What Is the Safest Form of Weight Loss Surgery?

Excess weight can cause or worsen many chronic conditions. The good news is that you can lose excess weight through a process called bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery). Here are four effective bariatric procedures.

Gastric-SleeveGastric Sleeve

A surgeon staples a section of the stomach and then removes the remaining part {around 80% of the stomach}. The stomach is reduced to a small banana-shaped tubular pouch, thereby reducing the amount of food it can hold. The part of the stomach that is removed also contains an appetite-controlling hormone called ghrelin. The surgery helps individuals consume less food due to low appetite.

After the surgery, patients are closely followed and guided through diet recommendations to ensure they remain healthy. Patients should take vitamin supplements daily, and blood monitoring is also needed to avoid malnutrition.

Gastric Bypass

This procedure changes how the stomach and the small intestine handles the food you eat. After Gastric Bypass surgery, the stomach will be smaller and the person will feel full with less food. Food will no longer go into certain parts of the stomach and small intestine.

After the surgery, the patient will need lifelong vitamins and mineral supplements. They should also adhere to dietary recommendations.

Duodenal Switch

The duodenal switch changes the size of the stomach and the length of the small intestine, limiting how much food you can eat, digest, and absorb. A small part of the stomach is stapled to form a pouch, and the remaining portion is cut off. The small intestine [first part of the duodenum] is then divided. Food leaves the stomach and goes into the last part of the small intestine, bypassing three-quarters of the small intestine.

Gastric Band

This procedure involves an inflatable band that is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small pouch above the band. With a smaller pocket, a small amount of food gives satisfaction. The size of the opening between the two parts of the stomach determines the feeling of fullness. This method is adjustable and reversible, unlike other methods. In all the procedures, the size of the stomach is affected, which helps with portion control. Apart from the gastric band, the other three methods also affect the gut hormone that controls appetite; therefore, patients don’t usually feel hungry.

How Effective Are the Bariatric Surgery Procedures?

The procedures work well for different individuals depending on the targeted amount of weight loss. Patients who undergo gastric bypass lose 50% – 80 %of excess weight in the first year, while those with gastric sleeve lose 60% – 70%. In the same period, a duodenal switch patient will lose more than the two, while the one with a gastric band loses the least.

People who undergo a duodenal switch are likely to lose more than their excess weight as compared to other surgeries. A duodenal switch bypasses most of the small intestines where most of the food digestion and mineral absorption take place. This factor puts a duodenum switch patient at higher risk of malnutrition compared to the rest.

Gastric sleeve has a reduced malnutrition and dumping syndrome risks compared to the duodenal switch and gastric bypass. The gastric band has the least risk factors, but it’s the least effective for weight loss. In most cases, a patient is likely to lose only 40% – 60% of their excess weight. While the duodenal switch is the most complex of all, it’s the most effective for people with a body mass index [BMI] above 50. The gastric bypass will work better than gastric sleeve for patients who have a BMI above 45 while the band will do well for patients who don’t need to lose so much weight.

In Summary

Bariatric surgeries are very effective in controlling weight-related conditions like; diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. The procedures are safe and recommended when other lifestyle-related trials don’t help. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

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