Exploring Bariatric Surgery: The Different Types of Weight Loss Procedures
Most people mistake weight loss to be a single type of surgery with only one method. Contrary to popular belief, weight loss surgery is an umbrella term for a variety of bariatric surgery procedures that alter the digestive system to help patients shed weight. The type of bariatric surgery that is best for an individual patient is determined by several factors, which make certain types of procedures more or less feasible for them. Below are some popular types of weight loss surgery patients all over the globe receive to improve their health!
A gastric banding procedure involves an adjustable silicone band that is wrapped around the stomach, forming a small pouch at the top of it. Because it takes less food to fill the stomach pouch, patients don’t need to eat as much before feeling full and satisfied, reducing the amount of food they ingest in a day. The gastric band is linked to a small device that is worn beneath the skin, around the center of the chest, so that it can be adjusted and tightened after surgery.
Usually, the band is tightened for the first time about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. This is accomplished by injecting the device with a saltwater solution through your skin with a needle with no anesthetic.
During a gastric bypass, a tiny pouch is made at the top of the stomach using surgical staples, similar to gastric banding. Once attached to your small intestine, any food consumed will bypass the remainder of your stomach, directly being sent to the small intestine through the pouch. Hence, less food is required to make a patient feel full. Furthermore, the patient’s body absorbs fewer calories from the food they eat, encouraging weight loss.
Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, involves a large part of the patient’s stomach being removed. Hence, the patient’s stomach becomes much smaller than it previously was. This decrease in stomach size makes the patient feel full sooner after smaller meals, preventing the patient from eating as much as they used to. Compared to the other two procedures previously mentioned, because it removes portions of the stomach entirely, sleeve gastrectomy is non-reversible.