Four Types of Surgery
Before proceeding with a bariatric surgical procedure, you should be comfortable in understanding the scope and limitations for each one. Equally important, a patient must have realistic expectations. Neither of these procedures may completely cure a medical illness. Even following surgery, your weight management efforts will continue for the rest of your life.
The surgeons at Lancaster General Health Physicians Healthy Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery will review the benefits and risks of each option and help you decide which is right for you. You can also learn more about the different procedures by attending one of the free weight loss surgery seminars offered monthly at the Healthy Weight Management Center.
All procedures are done laparoscopically with four to five very small incisions.
The purpose of gastric bypass is to limit food intake and absorption of calories. Gastric bypass causes you to lose weight restricting meal size and the reducing the absorption of calories from the foods you eat.
Gastric bypass surgery makes your stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of your small intestine. The new stomach is called a pouch. Because the pouch is so small, you feel full sooner when eating.
The small intestine is where most of the calories and nutrients are absorbed from the foods you eat. Bypassing part of the small intestine prevents your body from absorbing all of the calories. The operation is designed to allow adequate nutrient intake while limiting caloric intake.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a laparoscopic weight loss surgical procedure that staples the stomach into a tube (gastric sleeve), roughly the size of a banana. The gastric sleeve limits portion sizes, much like a gastric bypass pouch and a banded stomach. Also, by removing the portion of the stomach that secretes ghrelin, a hormone responsible for hunger, patients feel satiety over longer periods of time.
The duodenal switch (DS) uses both restriction and malabsorption to help you lose weight. Developed in the 1980s as an alternative to gastric bypass, DS is the most complex of the current surgical options, combining aspects of sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass.
The stomach is stapled into a sleeve and the small bowel bypassed (to a greater degree than gastric bypass) so patients will experience more malabsorption than other common bariatric procedures. This can lead to greater resolution of conditions like type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as greater long term weight loss. Patients undergoing DS need to take vitamins and supplements diligently due to the degree of malabsorption.
The adjustable banding system is an adjustable silicon "belt" that is wrapped around your stomach to help you lose weight. The adjustable gastric band reduces the amount of food you can eat at one time.