Bariatric surgery is a weight loss surgery that can aid patients to lose weight especially in cases of obesity. It can help patients to avoid complications and health risks involve in obesity as a chronic disease. There are two methods of surgery and one is the open surgery. This method requires the surgeon to make one large cut inside the abdomen. This method is advised to patients with morbid obesity, complex medical conditions, or undergone stomach surgery before.
Another method is laparoscopic surgery that involves several small cuts and the use of small surgical tools inside the cuts. Also, this method requires the use of a tiny camera inserted to see images inside the stomach using a video monitor. This is one of the most widely used methods because it is less painful, fewer scars, and most importantly lesser risks. Also, this bariatric surgery offers faster recovery compared to open surgery.
Weight loss operation like this can aid weight loss in two ways:
- Restriction. This method restricts the amount of food that the stomach can handle which in return limit the number of calories a patient may intake per day.
- Malabsorption. This is a type of surgery that bypasses a certain part of the small intestine to reduce the number of calories and nutrients that the body may absorb.
1. Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band
This type of weight loss surgery requires the use of an inflatable gastric band that is placed on top of the stomach that will create a small pouch. It works by providing a feeling of fullness to the patient right after eating a small amount of food. This gastric band has a balloon inside with salt solution. It is adjusted by the surgeon by adding or removing a solution using a small device called a port that is inserted under the skin.
It is important to make several visits to your doctor right after the surgery for them to adjust the band and to ensure that it will not cause any problem. The surgeon may recommend the removal of the band if it does not show any improvement in your weight or if it causes several health problems. The use of gastric band has been approved by the FDA for people with a BMI of 30 and above and has only one health condition that is linked to obesity like heart disease.
2. Gastric Sleeve
This is also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy. This surgery requires the removal of most of the stomach leaving only a small banana-shaped part that is closed using staples. It is a method that can also restrict the amount of food that a person can intake. The removal of some part of the stomach can largely affect metabolism, hormones, and gut bacteria that are essential in digestive processes. Gastric sleeve is an irreversible surgery because part of the stomach is permanently removed. Patients go through a lot of tests and counseling before sleeve gastrectomy is done to eliminate complications.
3. Gastric Bypass
This surgery is also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass which has two important parts. The first one is the stapling of the stomach to create a small pouch in the upper area. Staples make the stomach very small that restricts the patients from eating a lot and promote a feeling of fullness. The second step is the cut through the small intestine and attached the lower section to the small pouch in the stomach. This method bypasses most of the processes inside the stomach and the small intestine to reduce the number of calories absorbed by the body. This bariatric surgery can also create large changes to gut bacteria, hormones, and metabolism. The process is very difficult to reverse, however, a specialized surgeon can do it if medically needed.
4. Duodenal Switch
This weight loss surgery also known as a biliopancreatic diversion that involves duodenal switch is complicated compared to others. It requires two surgeries and the first one is similar to gastric sleeve surgery. Then second operations will make all the food bypasses most processes inside the small intestines. There is reattachment of the bypass section going to the end part of the small intestine to allow digestive juices to mix with the food. It is the most effective in terms of weight loss, but more likely to develop problems later on and cause a deficiency in nutrients.