Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery is currently the only long-term effective solution for obesity and morbid obesity. Of course, we all want to lose weight using diet and exercise alone, but a combination of factors makes this kind of weight loss merely temporary for over 95% of patients. On the other hand, between 70 and 90% of weight loss surgery patients maintain a significant amount of weight loss many years after their procedure.
Surgery works in several ways. Restrictive surgical procedures, such as the gastric sleeve physically reduce the size of the stomach pouch, allowing less food to be consumed with every meal and enhancing satiety. Other procedures such as the gastric bypass use a combination of restriction and malabsorption – where part of the intestine is bypassed – to add yet another layer of weight loss function. The gastric sleeve may also reduce feelings of hunger hormonally, by removing the fundus of the stomach which is a production center for the hunger hormone known as ghrelin.
Below, explore the various surgical procedures available for patients looking to have bariatric surgery:
Gastric sleeve: The gastric sleeve is a straightforward procedure that removes approximately 80% of the existing stomach along the greater curvature, resulting in fewer hunger pangs and earlier satiety. The gastric sleeve is currently the most popular bariatric surgical procedure in the United States and offers between 65 and 80% excess body weight loss. Learn more about the gastric sleeve.
Gastric bypass: The gastric bypass is a combination restrictive and malabsorptive procedure that both reduces the size of the stomach and bypasses a portion of the small intestine. Considered the gold standard in bariatric surgery, the bypass is particularly suitable for those who have had difficulty controlling type-2 diabetes or acid reflux. Patients can expect to lose between 70 and 85% of their excess body weight. Learn more about the gastric bypass.
Gastric Balloon: The balloon involves one or more saline or air-filled pouches placed in the stomach and then inflated via endoscopic means or swallowed in pill form. The balloon takes up space in the stomach and reduces the amount of food patient can eat. Balloons are temporary and must be removed from the stomach within six months. Patients are concurrently trained on improved eating habits and portion control for up to a year. Patients can expect up to 25 to 35% excess body weight loss. Learn more about the gastric balloon.
The Lap-Band or Gastric Band: The adjustable gastric band, also known as the Lap-Band, is a small band-like device that wraps around the top of the stomach and tightens to slow the movement of food from the smaller, upper chamber into the main stomach pouch. The Lap-Band requires no alteration of the gastrointestinal system, but long-term data shows significant complication risk, and as a result, the band is no longer used in our practice. Learn more about revising a gastric band.
Revision Surgery: Revisional bariatric surgery is performed when the primary weight loss procedure has not performed as expected and lifestyle changes are insufficient to improve the patient’s circumstance. If patients are having significant complications, or if they have not lost enough weight, a revision allows us to restart the weight loss process. Most commonly, gastric bands / Lap-Bands are revised to gastric sleeve or gastric bypass procedures. Learn more about revisional bariatric surgery.