Weight Loss Surgery Options


When mentioning weight loss surgery, many people automatically think of gastric bypass. The old-fashioned Roux-en-Y surgery is still very much used today. Though still popular, it was not the first weight loss surgical method used, remember stomach stapling? For decades, people have been trying to find the perfect methods to end their battle with the bulge. Today, there are some very effective methods that allow those who fight with obesity the tools to overcome.

Lap Band Surgery
Lap Band surgery is popular because it has a low side effect profile, especially when comparing this to the Roux-en-Y. The silicone band goes around the stomach and is filled with saline. Doctors can increase or decrease the band’s size based on how much or how little weight the patient is losing. Unlike gastric bypass, the lap bands do not cause a patient to have dumping syndrome, which can be unbearable. Laparoscopic Gastric Banding, as it is officially called, is one of the safer surgeries. However, at least half of the patients have to have their band removed. The band can slip and infection is not uncommon. Most side effects involve gastric upset.

Gastric Sleeve
Gastric sleeve is a rather newer procedure that shows promising results. The sleeve makes the stomach into a smaller portion. Unlike gastric bypass, the hospital stay is minimal and there is no dumping syndrome. Due to the fact that it can be done via laparoscopy, it is quickly becoming the best choice for most people. The side effects are limited, and it does not require saline injections. The death rate is only .08 percent, which is significantly lower than with other procedures. The biggest problem is gastric leaking that occurs in 2.4 percent of patients.

Gastric Balloon
Its official name is the endoscopic intragastric balloon. This procedure is for those who do not want to have a weight loss procedure, but they need a little more help than diet and exercise. Using an endoscope, a doctor inserts a balloon into the stomach of the patient. Next, they fill the balloon with a saline mixture that gives the patient the feeling of fullness. Since a great portion of the stomach is blocked off, the patient cannot eat as much. It has only been approved by the FDA since August of 2015, but it is already showing promising results. There have been no deaths reported with this procedure, and the balloon only stays in for six months at a time. The most reported side effects were nausea, especially when food is not chewed thoroughly enough.

Today, there are more options than ever before. If you have tried dieting and exercise with no success, speak to your doctor to see if bariatric surgery is right for you. There are many success stories for those who have undergone weight loss surgery and continued to live a healthy lifestyle but there are also many failures as well. It is important to keep in mind that these surgical methods are not a end all cure for obesity, they are a tool that can keep a person on the right track.