Bariatric Surgery Procedures
Weight loss surgery is the only long-term effective weight loss option for those suffering from obesity and morbid obesity. As such, the goal of weight loss surgery is to live a better, healthier and longer life. Most patients enjoy an improvement in health and obesity-related conditions (such as mobility, self-image and self-esteem). Learn more about the benefits of weight loss surgery.
There are two basic ways that bariatric surgery works to help patients lose weight and improve or resolve obesity-related health conditions:
- Malabsorptive procedures that alter digestion, causing the food to be incompletely digested and absorbed so that it is eliminated in the stool.
- Restrictive procedures that limit food intake.
During this surgery, the surgeon creates a small, sleeve-shaped stomach pouch by cutting the stomach along the greater curvature. It is larger than the stomach pouch created during gastric bypass: about the size of a banana. The sleeve gastrectomy was historically considered a treatment option for bariatric surgery patients with a BMI of 60 or higher and was often performed as the first part in a two-procedure treatment, the second part being duodenal switch.
More recently it has been performed successfully as a standalone surgery and is now the most popular bariatric surgery in the United States.
According the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health, Roux-en-Y (pronounced Roo-en-why) gastric bypass surgery is the second most popular weight loss surgery in the United States.
Gastric Bypass, in most cases, offers average excess weight loss after surgery that is greater than purely restrictive procedures and has excellent results in reducing or eliminating co-morbidities (the diseases associated with obesity), especially type-2 diabetes and GERD/chronic acid reflux. This is because the gastric bypass combines both restrictive and malabsorptive techniques.
Gastric banding (also known as LAP-BAND®) is a restrictive bariatric procedure in which a silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach. This band divides the stomach into two portions: one small and one larger. Since the stomach is divided into smaller parts, most patients feel full faster and therefore tend to lose weight. The band is connected to a small tube and reservoir positioned under the skin that allows the surgeon to adjust the diameter of the band by making it tighter or looser, depending on the patient’s individual degree of restriction. The band can be adjusted after surgery.
You should make the decision to have weight loss surgery only after careful consideration and consultation with an experienced bariatric surgeon or a knowledgeable family physician. However, the decision to have a surgical weight loss procedure is entirely up to you. After having heard all the information, you must decide if the benefits outweigh the side effects and potential physical and emotional complications. This surgery is only a tool. Your ultimate success depends on your adherence to the recommended dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes.