Thanks to the advances of modern medicine and technology there are 6 types of bariatric surgery for extreme weight loss.
Until recently, losing a significant amount of weight rapidly was nearly impossible for many people. While weight loss surgery is not a cure for obesity, it’s certainly an important tool if you need to accomplish extreme weight loss. Weight loss surgery is especially important if you need to lose a large amount of weight as quickly as possible due to health concerns and other issues. This guide will cover several types of bariatric surgery to help you decide if one is right for you. You should also consider the costs for the various types of bariatric surgery. The types of bariatric surgery extreme weight loss candidates are eligible for are just as varied as the patients who need them, so make sure you talk to your doctor before you make a final decision.
The Differences between Malabsorptive and Restrictive Weight Loss Surgeries
Malabsorptive weight loss surgery helps patients experience extreme weight loss by significantly decreasing the calories and fats the body can absorb from food passing through the digestive tract. Malabsorptive weight loss surgery is usually performed by cutting out parts of the small intestine so it cannot digest food, greatly reducing the amount of calories the human body can absorb. On the other hand, restrictive weight loss surgery is performed by reducing the size of the stomach permanently or with staples and bands. The smaller stomach becomes full rapidly, preventing the cycle of binge eating. Of course, if you want to combine the effects of both types of bariatric surgery, there are several procedures that will do just that. The best examples of combined malabsorptive and restrictive types of bariatric surgery are the Roux-en-Y and the biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch.
1) Sleeve Gastrectomy
The sleeve gastrectomy is one of the irreversible types of bariatric surgery, but it’s also one of the most effective. When a sleeve gastrectomy is performed, a portion of the stomach is permanently removed. The remaining part of the stomach is roughly the same shape and size as a banana. The sleeve gastrectomy was originally invented as a simple modification to a somewhat similar weight loss surgery called the duodenal switch. Because the sleeve gastrectomy was so effective for extreme weight loss, many surgeons began performing this procedure instead of the duodenal switch and similar types of surgery. Out of all the types of bariatric surgery, the sleeve gastrectomy is quickly becoming the most popular due to its effectiveness and lack of long-term side effects. The sleeve gastrectomy is even used to help obese teenagers and children who are in need of extreme weight loss.
2) Duodenal Switch
Also known as the biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, the duodenal switch is an option that also permanently alters the shape of the stomach. Like the sleeve gastrectomy, the duodenal switch removes a portion of the stomach along the edge of the greater curvature. However, unlike the sleeve gastrectomy, the duodenal switch reroutes a large portion of the small intestine to create two pathways with a single common channel. The shorter pathway carries food from the stomach to the common channel. The longer pathway carries the bile produced by the liver to the common channel. In the duodenal switch procedure, the common channel is a somewhat short portion of the small intestine that mixes the bile and digested food before pushing it through to the large intestine. This procedure significantly reduces the body’s absorption of fat and cuts back on the amount of time it has to absorb calories from meals, resulting in extreme weight loss.
The unusual name of this procedure comes from surgeon Cesar Roux, the first surgeon to describe this procedure. In the diagram created by Cesar Roux, the procedure resembles the letter “Y” due to the segment of stomach the small intestine it is connected to and the cut-off end that has been surgically closed. The lower portion of the “Y” is formed by the small intestine itself. While the Roux-en-Y is frequently used for several conditions, its most common use is as a gastric bypass treatment for obesity. After Roux-en-Y surgery, the remaining portion of the stomach is roughly the size of an egg. Like most other types of bariatric surgery, you will feel full much faster after your stomach has been reduced to a smaller size. If binge eating was a major contributor towards your weight, the Roux-en-Y procedure may help you put an end to your eating habits.
4) Biliopancreatic Diversion
This is one of the more complicated procedures available. When a surgeon performs a biliopancreatic diversion, he or she removes the entire bottom part of the stomach. The small pouch that remains at the top of the stomach is directly attached to the last segment of the small intestine. This procedure leads to truly extreme weight loss, but it is used rarely due to the nutritional deficiencies it has been known to cause. For that reason, other types of surgery are generally preferred. The sleeve gastrectomy is the most popular alternative to the biliopancreatic diversion. However, there are still some patients who get the biliopancreatic diversion procedure in spite of the long-term risks. It is possible for the biliopancreatic diversion procedure to be performed safely as long as frequent blood tests are taken to check for nutritional deficiencies.
5) Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
Vertical banded gastroplasty used to be one of the most common options for patients who wanted a restrictive surgery as opposed to a surgery that simply changes the absorption rates of fats and calories. However, vertical banded gastroplasty is rarely used now that there are plenty of other types of bariatric surgery to choose from. Even though vertical banded gastroplasty can be easily reversed and does not result in nutritional deficiencies, it is not used often because patients who do not follow strict diets can become extremely sick after this procedure. Other types of bariatric surgery are now much more common than vertical banded gastroplasty. However, if your doctor thinks you will comply with the diet plan associated with vertical banded gastroplasty, you may be eligible for this procedure.
6) Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, also known as the lap band procedure, does not require the stomach to be permanently altered unlike several other surgeries. Instead, a surgeon who is performing this procedure will place an adjustable band around the upper portion of your stomach. This band forms a very small pouch that holds food until it has been digested. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding limits your ability to eat a large amount of food in one sitting, significantly reducing your overall caloric intake. With laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery, your doctor can easily adjust the band to change the rate at which your food moves throughout your digestive tract. If the irreversible types of bariatric surgery don’t appeal to you, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding might be just what you need to start your weight loss journey.
Now that you understand the surgical options, you should review our official guide to bariatric surgery insurance and financing.