Weight Loss Procedures. What Should You Choose?

June 9th, 2018 - Posted to Weight Loss

Weight loss surgery has seen impressive advancements during the past years. As the demand for weight loss procedures continues to rise, specialists focus on innovating the techniques and technologies deployed in this field. The aim of weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is to help patients suffering from obesity lose some of the extra kilos that are not only unaesthetic but also dangerous since they can contribute to serious illnesses. With the aid of today’s weight loss procedures, we enable patients to safely lose weight and benefit from a fast and smooth recovery. 

Since weight loss is advancing so rapidly, patients are nowadays able to choose from different procedures in order to achieve the desired results. However, not all procedures are suitable for all the patients. In order to understand which type of surgery you qualify for, you need to consult a specialist in bariatric surgery. During the initial consultation, you will find out what each surgery entails and what options are available for you. Your doctor will explain to you in detail all the steps of the surgery, evaluate you and help you opt for the best procedure.

Because we want you to feel prepared and be informed prior to your consultation, we will briefly walk you through the most common bariatric procedures. Learn more about their advantages, their long-term effects, and what sets them apart.

Lap Band

Lap band is one of the safest and most effective bariatric procedures. Gastric bypass and lap band are currently the most popular weight loss surgeries. Lap band is less invasive than gastric bypass due to the fact that it does not produce any changes in the digestive tract. However, it is usually considered that gastric bypass can help lose more weight than lap band.

The lap band procedure is carried out by installing a silicon device. The band installed by the surgeon around the stomach is filled with water and acts as a pouch that helps the patient reach a sensation of satiety faster. Both these surgeries are performed laparoscopically which means that they deploy modern technology in order to produce less trauma and ensure a faster recovery.

Laparoscopic surgery is carried out through several incisions rather than one big incision in the abdomen. Lap band is however reversible and if the patient is not careful with how much he or she eats, the desired effect won’t be achieved. In other words, this procedure is only suitable for people who can stick to certain dietary habits and avoid excess.

Gastric Bypass

This is probably the most popular bariatric surgery in the US. The gastric bypass procedure means that the stomach is sutured and the capacity is thereby reduced by a half, which consequently implies a reduced food intake. The small intestine is then rerouted so that it bypasses a part of the stomach and the food passes through a reduced section. As a result, the number of calories that are being absorbed by the body is also reduced thus, the person manages to lose weight.

The gastric bypass procedure is a ‘restrictive’ one as it reduces or restricts the capacity of the stomach. This surgery is also malabsorptive which means that it prevents the body from absorbing all the calories. Just like any other bariatric procedure, gastric bypass requires certain dietary guidelines. Following these guidelines is a lifelong commitment. This procedure has a higher complexity degree compared to the gastric band or gastric sleeve and it cannot be reversed. Gastric bypass is followed by lifelong vitamin and mineral intake in order to reduce the risk of deficiency.

Gastric Sleeve

In the gastric sleeve procedure, a part of the stomach is removed and thereby the food intake is limited. What is left is a small sleeve-shaped pouch. The number of calories is automatically reduced by eating less, so patients manage to lose the extra weight and improve their general health. This procedure can help lose more than 60% of the body’s weight. An advantage is the fact that it does not require the use of inserting foreign object in the body. Nor does it require the re-routing of the intestine. This is a relatively simple procedure that is carried out easily. The average hospital stay after a gastric sleeve surgery is maximum 2 days. Often, patients are also released the same day. Gastric sleeve is a safe procedure and it is typically recommended for patients who suffer from the most severe obesity. Following a gastric sleeve procedure, it is possible to suffer from vitamin deficiency, so minerals and vitamins are recommended for life. Gastric sleeve is also unable to reduce heartburn and acid reflux.  Sometimes, gastric sleeve is recommended as a first step, followed by a gastric bypass after several months during which the patient loses some weight. However, this is not a rule, given that most patients can opt for only one of these procedures.

Gastric Plication

Gastric plication is performed by folding the stomach over itself in order to reduce its size and the calorie intake. This procedure resembles the gastric sleeve. It does not involve any cuts, so the digestive tract is not altered. Unlike lap band which uses a device, in gastric plication, the stomach is sutured. The advantage is that significant weight loss can be achieved without cutting the stomach or rearranging the intestine. The patient can lose up to 55% of the extra weight after gastric plication. This is a reversible procedure.

The weight loss occurs due to the fact that gastric plication enables the patient to reach a sensation of satiety faster. The person loses weight progressively after this surgery and the risk of obesity-related illnesses is also reduced. However, it is necessary to keep a close eye on what and how much you eat after this procedure too.

Bariatric procedures such as these are an effective key in helping patients lose weight. However, the effects are bound to last only if the person commits to a healthy lifestyle. Some permanent changes should be applied in the aftermath of any bariatric procedure so that the desired outcome is achieved. A balanced diet and physical activity are necessary in order to benefit from the full effect of bariatric surgery. With the help of our experienced doctors, you will learn everything you need to know about the diet and lifestyle changes you should adhere to.