Bariatric Surgery. History and development
Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of obesity. The history of bariatrics can be traced back to ancient Greece, where obesity was recognized as a medical condition and was treated with a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes.
In the 20th century, the study of obesity and its treatment began to gain more attention from the medical community. The first modern bariatric surgery was performed in 1954, and since then, various surgical procedures have been developed to treat obesity.
In the 1960s and 1970s, researchers began to study the effects of diet and exercise on weight loss. This led to the development of popular diet programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, which emphasized calorie restriction and portion control.
In the 1980s and 1990s, pharmaceutical companies began to develop drugs for the treatment of obesity. However, many of these drugs had serious side effects and were eventually withdrawn from the market.
In recent years, bariatric surgery has become an increasingly popular and effective treatment for obesity.
Procedures such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and adjustable gastric banding have been shown to result in significant weight loss and improved health outcomes for patients.
The first modern bariatric surgery.
The first modern bariatric surgery was called “intestinal bypass” or “jejunoileal bypass,” and it was performed in the 1950s. This procedure involved bypassing a large portion of the small intestine, which restricted the amount of food that could be absorbed by the body. However, the procedure had significant complications and was eventually abandoned in favor of safer and more effective surgeries.
In the 1960s, the first gastric bypass surgery was performed by Dr. Edward Mason and Dr. Chikashi Ito. This surgery involved creating a small stomach pouch and connecting it directly to the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. This procedure became known as the “Roux-en-Y gastric bypass,” and it remains one of the most common bariatric surgeries performed today.
In the 1980s, the first gastric banding surgery was developed. This procedure involved placing an adjustable silicone band around the upper portion of the stomach, which could be tightened or loosened to control the amount of food that could be eaten. This surgery was less invasive than gastric bypass surgery and had fewer complications, making it a popular choice for patients who were not good candidates for more invasive procedures.
In the 2000s, the gastric sleeve surgery was developed. This procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving behind a narrow tube or “sleeve” that restricts the amount of food that can be eaten. This surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years and is now one of the most common bariatric surgeries performed worldwide.
Tijuana, a city in Mexico located near the US border, began to be known for bariatric surgeries in the early 2000s. This was due to several factors, including the high cost of bariatric surgery in the United States, the proximity of Tijuana to major US cities such as San Diego, and the presence of highly skilled bariatric surgeons in the city.
As word spread about the availability of affordable and high-quality bariatric surgery in Tijuana, more and more patients began to travel to the city to undergo these procedures. Today, Tijuana is a popular destination for medical tourism, with many clinics and hospitals offering bariatric surgery and other medical procedures at a fraction of the cost of similar procedures in the United States.
Developments in bariatric surgery since 2005:
- Laparoscopic surgery: Laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery became the standard approach for many bariatric procedures, allowing for smaller incisions, less pain, and faster recovery times compared to traditional open surgery.
2. Single-incision surgery: Some bariatric surgeons began to perform single-incision surgery, in which the entire surgery is performed through a single small incision in the belly button, resulting in even less scarring and faster recovery times.
3. New surgical procedures: Several new bariatric procedures were developed, including the duodenal switch, the gastric plication, and the intragastric balloon. These procedures offer different approaches to weight loss and can be tailored to the specific needs of individual patients.
4. Revision surgery: Revision surgery, or surgery to revise or repair a previous bariatric surgery, became more common as more patients who had undergone bariatric surgery in the past sought additional weight loss or experienced complications.
5. Improved outcomes: Overall, bariatric surgery has become safer and more effective over the years, with lower complication rates, shorter hospital stays, and improved long-term weight loss outcomes.
Among other big improvements, all bariatric surgeries have been developed thanks to the technology that we have nowadays as researchers and clinicians work to develop new treatments and interventions for obesity.
Because it is always in constant development, it is important to make sure that the facility and surgeon that you chose to have your surgery with, are prepared and in constant updates as Dr. Hidalgo from Hidalgo Bariatrics suggests.
“You never finish studying, it’s very important to keep on learning and always look forward for new techniques that will make the procedure even more effective and safer for each patient depending on the technique or procedure they are looking for, as well as getting to know when is the right moment to stop performing old techniques, such as the lapband…”