If you are considering weight loss surgery, it is important to understand your options. There are several different types of weight loss surgery, all of which have their own unique benefits with a different approach to weight loss. While the end result may be similar in some cases, it is critical to understand the variations, so that you can make an informed decision before embarking on any of these options.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgery where the stomach is cut away, and a smaller section of stomach remains, which holds substantially less than the original stomach. This results in less capacity for food, which limits the daily caloric intake. After having the surgery, portion control is of utmost importance, to maintain weight loss and not stretch the stomach. The benefits, however, outweigh the risks. In addition to the obvious benefit of reduction to stomach capacity, this procedure also results in lowering the levels of the hormone, ghrelin, which reduces hunger sensations significantly. This gastric sleeve procedure is also less invasive than the gastric bypass since the intestines are not re-routed.
The gastric bypass surgery has been around the longest and has the most research data about the operation. It can also be considered as the most successful in the amount of weight a person can lose. It requires rerouting of the small intestines and making the stomach significantly smaller. The re-routing of the intestine completely bypasses the main stomach and also changes how metabolism (hormones) in your body works. It is a good option for someone who has not had success with traditional diets or weight loss programs, especially in cases when one’s health is endangered by the extreme obesity and/or uncontrolled diabetes.
Adjustable Gastric Banding
This method requires that a silicone type “band” is placed around the top of the stomach, creating a “pouch” where food goes. It is adjustable via a port that is placed on the muscle wall. This band can be adjusted to limit the amount of food which can be contained by the stomach and results in less calorie intake and weight loss. This operation does require several follow ups to adjust the lap band port. This procedure has helped people lose the weight they needed to in order to improve health.
Lap-band fill is a follow-up procedure which allows you to keep your lap band surgery working for you in a customized weight loss plan. Over time, there is a need for your lap-band to be “filled” so that the restriction to food remains at the appropriate levels. This keeps you on goal to continue losing the weight you need and keep it off following lap band surgery. It is a simple procedure which can be easily be performed at a clinic with the proper equipment. Lap-band fills are considered a great way to maintain lap-band surgery and avoid problems in maintenance of weight loss.
Revision surgery involves going back in for stomach surgery following a previous procedure. For this reason, it carries somewhat more risk than the original surgery. Most clinics will require a carefully programmed weight loss plan prior to the surgery so that the patient will know how to maintain the weight loss following this second procedure, and follow-up will be necessary to ensure a safe recovery. This method can be beneficial to anyone whose first procedure was not as successful as they had hoped, if there are medical complications, or if a more significant procedure is needed to achieve the desired results.
Incisionless Revision Surgery
Some procedures can be done which do not require incisions or the traditional surgical procedures. These are usually done by using a endoscopy scope going through the mouth into the esophagus and the stomach to repair or alter a previous procedure. The procedure done at BMI of Texas is called the “Over-stitch” and is used to make the stomach smaller and revise the anatomy if needed.
The decision to embark on any type of surgical weight loss surgery should be carefully considered. There are risks with any surgery. However, when you know the facts and benefits of each process, along with a consultation with your surgeon, you will be able to make a more educated decision, as to which weight loss surgery is best for you.