Weight is a big problem for many people around the United States. Approximately 67% of all American adults are considered to be either overweight or obese. Obesity is defined as weighing 20% more than what you should for your height. According to the Harvard Medical School, being overweight or obese can have disastrous effects on the body. People who fall into the obese category are 20 times more likely than non-obese people to develop type 2 diabetes. The risks for developing heart disease, high blood pressure or suffering a stroke are also heightened. There is also a direct link between a person’s body mass index or BMI and the risk for developing these problems. The higher your BMI, the more likely you are to develop one of these health problems. There is some good news, there are several types of weight loss surgery and medical weight loss programs that can help.
What are the different types of weight loss surgery?
Medical weight loss solutions include two categories of weight loss surgery; malabsorption and restriction. Basically, the former prevents fat and calories from being absorbed while the latter prevents people from eating too much. There are four different types of weight loss surgery.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
A band with an inflatable balloon is put on the upper part of the stomach. It is attached so that it cannot move. The result of this is the creation of a small pouch that is just above the band spot. A tiny opening is left to the bigger part of the stomach. The surgeon then places a port under the skin in the abdomen with a tube connecting the band to the port. The balloon can be inflated and deflated by injecting or removing liquid from the port. This changes the band’s size. It prevents you from eating a lot but does not change what is absorbed once you have eaten.
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
A small pouch at the top of the stomach is created by the surgeon. This is the only part of the stomach that will be able to receive and process food. Like the lap band surgery, this limits the amount of food and beverages that can be consumed at any one time. The surgeon connects the intestine to the small pouch so that food bypasses the larger stomach. The section of the intestine (duodenum) that is attached to the stomach is resected a bit further down. Whatever is eaten also bypasses part of the intestine and not everything is absorbed. This is both a restrictive and malabsorption surgery. It both restricts the amount of food that can be eaten AND prevents some of what is eaten to be absorbed. It is a bigger surgery than the lap band procedure.
A portion of the stomach is first separated and then removed all together. The part that is left is much smaller and resembles a tube or sleeve (hence the name), Because the remaining stomach is so small, it limits the amount of food and drink that can be consumed. This portion of stomach encourages the production of ghrelin,a hormone that regulates appetite. This hormone may make you less hungry. This reduces the amount of food and drink that can be eaten but there is no change in what is absorbed.
Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
A large portion of the stomach is removed. The pyloric sphincter is left in place, this is the gate that opens to allow food into the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine. The surgeon then takes a piece of small intestine that is further down and attaches it back to the duodenum. Basically the small intestine is resected so that part of it is bypassed. The result is that less food and drink can be consumed but also the food does not go through a lot of the small intestine so what is absorbed is very limited. This surgery is larger than the other weight loss surgery options..
The different types of weight loss surgery are expensive and have complications, only you can decide if the benefits outweigh the weight loss surgery cost.