Weight loss surgery is one of the best ways to kickstart rapid weight loss and get started on a new, healthy life. There are several procedures available for you to choose, but not all of them are recommended for everyone.
So which weight loss procedure is right for you, and how should you decide which procedure to choose? You’ll learn all this and more in this article.
Want to learn more about weight loss surgery? Take a look at this guide to bariatric surgery.
Types of Procedures
Procedures generally come in one of two forms: restrictive and malabsorptive. Restrictive procedures make it so that you can’t eat as much food. Malabsorptive procedures make it so that your body isn’t able to digest as much of the calories that you consume. Some procedures use both methods to spur weight loss.
Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y gastric Bypass)
Gastric bypass works by isolating a small area of the stomach and turning it into a pouch where food can be stored and digested. The remaining stomach is then connected to a lower area of the small intestine in order to reduce fat absorption. This procedure was the first widely available bariatric surgery and is still performed by almost all bariatric surgeons today.
Gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy)
Gastric sleeve removes a large portion of the stomach and reshapes it so that it looks like a sleeve, hence the name. The portions removed include portions that make ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger. This is a newer procedure that is typically less costly than the gastric bypass, but trials have found it to be similarly effective.
Biliopancreatic diversion/Duodenal switch (BPD/DS)
This procedure is actually a combination of two procedures that, in recent years, are typically done together. It’s a complex procedure that reshapes the stomach into a sleeve and completely reroutes the digestive system by creating a gastric limb made up of the reshaped stomach and a small portion of the small intestine. This procedure is the most effective for weight loss, but puts the patient at higher risk of malnutrition.
Adjustable gastric band
The adjustable gastric band, also referred to the Lap-Band (a trademark owned by Apollo Endosurgery), is a purely restrictive procedure that is also reversible and adjustable. This procedure involves putting a band around the stomach to restrict its size. The band can be adjusted by a surgeon in case of discomfort or inadequate weight loss.
The intragastric balloon is a temporary procedure that restricts the amount of food a patient can eat. A balloon is inserted in the stomach and filled with a saline solution through a catheter down the throat. Gastric balloons are typically meant to be removed after six months. These are sold under the brand names Orbera, Obalon, and several others.
Which Procedure Is Right For Me?
The first thing you should understand is that the adjustable gastric band and the gastric balloon are reversible procedures, while gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and BPD/DS surgeries are not. Revision surgery is available for those who undergo these procedures but are unhappy with their weight loss results.
Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are typically recommended over the other procedures. Your surgeon will recommend one procedure over another depending on their expertise and your own body physiology. BPD/DS surgery is the most effective at producing weight loss, but is generally reserved for extremely obese patients, as it is a complex procedure that has bigger risks.
Your surgeon will recommend a type of procedure that they believe is best for you. Different surgeons will give you different opinions, so if you are unsure about a particular procedure, you can always find a different surgeon and ask what they recommend.
But before you decide to see a doctor, check out this article about Who Qualifies For Weight Loss Surgery.
If you need weight loss surgery, West Texas Bariatrics serves Lubbock and several other communities in West TX.