BACKGROUND: Obesity, defined as a body mass index (weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) greater than 30, has been increasing in incidence over the past 20 years. The treatment of obesity has evolved in concert with this growing obesity epidemic. Bariatric surgery is the only intervention found to consistently induce sustained weight loss that has also decreased the rate of concomitant diseases and mortality in this population. METHODS: The latest literature on the operative details and surgical outcomes of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, biliopancreatic bypass, and adjustable gastric banding procedures are reviewed in this article. RESULTS: Bariatric surgery is effective, safe, and well tolerated. CONCLUSION: Given the increasing incidence of morbid obesity and the effectiveness of bariatric surgery for treating this disease, it will likely continue to increase in popularity.
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