Losing weight can be a difficult and time consuming process. Not to mention, for some it may be even more difficult due to preexisting conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. For those having extreme difficulty meeting their goal weight, weight loss surgery clinics might have the answer to their prayers. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of bariatric surgeries available and how they work.
What is Bariatric Surgery Offered at Weight Loss Surgery Clinics?
Bariatric surgery is a weight loss procedure that usually involves reducing the size of a person's stomach with staples or wrapping. The most common type of bariatric surgery is gastric bypass, which reduces food intake and alters digestion. This procedure can help reduce body fat and make it easier to maintain a healthy diet.
Surgical Procedures for Weight Loss
The procedure will vary depending on the type of surgery that is being performed. For example, the laparoscopic restrictive procedure is a form of weight loss surgery that restricts food intake by creating an internal band which will limit the movement of food through the stomach and intestines.
There are three main types of bariatric surgeries: restrictive, malabsorptive and mixed. Restrictive procedures limit food intake by restricting stomach capacity or narrowing the passage to intestines. A common example is laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB). Malabsorptive surgeries decrease absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract such as biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS). Mixed procedures are a combination of malabsorptive and restrictive surgeries, such as gastric bypass surgery. The bariatric surgery costs also vary depending upon the type of procedure.
Prior to the surgery, the patient will need approval from their physician indicating they meet specific health requirements which vary for each type of weight loss procedure. For example, those who have diabetes or a history of alcohol abuse may not be eligible or require extra care so physician approval is paramount.
The Major Types of Bariatric Surgeries
Gastric Bypass Surgery
This procedure involves the creation of a small pouch at the top of your stomach that limits how much you can eat, and restricts food from leaving this pouch into your intestines. The surgeon then attaches part or all of your intestine to the pouch, which is then called a loop ileostomy. Gastric Bypass surgery is the most common and often considered the best weight loss surgery in the USA.
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) involves removing the entire stomach so that all food must pass directly into your intestines to be digested. You therefore avoid absorbing any nutrients or calories from the food you eat. The surgeon will also attach part or all of your intestine to the VSG.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
It involves placing an inflatable silicone tube around the top part of your stomach that will fill up with saline or air and restrict the amount of food you can eat at one time. The surgeon then places two small incisions on the top of your stomach and inserts a device that is anchored to one side. This device will then be used to adjust the band around your stomach, which can improve weight loss over time.
Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
The Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD-DS), conducted at weight loss surgery clinics involves removing part of your stomach and pancreas so that food is not digested or absorbed as efficiently. The surgeon also creates a new small pouch to hold the remaining food, which will then be diverted back into your intestines for digestion.
The selective vagotomy with gastric bypass is a procedure that involves removing the vagus nerve, which connects to your stomach and helps control hunger signals when you're full. The surgeon will then perform gastric bypass on this person as well in order to reduce food intake by another 30%.