Weight Loss Surgery – How it is done and Advantages

Weight loss surgery also known as bariatric surgery helps to reduce your weight and lowers the risk of effects associated with Obesity.

There are several procedures in weight loss surgery. Lets us see how it is done, types and advantages.

How it is done

Weight loss surgery can be done in three different ways, either by reducing the size of your stomach with a gastric band or by re-routing and restricting the small intestine to a smaller pouch or by removing a portion of your stomach.

As a result, your stomach can hold only a limited amount of food and will restrict you from taking a huge amount of calories.

The surgery will also reduce the calories your body can absorb. This is done by bypassing or shorting the small intestine.


The four common types of Weight Loss surgeries include Sleeve Gastrectomy, Adjustable Gastric Banding, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, and Gastric Reduction Duodenal Switch. Lets us see them in detail.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

In Sleeve Gastrectomy surgical weight loss procedure your stomach is separated and removed from your body.

The larger portion of the stomach will be removed around grater curvature. As a result, your stomach is reduced to 15% of its original size. After removal, the stomach will look like either a sleeve or tube-like structure.

Sleeve Gastrectomy is done laparoscopically and cannot be reversed.

Post-surgery your stomach can hold only a limited amount of food. This will also reduce your urge or desire to eat in large amounts.

This surgery will not restrict the absorption of nutrients and calories.

The Average cost of surgery in the United States is $19000. However, the rate may vary according to the states. In Europe and India Sleeve Gastrectomy can be done around $5000. In Uk, it costs around $13,000.

 Adjustable Gastric Banding

Adjustable Gastric Banding is a laparoscopic procedure.  In this procedure an inflatable silicone device is will be placed and fixed around the upper part of your stomach as shown below.

Adjustable Gastric Band

This will create a small stomach pouch above the gastric band (roughly about 20% of your actual stomach size) with a narrow opening to the rest of the stomach. This will restrict your food consumption.

This is mostly done to patients with a body mass index greater than 40.  But in 2011 United States Food and Drug Administration allowed the use of this procedure to patients with body mass index greater than 40.

Gastric banding has the lowest mortality rate when compared to other procedures. It has 1 in 1000 when compared to 1 in 250 for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery

This is one of the best procedures’ when compared to the other three.

The advantages include

  1. No cutting or stapling of the stomach
  2. This can be adjusted without any surgery
  3. Quick recovery when compared to other procedures.
  4. Since intestines are not bypassed you won’t get malabsorption issues.
  5. Shorter hospital stay when compared to other procedures
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

In the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass procedure, a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach. It is to be noted that this pouch will be the only part of the stomach that receives food.

And then the small intestine is rearranged to connect to the new pouch.

This will put greater restrictions on the amount of food and drink you can consume at one time.

This surgery is suggested to persons with body mass index greater than 40, hypertension, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and other comorbid conditions.

This has more complications when compared to other procedures and can be done only if needed.

Gastric Reduction Duodenal Switch

This procedure has both restrictive and malabsorptive aspect.

The surgery involves two parts. In the restrictive procedure, almost 70% of the stomach is removed, mostly around greater curvature.

In the second part, two separate pathways and one common channel are created by rerouting the lengthy portion of the small intestine.

Digestive loops, the shorter of the two pathways takes food from stomach to the common channel and the biliopancreatic loop the longer pathway carries bile from liver to the common channel.

This leads to weight loss since food bypasses most of the small intestine limiting the absorption of nutrients and calories.

Post-surgery patients need to consume a large amount of vitamin and mineral supplements when compared to others. This is one of the major disadvantages of this procedure.

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