How to Choose the Right Type of Bariatric Surgery

A male nurse speaks with his patient in a hospital room.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right type of bariatric surgery (otherwise known as weight-loss surgery). From determining your ideal procedure to assessing the risks and benefits, weight-loss surgery is not a decision to jump into.

While the initial research process can be confusing and overwhelming, you are not alone.

Surgical Weight Control Center of Las Vegas is here to guide you through your surgical weight-loss journey. In this article, we hope to empower you to understand the different types of bariatric surgery and consider the numerous factors that go into choosing the right treatment for your goals.

What Are the Different Types of Bariatric Surgery?

There are several types of bariatric surgery, each with its own benefits, considerations and results. The most common types include:

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery, also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is one of the most common types of weight-loss surgery. It involves creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach and bypassing a portion of the small intestine. Doing this reduces the amount of food you can eat and the number of calories your body absorbs.

Who is an ideal gastric bypass surgery patient? Usually, ideal gastric bypass surgery patients are people whose body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher, or 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions. Typical patients have found other weight-loss attempts unsuccessful and have a willingness to make difficult, yet necessary, long-term lifestyle changes to achieve their goals.

What are the benefits of gastric bypass surgery? Gastric bypass surgery helps patients lose excess body weight (approximately 60% in under 2 years) and improve obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a noninvasive weight-loss surgery involving the removal of a portion of the stomach to create a smaller, sleeve/banana-shaped stomach. This reduces the amount of food you can eat and the production of hunger hormones, leading to weight loss.

Who is an ideal gastric sleeve surgery patient? The ideal patient for gastric sleeve surgery would present the same characteristics as a patient for gastric bypass surgery. However, as a noninvasive weight-loss surgery option, gastric sleeve surgery is offered as an alternative to those at a high risk for gastric bypass and to those who would rather avoid having an artificial item, such as a gastric band, in their body.

What are the benefits of gastric sleeve surgery? Like gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve also leads to significant weight loss and health improvements. Additional benefits of gastric sleeve surgery, however, also include reduced hunger and appetite, simplicity of the procedure and lower risk of complications.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, also known as lap band surgery, is the least invasive weight-loss surgery option. It involves placing an adjustable band around the upper portion of the stomach to create a smaller pouch. This restricts the amount of food you can eat and can be adjusted, or even completely removed, as needed.

Who is an ideal gastric banding patient? Unlike the previous procedures, gastric banding is typically recommended to patients with a BMI between 35-39.9. It is also a good option for those with a history of heartburn or acid reflux.

What are the benefits of gastric banding? There are many benefits to gastric banding. You can expect to lose 55-80% of excess body weight 1-2 years from the procedure. Gastric banding also provides more adjustability, since you can adjust the gastric band depending on your needs and even remove it once you’ve reached your goals. With this procedure, there are fewer risks of nutritional deficiencies and you can expect a faster recovery time.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, also known as duodenal switch surgery, involves removing a portion of the stomach and bypassing a larger portion of the small intestine. This reduces the amount of food you can eat and the number of calories your body absorbs.

Who is an ideal duodenal switch surgery patient? Ideal duodenal switch surgery patients include those with severe obesity, such as those with a BMI of 50 or higher, or a BMI of 40 or higher with obesity-related health conditions. Ideal patients should understand that the procedure requires significant lifestyle change and commitment to health and well-being.

What are the benefits of duodenal switch surgery? Duodenal switch surgery has the highest success rate (90%, according to Cleveland Clinic) and typically leads to the most significant weight loss. It can lead to total remission of type 2 diabetes and significantly improve life expectancy. Duodenal switch surgery also leads to favorable metabolic changes in the body and can help patients feel reduced hunger and increased fullness.

How to Choose the Right Weight-Loss Surgery?

When deciding which type of weight-loss surgery is right for you, there are several factors to consider. These include:

  • Weight-loss goals: Choosing the right weight-loss surgery may depend on your weight-loss goals. For example, gastric bypass and duodenal switch surgery typically result in more weight loss than gastric sleeve and lap band surgery.
  • Health conditions: Depending on the severity of your obesity and related health conditions, your health provider is likely to recommend a specific type of weight-loss surgery. While duodenal switch is ideal for those with severe conditions, other procedures like gastric banding can improve issues such as heartburn or acid reflux.
  • Recovery time: While the recovery period for bariatric surgery is typically relatively short, some surgeries have longer recovering periods than others. When choosing the right procedure, consider your everyday responsibilities and commitments.
  • Risks and complications: As with any surgery, bariatric surgery presents its own set of potential risks and complications that can influence your choices. For example, gastric banding is the least invasive surgery, while gastric sleeve surgery is a great alternative for those at high risk of gastric bypass procedures.

Reshape Your Tomorrow

If you’ve struggled with other weight-loss methods, change is possible with the right treatment and an experienced team by your side.

Surgical Weight Control Center in Las Vegas offers effective, noninvasive surgical weight treatment options. We provide you with long-term management to help you reshape your tomorrow, take control of your lifestyle and regain your health.

To learn more about your options, reach out to us at 702-313-8446, sign up for one of our seminars, or get in contact with us today.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.

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