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Types of Weight Loss Surgery You Must Know

If you are obese, have been obese for a long time, suffer ill health effects as a result, and diet & exercise just won’t cut it, it may be time to consider surgical intervention. Weight loss surgery is NOT the ‘easy way out’. It’s a very difficult procedure to recover from and is often a last resort. No matter what weight loss surgery you choose, you’re going to need to follow a strict post-op diet, and you’ll need a brand new set of eating habits for the rest of your life.

Irreversible types

Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass is a highly invasive surgery that involves reducing the stomach’s size and connecting it to the middle of the small intestine, bypassing a part of it. It’s recommended for patients with a BMI over 40 and where other weight loss interventions haven’t worked.

Sleeve gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is an alternative to gastric bypass and is a more recent innovation. It changes the stomach’s shape to a tube and shrinks the size down. It prevents the absorption of high-fat foods, making it easier to keep the weight off. Also recommended for patients with a BMI over 40.

Biliopancreatic Diversion

This weight loss surgery is particularly invasive and is generally reserved for people with BMIs over 60. A large portion of the stomach is removed, then the intestines are rerouted which changes the digestive process. This is in order to control the secretion of ghrelin, as well as prevent the excess absorption of fat.

Reversible types

Adjustable gastric band

This is done by inserting an inflatable tube into the stomach and inflating it. A reversible surgery, and done through a keyhole in the abdomen, it’s a very common choice due to its lower cost and lower recovery time.

Intragastric balloon

A gastric balloon is inserted into the stomach through the mouth, then inflated. This is similar to the gastric band, but even less invasive and easier to reverse.

Gastric stimulation

A very different intervention than the gastric band or balloon, this one relies on electrical signals to stimulate the digestive process. By implanting a stimulator into the abdomen, this surgery can help slow down the digestive process and control your hunger.

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