What Kind of Bariatric Surgery Should I Get?

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If you’re at a point in your life where you’re ready to have bariatric surgery, you might be overwhelmed by all the options. Weight loss surgery is a big step, and your decision about which surgery to have should not be taken lightly.

 

Popular Types of Bariatric Surgery

Although some bariatric surgeries combine the two, most weight loss surgeries fall into two categories:

 

Restrictive: this type of bariatric surgery decreases the size of your stomach. This causes you to eat less, making it easier for you to lose weight.

 

Malabsorptive: this type of surgery limits the number of calories your body absorbs. It does this by decreasing part of your small intestine.

 

Here’s some basic information about the major types of surgery to help you decide which is the right one for you.

 

Sleeve Gastrectomy

This is a restrictive weight loss that will decrease the amount of food you are able to eat. With a sleeve gastrectomy, a surgeon separates part of your stomach from your body and removes it. They transform what is left of your stomach into a tube (or sleeve) shape. This is a great option if you have a very large amount of weight to lose and/or are a high-risk candidate for other types of weight loss surgeries. Keep in mind that, unlike some other types of surgery, this procedure is irreversible.

 

Gastric Bypass Surgery

With this operation, the surgeon alters the stomach so that food does not need to travel as much through your digestive tract. To achieve this, the surgeon divides your stomach into two sections and then connects the upper stomach with part of your small intestine. Because it combines both restrictive and malabsorption methods, you will lose weight a lot faster than other weight loss surgery options. If you need weight loss surgery because of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or another health condition, this is a great option. The downside of this operation is that because it alters your body’s ability to absorb food, it may be harder for you to get the proper nutrients you need. There is also a greater risk of complications with this surgery.

 

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

If you undergo laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, a surgeon will make small incisions in your abdomen to insert a band with a balloon in the top portion of your stomach. It significantly decreases the capacity of your stomach to hold food. You’ll only be able to hold about an ounce of food at one time after undergoing this operation. Your surgeon will also place a plastic tube under your skin and connect it to the band. This is a restrictive surgery that helps you feel fuller faster, resulting in you eating less. Although you can adjust the band and experience a faster recovery with the gastric band, you will also ultimately lose less weight. You will also have to eat more slowly post-operation. Otherwise, you’ll eat more than your stomach can hold and end up throwing up the excess.

 

Duodenal Switch

The duodenal switch requires two different surgeries. With the first, your stomach will essentially be made into a sleeve, just like with the sleeve gastrectomy procedure. Next, your surgeon will make it so that your food won’t have to travel through your small intestine for very long and attach one part of your small intestine to another. Although you can get dramatic weight loss results from this surgery, there is also strong potential for complications after surgery, and your body may not get the right amount of nutrients.

 

For every surgery, you should consult with your doctor to find the one that’s best for your health, lifestyle, and expectations. No matter what you choose, the important thing is making the decision to get bariatric surgery in the first place. Take a step toward changing your life for the better, and contact your doctor about bariatric surgery today!

 

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  • Alli

Alli

Alli "Kat". is a 10 year post-op Gastric Bypass patient with 7 years of Nutrition Counseling for other Bariatric patients. She has several published prints on nutrition and overall health for Bariatric post-op life. In her free time, Alli enjoys kayaking, watching clouds roll by, and cooking for her family.
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