Story by: Sara Thompson on February 16, 2023
Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, includes procedures such as gastric band, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. These operations have proven to be effective treatments for obesity. Additional benefits include normalizing metabolism, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Here are three types of weight loss surgery.
“Each type of weight loss surgery has its own benefits and drawbacks; in general, the criteria to qualify for each surgery are the same.” said Meredith C. Sweeney, M.D., a general, bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon with Norton Surgical Specialists.
Sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve, involves a surgeon removing a large part of the stomach. The part that remains is shaped like a banana and is a fraction of the size of the original stomach. This procedure limits the amount of food you can eat at one time and is almost always done laparoscopically, meaning the surgeon makes only small incisions. After surgery, patients will find that they get full with just a very small meal.
Gastric bypass, also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is a procedure that has been used for over 60 years. In a nutshell, gastric bypass creates a small pouch from your stomach and connects it to the intestines. After surgery, when you eat, the food enters the smaller stomach pouch and then flows directly into the intestines. The surgery usually can be done laparoscopically. Gastric bypass works by limiting the amount of food you can eat and the nutrients that are actually absorbed.
Gastric banding puts a silicone device around the upper part of the stomach, almost like a belt. The band is then connected via tubing to a port under the skin and can be inflated with saline inserted by the surgeon. This surgery works by limiting the amount of food you can eat at one time and by making you feel full with a small amount of food. The band can be adjusted and even removed. This surgery also is done laparoscopically.
“Each surgery comes with its own risks, side effects and results,” Dr. Sweeney said. “It’s important to talk openly with your surgeon so you can make the best choice for you.”
Find out more about weight loss surgery — also called bariatric surgery — or a medically guided weight loss plan.
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