Bariatric Surgery

Last Updated: April 20, 2012

Bariatric surgery is aimed at weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach, thus decreasing consumption of food. This provides significant weight loss as less caloric intake is achieved. Bariatric surgery can help individuals who are obese or excessively overweight in not only losing weight and maintaining proper weight, but also can improve health, reduce risks of weight-related illnesses and promote healthy self-esteem and well being.

Bariatric surgery is a widely used term that refers to several different types of weight loss surgeries that include gastric bypass, gastric banding, lap banding, gastric sleeve and duodenal switch. There are also incision-free weight loss procedures that are available today.

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Bariatric surgery can help individuals who are obese or excessively overweight in not only losing weight and maintaining proper weight, but also can improve health, reduce risks of weight-related illnesses and promote healthy self-esteem and well being.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

There are many gastric bypass surgical techniques used to reduce the stomach size and lower consumption. All techniques include reducing the size of the stomach to a small pouch about the same size as a walnut. This may be done using a silicone band or by using staples.

Gastric Banding (Lap-band, Realize Adjustable Gastric Band)

Gastric banding includes the bariatric surgeries of lap-band and Realize Adjustable Gastric Band. Both of these procedures are done using a silicone band that is positioned around the upper part of the abdomen to create a small pouch. This separates the pouch from the larger part of the stomach to limit food intake and provide a faster feeling of fullness. Realize Adjustable Gastric Bands can be adjusted according to the patients changing needs and are reversible.

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Lap Band

Although lap band surgery does reduce the size of the stomach, it does not require sutures or staples such as gastric bypass surgery does. Lap band surgery is also unique, as it does not affect the digestive tract, reducing the risks of dumping syndrome and absorption deficiencies. Moreover, with the adjustable lap band, the surgeon can regularly adjust the size of the pouch.

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Gastric Sleeve

This type of bariatric surgery is a newer procedure that is effective for weight loss in patients who are not good candidates for gastric banding, but have a body mass index that is extremely high. Gastric sleeve can be ideal for patients who are morbidly obese and plan to have another type of bariatric surgical procedure in the future.

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Duodenal Switch

Duodenal Switch is a surgical weight loss procedure that changes the shape of the stomach and repositions the small intestine. Unlike lap banding, the stomach is shaped into a sleeve instead of a pouch. The small intestine is then attached to the sleeve portion of the stomach. This procedure provides the same results as stomach bypass surgery as it reroutes food intake so less nutrients and calories are absorbed while causing a full feeling.

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Incision-Free Weight Loss Procedures

There are now weight loss procedures being done that do not require surgical incisions. Using orifices instead of incisions for inserting equipment and tools, more surgeons are choosing this method for performing bariatric procedures. Incision-free weight loss procedures are usually performed through the mouth. The StomaphyX and Transoral Rose incision-free procedures are used for patients who have previously has gastric bypass surgery, but have begun to regain weight. These procedures are done to reduce the size of the stomach and narrow the passageway to the lower stomach for slower digestion and a faster feeling of fullness.

Read more about Incision-Free Weight Loss

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