Patients → A Bariatric Medicine Dictionary

A Glossary to Better Understand the Bariatric Literature

ASBS- American Society for Bariatric Surgery. The only society solely dedicated to the surgical treatment of morbid obesity.

Absorption- Process by which digested food is absorbed by the lower part of the small intestine into the blood stream

Adipose- Fatty; pertaining to fat

Anastomosis- Surgical connection between two structures

Bariatric- Pertaining to weight or weight reduction

BMI- Body Mass Index- Method of calculating degree of excess weight. Based on weight and body surface area

Cardiovascular- Pertaining to heart and blood vessels

Clinically severe obesity- Body Mass Index of 40 or more, which is roughly equivalent to 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight; a weight level that is life risking. Also known as Morbid Obesity

Co-Morbid- Associated illness (i.e., arthritis, hypertension) disabling conditions associated with clinically severe obesity or obesity related health conditions

Colon- Large intestine beginning at the end of the small intestine and ending at the rectum

Contraindications- Any symptom or circumstance indicating the inappropriateness of an otherwise advisable treatment (i.e., alcoholism; drug dependency; severe depression; sociopathic (antisocial) personality disorder)

Criteria- Defines potential candidate for surgery

Digestion- Process by which food is broken down by stomach and upper small intestine into absorbable forms

Dilation- Process of enlarging a passage or anastomosis

Disease- Process injurious to health and/or longevity

Divided Gastric Bypass- Operation providing a tool for management of clinically severe obesity

Dumping syndrome- Uncomfortable feeling of nausea, lightheadedness, upset stomach, diarrhea, associated with ingestion of sweets, high-calorie liquids or dairy products

Duodenum- First 12” of small intestine immediately below stomach. Bile and pancreatic fluids flow into duodenum through ducts from liver and pancreas respectively.

Gastric- Pertaining to stomach

Gastric Bypass- Operation designed to make non-functional a portion of the stomach

Gastrointestinal- Pertaining to stomach or intestine

Gastrojejunostomy anastomosis- Upper connection of the Gastric Bypass operation

Gastroplasty- Operation for morbid obesity which reshapes the stomach

Genetic- Pertains to transmitted hereditary characteristics

Hernia- A weakness in the obdominal wall resulting in a detectable bulge

Herniation- Process in which a hernia is formed

Hyperosmolality- Presence of highly concentrated substances capable of producing dumping syndrome

Hypertension- High blood pressure

Ileum- Ten feet of small intestine, responsible for absorption

Jejunum- Ten feet of small intestine; the part responsible for digestion

Kilogram- Measure of weight equal to 2.2 pounds

Laparoscopy- Method of visualizing and treating intra-abdominal problems with long fiber-optic instruments

Morbid- Pertaining to death

Multidisciplinary- Team approach to evaluation and treatment of clinically severe obesity; includes surgical, internal medicine, nutrition, psychiatric, and exercise physiology assessment and treatment

NIH-National Institute of Health

NIH Consensus Report- Summaries of meetings regarding clinically severe obesity and assessment and treatment of obesity; issued periodically by NIH.

Obesity- Pertaining to excessive weight or adipose tissue

Obstructions- Narrowing of an anastomosis or segment of gastrointestinal tract which retards normal passage of food or waste materials

Psychotherapy- Evaluation and treatment of mentally related disorders

Pulmonary- Pertains to lungs

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass- A surgical method of reconnecting the stomach and upper small intestines in roughly a Y shape

Staples- Surgically sterile devices for connecting tissue; usually permanent and made of stainless steel or titanium

Strictures- Narrowing of anastomosis or section of intestine; often related to scarring or ulcers

Therapy- Treatment

Type II Diabetes- A disorder of glucose and insulin metabolism

VBG- Vertical Banded Gastroplasty: A type of operation to treat clinically severe obesity. Reshapes and restricts the stomach.

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