Bariatric surgery procedures have become a necessary and effective weight loss strategy for many people around the world. The need for weight loss surgery and modern changes in medical research have brought about several bariatric surgery procedures that are safe with successful results. Not all surgical procedures are appropriate for everyone.
Finding and selecting the best bariatric surgery procedure for your current body, lifestyle, weight loss goals, and health can make a huge difference. These are the various bariatric surgery procedures that are currently offered at bariatric centers around the world.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery (also referred to as vertical sleeve gastrectomy) is the process of removing up to 85% of the stomach leaving behind a sleeve-like stomach. This remaining sleeve-like stomach makes it more difficult to hold large amounts of food, thereby reducing the food intake of the individual. It also means that the person will feel full faster and will have less of an appetite.
This procedure leaves the stomach fully functional except for the reduction in space. The reduced amount of calories and smaller appetite translate into weight loss for most patients. The recovery time for this bariatric surgery procedure is between two and three weeks with a 48-hour stay in the hospital. Taking it easy is important after surgery and making sure to seek follow-up care.
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Gastric Bypass Surgery
A Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a bariatric surgery procedure that divides the stomach into two parts, an upper pouch, and a larger bottom pouch. This long term weight loss procedure can be accomplished laparoscopically or through traditional surgery. Once the stomach is surgically separated into two parts, the gastric bypass procedure is completed as the small pouch is connected to the lower part of the small intestine. The gastric bypass process is referred to as Roux-en-Y.
Having gastric bypass surgery creates a direct path for the food to the jejunum (lower intestine) preventing much of the calories and nutrients from being absorbed by the body. This is referred to as malabsorptive. The patient does not have enough room to hold a large amount of food. They will not absorb the calories and nutrients from the food that causes weight gain.
The recovery time includes two or three days in the hospital and between two and three weeks of easy going. This procedure is not reversible.
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Lap-Band Surgery (Gastric Banding)
Lap-Band, also referred to as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) is the process of laparoscopically putting a belt around the upper part of the stomach making it smaller and reducing the size o the intake section of the stomach. The patient’s stomach can hold only a small amount of food. The band is made from silicone and has a balloon in it that changes the tightness of the belt.
The doctor can make adjustments as needed in order to reach the right size for your stomach and your situation. In many cases, several adjustments will be required. This bariatric surgery procedure is reversible. The typical recovery time is one week to return to work and six weeks to return to normal activity.
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Duodenal Switch Surgery
A duodenal switch surgery is both a malabsorptive and restrictive bariatric surgery procedure. Through a reduced amount of food brought into the body and a reduced-calorie count absorbed from the food that does make it into the body, weight loss is typically reached. During the procedure, a surgeon reduces the size of the stomach by removing a portion of it and sewing up the remaining section.
Next, the surgeon creates a bypass from the newly created smaller stomach to the lowest portion of the small intestine. This means that the food ingested goes directly to the last stage of processing. The calories and nutrients are not fully absorbed into the body. The recovery time for this weight loss surgery is typically between two and three weeks.
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Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery
A mini gastric bypass is similar in end results to a gastric bypass or Roux-en-Y procedure but was created to be a faster and less invasive process. The bariatric surgeon uses laparoscopic techniques for the mini gastric bypass surgery.
Surgeon staples a new stomach that is shaped like a tube, from the old much larger stomach. A portion of the small intestine is directly joined to the newly created tube. It typically bypasses up to 6 feet of the small intestine.
This means that the stomach will have less room than before to hold food and that the food will go directly from the stomach to the small intestine on a much shorter trip. There will be less absorption of the calories and nutrients contained in the food. The hospital stay is only a day or two after the mini-gastric bypass surgery procedure. Most patients find their recovery time to be about one week.
Gastric Balloon Surgery
Gastric balloon surgery is a minimally invasive procedure to help patients lose weight. A silicone balloon goes into the stomach through the mouth. Then it is either filled with air or saline. The size of the balloon once filled is about the same as a good size orange.
The result is that the patient has the feeling of being fuller than they are and will reduce the amount of food that they eat, thereby losing weight. This procedure is popular as a temporary way for patients to get to a goal weight and manage their eating habits. It is reversible and there is virtually no recovery time for the process. This is often a good option for those individuals that are not yet obese, but that is on their way.
Choosing the Best Weight Loss Surgery
Choosing the right bariatric surgery procedure can seem overwhelming and should be carefully discussed with a physician. It is important to remember that in most cases a major lifestyle change is necessary for complete and long-lasting weight loss success. Learning about healthy nutrition and exercise is vital to making headway in weight loss efforts. You may be asked to participate in some support groups in order to ensure you are getting the most out of your weight loss surgery and your efforts.