of the liver

A consequence of ongoing liver disease causing damage and scarring in the liver that leads to the loss of liver function.

Clinically severe obesity

Defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, which is roughly equal to 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight; a weight level that is life threatening. Also known as severe obesity.

Clinicians

Healthcare professionals such as surgeons, physicians, nurses, dietitians, or x-ray technicians.

Colon

The large intestine that begins at the end of the small intestine and ends at the rectum.

Comorbid

Illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or disabling conditions related to clinically severe obesity or obesity-related health conditions.

Contraindications

Any symptom or situation that might put you at increased risk for an otherwise recommended treatment, or situations where the risks are greater than the benefits that would be gained from surgery. Potential contraindications for bariatric surgery include severe heart or lung disease, cirrhosis of the liver, or chronic pancreatitis.

Criteria

The medical guidelines that help to indicate whether weight loss surgery is an appropriate option.

Deep vein thrombosis

A blood clot.

Digestion

The process in which food is broken down by the stomach and small intestine and absorbed by the body.

Dilation

The process of enlarging or further opening a passage or anastomosis.

Disease

A condition that is a hazard to health or longevity.

Dumping syndrome

An uncomfortable feeling of nausea, lightheadedness, upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea, related to ingestion of sweets, fatty foods, high-calorie liquids, or dairy products by gastric bypass patients.

Duodenum

The first 12 inches of small intestine immediately below the stomach. Bile and pancreatic fluids flow into the duodenum through ducts from the liver and pancreas.

Esophageal dysmotility

Inability of the esophagus to move properly, making it difficult to swallow.

Fluoroscopy

A video image similar to an x-ray that shows real-time movement of internal organs.

Gastric

Having to do with the stomach.

Gastric bypass surgery

A weight loss operation that restricts food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs. In this procedure, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch and attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine. Having a smaller stomach pouch causes a person to feel full sooner and eat less; bypassing part of the small intestine means the body absorbs fewer calories.

Gastrointestinal

Having to do with the stomach or intestine.

Gastrojejunostomy anastomosis

A step in gastric bypass surgery, in which the small intestine is connected to the small upper stomach pouch.

Gastroplasty

A surgical operation for severe obesity that changes the shape of the stomach.

Genetic

Having to do with inherited physical characteristics.

Healthcare team

The team may include your bariatric surgeon, primary care physician, psychological counselor, dietitian, nutritionist, weight management center, and fitness expert.

Hemoglobin

The protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the lungs and tissue.

Hernia

A weakness in the abdominal wall that allows some of the internal organs to protrude out of the abdominal cavity.

Herniation

The process in which a hernia is formed.

Hiatal hernia

A condition in which the stomach bulges into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm.

Hypertension

High blood pressure.

Ideal fill level

The amount of saline that needs to be added to an adjustable gastric band to ensure that the patient is able to lose weight at a satisfactory rate without experiencing uncomfortable side effects. The ideal fill level varies from patient to patient, and from one adjustment to the next.

Ileum

The 10 feet of small intestine that handle absorption.

Incision

A surgical cut made in the skin and underlying tissue.

Jejunum

The 10 feet of small intestine that handle digestion.

Kilogram

A measure of weight equal to 2.2 pounds.

Laparoscopic surgery

Minimally invasive surgery in the abdomen.

Laparoscopy

A surgical method that allows a doctor to see and treat intra-abdominal problems with long-handled instruments and a fiber-optic camera.

Mean

The arithmetic average; also called the arithmetic mean.

Minimally invasive

A surgical procedure that involves small incisions in the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery usually means a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures. Most bariatric surgeons prefer the laparoscopic approach to weight loss surgery.

Morbid

Having to do with disease, illness, and a higher risk of death.

Morbid obesity

A condition in which the body mass index is 40 or more, which is roughly equal to 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight; a weight level that is life-threatening.

Mortality

Having to do with death.

Multidisciplinary bariatric program

A team approach to testing and treatment of clinically severe obesity; includes surgery, nutrition counseling, psychological evaluation, and exercise physiology.

NIH

The National Institutes of Health, the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research.

NIH surgical criteria

The National Institutes of Health has established guidelines for deciding whether bariatric surgery is the right treatment option. According to these guidelines, weight loss surgery may be an option for people who are:

  • 100 pounds or more above their ideal body weight and have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or a BMI over 35 in addition to serious comorbid conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
  • At least 18 years old.

Obesity

A condition in which a person’s BMI is 30 or more, which leads to increased risk of obesity-related illnesses.

Obstructions

Narrowing of an anastomosis or a part of the gastrointestinal tract that slows down the normal passage of food or waste.

Percent of excess weight loss (%EWL)

A number that evaluates weight loss over a period of time. The number is calculated in two steps:
1. Dividing actual weight loss by ideal weight,
2. Multiplying by 100.

Portal hypertension

High blood pressure in the large vein that carries blood from the digestive tract to the liver (portal vein); often occurs as a result of cirrhosis.

Psychotherapy

Treatment of mentally related disorders.

Pulmonary

Having to do with the lungs. Pulmonary embolism: a sudden blockage of a lung artery by material circulating in the blood, most often a blood clot from a deep vein in the lungs or pelvis.

Regurgitate

To cause a backward flow of food from the upper stomach (vomiting).

Restriction

The tightening of an adjustable gastric band around the stoma.

Saline

A safe fluid that is used to fill an adjustable gastric band balloon and increase or decrease restriction around the stomach.

Septum

A sturdy silicone layer located at the top of the injection port.

Silicone

A solid, soft, and flexible man-made material that does not contain gels or fluids.

Sleeve gastrectomy

A weight loss operation that decreases the size of the stomach, limiting the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. During the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device. The sleeve is about the size of a banana. As a result, patients feel fuller sooner and stay satisfied longer. Sleeve gastrectomy allows for normal digestion and absorption.

Staples

Surgically sterile devices for connecting tissue; usually they are permanent and made of stainless steel or titanium.

Stoma

The location where the band is wrapped around the stomach. This placement creates a tight junction (passage) between the upper and lower stomach chambers.

Stoma obstruction

Stoma blockage.

Strictures

Narrowing of an anastomosis or a section of intestine; often related to scarring or ulcers.

Summary Plan Description

Employers with self-funded health insurance plans are legally required to provide this document to their beneficiaries. The document provides plan participants important information about their health benefits. This includes what is covered, financial information, and information on the operation and management of the plan. The information contained in the Summary Plan Description is similar to what is found in the Certificate of Coverage provided by the health insurance company.

Type 2 diabetes

Most common form of diabetes that causes an abnormally high level of sugar, or glucose, to build up in the blood.

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