In order to succeed in losing a substantial amount of weight and keep that weight off, it is rarely enough to just make changes in diet and exercise. Bariatric surgery is by far the most effective treatment to help people lose weight with their lifestyle and dietary changes. Not only do surgical treatments lead to significant weight loss in many people, but also obesity-related health conditions have been resolved in up to 80% of surgery patients. New research indicates that bariatric and metabolic surgery has physiological impacts that allow the body to return to a lower body-fat level. Bariatric and metabolic surgery alter the anatomy of the stomach and/or intestines, which allows for changes in hormonal signals. These changes result in less hunger, increased feeling of fullness, higher metabolism and healthier food preferences. Because of these changes, people often find they can now lose weight by making healthy eating choices.
There are several bariatric and metabolic surgical procedures that you and your surgeon can choose from. No one procedure is right for everyone, so we can help you understand the pros and cons of each option. The 3 primary bariatric procedures are the gastric sleeve, roux-en-y gastric bypass, and lap band.
Roux en Y Gastric Bypass
During the gastric bypass, your surgeon creates a stomach pouch that significantly reduces overall stomach size and the amount of food it can hold. Then, part of your intestine is bypassed, and the pouch is surgically attached to the middle of the small intestine. The smaller stomach size helps patients feel full more quickly, which reduces food intake without the feeling of being deprived. Not only do patients eat less food in general, but bypassing part of the intestine means that fewer calories are absorbed. The gastric bypass procedure allows for extensive medical and metabolic changes. Patients often not only lose a substantial amount of weight but see great improvements in their type 2 diabetes.
The gastric sleeve has gained substantial popularity over the last few years because of how effective it is at helping people lose weight. Unlike the gastric bypass, the sleeve does not involve rerouting any of your intestinal tract. Instead, the sleeve permanently removes about 3/4ths of your stomach. The first benefit of this surgical change is that the stomach is now about the size and shape of a banana. This means that a smaller meal most often helps patients feel full. In addition, people with the sleeve report going longer between meals because they do not feel hungry. It is believed that an extensive reduction in the feeling of hunger may result because the portion of the stomach that is removed, is the portion that produces most of your ghrelin. Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” and can make you feel that familiar hunger-pang feeling. With less ghrelin in their bodies, most people report substantial decreases in feeling hunger. They also report new preferences for healthier food.
The Lap Band is a flexible ring that our surgeon can place around the top of your stomach. The ring gently squeezes the stomach, creating a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. This helps patients eat less in many cases. It is believed that some of the success of the lap band is due to food taking longer to move through the smaller upper stomach pouch. Patients often feel as though they are full after eating just a small portion of food. Another helpful aspect of the lap band is that it’s adjustable. This means that we can tighten or loosen the band whenever needed. If you find you feel hungry more often than you should, we can tighten the bank. If you feel as though your eating is too restricted, we are able to loosen the band. Adjusting the band is a quick office procedure with no incisions.