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What Are The Types of Bariatric Surgery?

types of bariatric surgeries

Obesity is a rising health epidemic affecting both men and women in the United States. More than one-third of adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; about 41 percent of women age 20 and older and 38 percent of men are obese.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of a person’s weight by height, which is the common standard used as an indicator of high body fat. A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30.0 or higher falls within the obese range. BMI over 40 is categorized as “extreme” or “severe” obesity.

Often times, people who suffer from being overweight or obese struggle to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise alone. In these cases, weight loss surgery may be an option.

Bariatric surgery is a proven tool that can help patients lose weight and improve comorbidities (weight-related health conditions) such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea. As obesity rates rise, more and more patients are turning to weight loss surgery to help them reclaim their health. Each year, nearly 200,000 patients undergo weight loss surgery.

What are the different bariatric surgery types?

If you are considering surgery for weight loss, it’s important to understand your options and the differences between the various bariatric surgery types that are available. Here is a quick guide to the bariatric surgery types.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery has long been considered the “Gold Standard” of surgery for weight loss and is one of the most common bariatric procedures performed in the United States.

During the laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure, the bariatric surgeon creates a small stomach pouch that is rerouted and reconnected to the small intestine. Through gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is reduced from about the size of a football to the size of an egg, or about 30-cc (about two tablespoons, or one fluid ounce). The remainder of the stomach is “bypassed” along with the first port of the small intestine. Food enters the stomach pouch and goes directly to the lower part of the small intestine, limiting the amount of calories and fat the body can absorb.

Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery achieve a range of results, but on average, gastric bypass results in the loss of about 60 to 70 percent of the patient’s excess body fat in the first year after surgery.

This procedure may be covered by your insurance, but gastric bypass surgery cost can vary depending on your insurance benefits.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Also known as sleeve gastrectomy, the gastric sleeve is a restrictive weight loss procedure that has become the favored choice by bariatric patients in recent years.

During a gastric sleeve surgery, the size of the stomach is reduced to about 15 percent of its original size by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach. Volume of the stomach is significantly reduced, thereby restricting the amount of food that can be consumed. In addition, the portion of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone, ghrelin, is removed, resulting in reduced hunger.

Gastric sleeve is a lower-risk surgery than gastric bypass and the average patient will lose about 70 to 80 percent of their excess body weight in the first year after surgery.

This procedure may be covered by your insurance, but bariatric surgery cost can vary depending on your insurance benefits.

Gastric Banding

Commonly referred to as the lap-band, gastric banding is different than gastric bypass and gastric sleeve in that it is the only bariatric surgery type that does not alter the anatomy of the stomach and is completely reversible.

During the gastric banding procedure, an inflatable silicon gastric band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach to create a small pouch to hold food. The adjustable band is connected with tubing to an access port placed under the surface of the skin. After surgery, the band can be adjusted in size by injecting fluid through the system when accessed through the port.

The goal of gastric banding surgery is to restrict the volume of food entering the stomach, thereby serving as a measure of portion control and reducing the capacity of the stomach. Weight loss following gastric banding surgery is typically slower and overall weight loss achieved tends to be less than that associated with other gastric procedures. Patients who choose gastric banding can expect to lose 20 to 45 percent of their excess body weight in the first year, and 60 to 65 percent in three to five years, if they are able to maintain a healthy diet without complications.

This procedure may be covered by your insurance, but gastric sleeve surgery cost can vary depending on your insurance benefits.

Surgical Revisions

Unfortunately, no bariatric surgery type is without limitations, nor is any one procedure the best option for any patient who needs to lose weight. In some cases, patients who undergo weight loss surgery may be dissatisfied with their results, or experience medical complications from the procedure. In these cases, patients who have had a prior bariatric surgery may be a candidate for a bariatric surgical revision to help them get back on track to achieve their desired weight loss.

This procedure may be covered by your insurance, but bariatric surgery cost can vary depending on your insurance benefits.

If weight loss surgery is something you are considering to help you lose weight and reclaim your health, contact your weight loss surgeon today to schedule an appointment. Your doctor will discuss all of the options and help you choose the bariatric surgery type that will help you safely lose weight and keep it off.

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