Common Weight-Loss Procedures

Common Weight-Loss Procedures

Bariatric surgery has come a long way since 1952. It has emerged from the fringes of medicine where it was once considered a fool-hearted attempt to treat a behavior problem with a scalpel into one of the most popular surgical specialties of our day. This change in opinion has largely come about because of a better understanding of the underlying physiology of obesity, safer and less invasive operations, and of course, the dramatic increase in the incidence of obesity.

The field of Bariatric Surgery continues to evolve. The surgical procedures available today are, for the most part, modifications, adaptations, and permutations of the earlier procedures. Some procedures entered the scene enjoying great popularity, only to fade away in a fizzle, while others have struggled for years to be accepted and later, ultimately determined to be excellent, even superior operations.

For anyone who is considering weight loss surgery, it is important to learn as much as possible about all of the various procedures so you can make an informed decision. Each operation has a unique set of risks and benefits. By learning all you can about each operation you will feel comfortable and confident that you have chosen the operation that is right for you.

There are three types of weight loss surgery. 1. Restrictive procedures 2. Malabsorptive procedures and 3. Combined Restrictive and Malabsorptive procedures. The Jejunoilieal Bypass is a malabsorptive procedure. Surgeons no longer perform the Jejunoileal Bypass and there really are no malabsorptive procedures popular today. Let’s focus on number 1 and number 3.

As the name suggests, restrictive procedures restrict the size of your stomach thus limiting the amount of food you can consume at any one time. The most common restrictive procedures performed today are the Adjustable Gastric Band and the Gastric Sleeve. Procedures that combine both a restrictive and malabsorptive component not only create a small stomach but also bypass a portion of your small intestine. Since your small intestine is where all of your calories and nutrients are absorbed into your body, bypassing a portion of the small intestine results in less absorption of those calories and nutrients, thus adding to the power of the weight loss procedure. The most popular combined procedure performed today is the Roux-en-Y gastric Bypass (pronounced roo-en-why). Other combined procedures that are less popular but certainly worth discussing include the Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch and the Mini-Gastric Bypass.


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