Bariatric Surgery: Which Type Is Best for You?
Do you struggle with obesity? If so, bariatric surgery may be the right option for you. Bariatric surgery is a type of weight-loss surgery that is designed to help people with obesity achieve significant and sustained weight loss. The goal of the procedure is to reduce the size of the stomach and/or rearrange the digestive tract to reduce the amount of food that can be ingested and digested.
But with so many bariatric surgery types available, how do you know which one is best for you? Here, we review different types of bariatric surgeries, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to decide which one is right for you.
Types of Bariatric Surgeries:
1. Gastric Banding. Also known as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), this procedure involves the use of an adjustable band placed around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small, pouch-like stomach, causing the patient to feel full faster. Gastric banding surgery is reversible and adjustable, so doctors can control the amount of restriction around the patient’s stomach.
2. Gastric Bypass. This is a more involved procedure wherein the stomach is divided into two sections: a small upper part and a larger lower part. The smaller upper stomach is connected directly to the small intestine and cannot hold large amounts of food, causing the patient to eat less. This procedure is more effective for weight loss than gastric banding and is permanent.
3. Sleeve Gastrectomy.Also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), this procedure involves the removal of about 75% of the stomach. What’s left is a tube-shaped “sleeve” of stomach, reducing the amount of hunger-producing hormones produced. It’s also more effective than gastric banding and is permanent.
What Are the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery has a number of benefits, including the following:
- Significant and sustained weight loss.
- Reduction of obesity-related health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and certain types of diabetes.
- Longer life expectancy.
- Improved quality of life.
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
How to Choose the Right Bariatric Surgery for You
Choosing the right bariatric surgery for you is an important and personal decision. Speak to your doctor about the risks, benefits and expected outcomes of each procedure. During your consultation, have your BMI and medical history assessed to determine whether you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery. Additionally, some bariatric surgeries (especially gastric bypass) may require lifestyle changes post-surgery in order to maintain the weight loss results.
The Bottom Line
Bariatric surgery is a great way to reduce obesity and achieve sustained, significant weight loss. It can also reduce the risk of obesity-related health problems such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Speak to your doctor about the different types of bariatric surgeries available, their benefits and risks, and which one may be the best for you.