The Different Types of Bariatrics Surgery
The number of bariatric surgery procedures, performed to adjust the digestive system to assist with weight loss, has increased in the United States over the last five years. Obesity is tied to life-threatening health issues such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and more. In many cases, losing weight can lower the odds of developing these conditions and even entirely reverse some existing conditions.
Bariatric surgery becomes a viable consideration when diet adjustments and exercise are proven ineffective. While not for everyone, it may be an option for those with a high body mass index (BMI) and who experience serious weight-related health problems.
There are three major refined bariatric surgery types: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric band, and gastric sleeve. To select the right weight-loss procedure, patients will need to speak with a qualified bariatric surgeon to discuss their patient history, conditions, and expectations.
Gastric Sleeve Procedure
A gastric sleeve, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy, divides the stomach into two unequal parts. Approximately 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving behind a banana-shaped sleeve that connects the esophagus to the small intestine. This restricts the amount of food the patient can consume, leading to rapid weight loss.
Patients can expect to lose at least 50% of excess weight 18 to 24 months post-surgery. The gastric sleeve is minimally invasive, leaves behind no foreign restrictive device, and offers a quick recovery time. The gastric sleeve procedure can also be used as a stepping stone for those interested in gastric bypass surgery.
The Lap-Band or the Gastric Band
The Lap-Band®, or gastric band surgery, constricts the stomach by dividing it into a smaller upper stomach and a larger lower one using an inflatable silicone band. The upper stomach passes food through a small channel to the lower, making the patient feel fuller.
Gastric band surgery is a quick, 30-60 minute medical procedure with an average of 40-60% excess weight loss. The band can be removed or reversed, depending on post-surgery progress. The recovery is rapid, and this surgery requires a strict diet, primarily of liquids and soft foods, for six weeks post-surgery.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery, or Roux-en-Y (RNY), is a procedure that reduces food intake and causes the malabsorption of calories and nutrients. This surgery consists of stapling the stomach, making it smaller, and reconnecting the stomach into the small intestine.
In comparison to alternative weight-loss procedures, gastric bypass results in faster weight loss, but is a more complicated, two-step surgery that is difficult to reverse.
With only a 4% risk of major complications, bariatric surgery offers the opportunity for patients to combat obesity-related health complications. When patients diligently follow their doctor’s nutritional and exercise guidelines, they can take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.