Bariatric surgery

  • An umbrella term for different types of surgery used in the treatment of obesity. Procedures can be divided into restrictive, mal-absorptive and combination procedures (restrictive and mal-absorptive)


  • A calculation of weight (in Kg) divided by height squared (in meters). BMI is used by healthcare professionals to subdivide obesity into various categories that help them organise treatment.

Bypass surgery

  • Surgical techniques used to bypass a structure. In obestiy, this entails bypassing a variable portion of bowel. This results in a degree of malabsorption that is intended to aid weight loss.

Central adiposity

  • Fat tissue around the abdominal organs. This type of fat tissue is believed to be more harmful to patients than subcutaneous adiposity.


  • Medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure that are associated with the main condition; in this case with obesity.

Eating disorder

  • In the context of obesity this refers to an abnormal pattern of eating that contributes to weight gain

Gastric balloon

  • The positioning of a balloon, filled with saline, into the stomach. This is a restrictive procedure used in the treatment of obesity.

Gastric banding

  • The positioning of a adjustable band around the stomach, such that the stomach cavity is reduced in volume. This is a restrictive procedure used in the treatment of obesity.


  • A patient with a BMI greater than 25kg/m2

Obstructive sleep apnoea

  • A condition in which there is repeated collapse of the airways during sleep that results in disturbed sleep. Obesity increases the risk of this condition.

Subcutaneous adiposity

  • Fat tissue under the skin.

Waist-hip ratio

  • The ratio of the circumference of the waist to the circumference at the hips. Waste to hip ratios differ between men and women. An increased waist to hip ratio may indicate more central adiposity. 

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