While there are different types of weight loss surgeries, there are two main forms of surgery – restrictive and malabsorptive/restrictive. Restrictive surgeries work to change the size of the stomach, while malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries actually work to change the way food is absorbed into the body. The type of weight loss surgery that you choose depends upon a variety of factors including your current health, doctor recommendations, and your ultimate weight loss goals.
List of Surgery Types
Each type of weight loss surgery has its own sets of pros and cons. When choosing a type of surgery, it’s important that you don’t go with a more invasive procedure if you’re not comfortable with it. Below is a list of common weight loss surgeries, listed from least invasive to most invasive.
Gastric Banding – This surgery uses a band that separates the stomach into two sections. The top area is banded much smaller than the bottom, allowing you to only eat about one cup of food per meal. This greatly reduces the amount of food you can take in, ultimately resulting in fewer calories per meal.
Sleeve Gastrectomy – This surgery is an option for people who are too sick or obese to risk a gastric bypass surgery. A large percentage of the stomach is removed and the sleeve-like part of the stomach that remains attaches to the intestines.
Gastric Bypass surgery – This is the most common type of weight loss surgery in the U.S. A doctor splits the stomach into two sections and seals the upper part off from the lower part. The upper section is directly attached to a lower part of the small intestines. This ultimately causes the food to bypass a section of the intestines, preventing the body from absorbing all of the calories.
Biliopancreatic Diversion surgery – This is the most invasive weight loss surgery available and is also the least common surgery. A large percentage of the stomach is removed and more of the small intestine is bypassed than in gastric bypass surgery. This surgery works under the same principles of gastric bypass surgery since weight loss occurs due to the prevention of caloric absorption.
Choosing the Right Surgery
A weight loss specialist can help you choose the surgery that is best for your body and current state of health. Since the more invasive surgeries come with higher risks, it’s important to understand all aspects of surgical weight loss. It’s also important to be mentally and emotionally ready to make the changes needed to stay healthy after having the surgery. Like diet and exercise, weight loss surgery is just one part of a life transformation.