The Different Weight Loss Surgery Options

Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, a surgery performed on obese people. The surgery involves the reduction of the person’s stomach through a medical device, the removal of part of the person’s stomach, or the re-routing of the small intestines to small stomach pouches. According to long-term studies, weight loss surgical procedures not only help in long-term weight loss, but they also help in recovery from diabetes, improve the cardiovascular risk factor, and reduce mortality from 40% to 23%. As this explanation shows, there are different weight loss surgical procedures.

You could go for predominantly malabsorptive surgical procedures, predominantly restrictive procedures, and mixed procedures. Although predominantly malabsorptive surgical procedures reduce the size of the stomach, these procedures are mostly focused on the creation of malabsorption.

One of the most popular malabsorptive surgical procedures is biliopancreatic diversion (BPD), also called the Scopinaro procedure. Although the original form of the procedure is rarely performed since it led to malnourishment issues, the modified duodenal switch (BPD/DS) is widely used. The procedure involves the resecting of part of the stomach to reduce its size. The pouch is then connected to the distal of the small intestines, effectively bypassing the jejunum and the duodenum. Jejunoileal bypass is an old malabsorptive surgical procedure that is no longer widely performed. A promising malabsorptive surgical procedure is the planting of an endoluminal sleeve in the intestines.

Predominantly restrictive surgical procedures work by reducing oral intake through the reduction of the gastric volume. Vertical banded gastroplasty (stomach stapling or Mason procedure) is one such procedure. The procedure involves the permanent stapling of part of the stomach to create a pre-stomach pouch to act as the new stomach. Restriction can also be achieved through the creation of a silicone band. This band is adjustable through the addition or the removal of saline. A port is placed under the skin for this purpose. This weight loss surgery is commonly known as the lap band procedure and is widely popular. Another restrictive surgical procedure is sleeve gastrectomy, also called gastric sleeve.

The procedure involves the surgical removal of part of the stomach around the major curves to reduce to approximately 15% of its original size. The open edges are attached together through sutures, surgical staples or both to leave the stomach with a tubular, banana, or sleeve shape. Gastric plication is similar to this procedure, the major difference being that the sleeve is created through suturing and not the removal of tissue from the stomach.

The last of the restrictive surgical procedures is intragastric balloon (or gastric balloon), which involves the placing of deflated balloons into stomachs and filling them to decrease the gastric space. The balloon can be left in place for up to 6 months. This is a popular option, but note that it has not yet received FDA approval.

You can go for a mixed weight loss surgical procedure such as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, which borrows heavily from the gastric bypass weight loss surgery. Another popular option is sleeve gastrectomy with duodenal switch, which is a variation of biliopancreatic diversion.

When going for weight loss surgery, note that there are several procedures that you could choose from. Knowing what each procedure entails will help you make an informed decision.

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