You’ve made the decision to change your life with obesity surgery – great! That is just the first in a series of decisions you will need to make on the road to the new you. The kind of weight loss procedure you choose is an important consideration for you and your doctor.
The type of obesity surgery you choose will depend on a number of factors, including your current health, weight loss goals, your surgeon’s preferences and what your insurance will cover. There are two basic kinds of obesity surgery – restrictive and malabsorptive/restrictive. Restrictive obesity surgeries physically change the size of the stomach to slow digestion. The normal stomach can hold three pints of food, but directly after surgery, it will only hold one ounce of food ophtalmologues Courbevoie.
Malabsorptive/restrictive obesity surgeries are more invasive and change how the body takes in food. These surgeries restrict the stomach size and remove part of the digestive tract, which makes it more difficult to absorb calories. Purely malabsorptive surgeries are no longer used because of side effects associated with them.
Gastric banding surgery – or Bariatric weight loss surgery- is the least invasive kind of surgery and falls under the “restrictive only” category. Bariatric doctors will place in inflatable band around the stomach to create a small upper pouch and lower stomach chamber. Food from the upper stomach will travel through a channel created by the band into the lower chamber. After bariatric surgery, patients can eat 1/2 to one cup of food per meal. LapBand surgery is simpler and safer than other forms of obesity surgery. It is minimally invasive and can be adjusted in a doctor’s office, whereas other weight loss surgery options can only be adjusted with another surgical procedure. The biggest drawback to gastric banding is a less dramatic initial weight loss.
Gastric bypass is one of the most popular forms of obesity surgery. It can be an open surgical procedure or a laparoscopic surgery (a procedure that uses tiny cameras to make smaller incisions). Gastric bypass divides the stomach in two chambers. The surgeon will connect the top chamber directly to the small intestine thereby bypassing the lower stomach and large intestine. Since the food is not digested normally, the body cannot absorb as many calories. People who choose gastric bypass will see dramatic immediate weight loss and improvement in weight-related illnesses, such as diabetes or high cholesterol.
This kind of weight loss surgery is almost irreversible, which means anyone choosing gastric bypass is permanently altering the way they eat and absorb food. Changing the way the body digests food puts the patient at serious risk for nutritional deficiencies. This means the patient will need to take supplements for the remainder of his or her life.
The final form of obesity surgery is the relatively new sleeve gastrectomy. This procedure uses a laparoscopic camera to remove 75 percent of the patient’s stomach. What is left is a narrow sleeve which connects to the intestine. For many people, this is just the first in a long line of surgeries.
Sleeve gastrectomy is less risky than the standard bypass. Patients with a high BMI can experience 40 to 50 percent weight loss in the first three years; while patients with a lower BMI will see more drastic weight loss. The biggest risks of sleeve gastrectomy are leaks in the sleeves and blood clots. Since this is a relatively new procedure, the long-term benefits and risks are not known.
You’ve taken the first step to a healthier life. Now it is time to consult with your doctor and find the right surgery for you. This is an important decision, so whether you choose gastric banding or gastric bypass, talk with the experts and your loved ones. Good luck with your new journey!