What is a Bariatric Surgery?
As obesity rises worldwide, but especially in the U.S., bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery is rising prevalence. Let’s go through the most common procedures that could be performed. Restrictive procedures reduce the capacity of stomach to take in food, leading to weight loss. These include:
Gastric banding: an adjustable band is placed around the opening of the stomach. Benefits include
adjustability of the band, reversibility of the procedure, lower risk for complications, and lack of
permanent anatomical changes. Unfortunately, the weight loss associated with this type of procedure is generally less than that seen with other more invasive procedures.
Sleeve gastrectomy: approximately 80% of the stomach is surgically removed. This allows for greater weight loss than gastric banding and there is no foreign body in place. There is a risk for acid reflux, vitamin deficiency (due to a large portion of the stomach being removed), and this procedure cannot be reversed.
Gastric bypass: a small portion of the stomach is stapled off and attached to the small intestine. This procedure allows for weight loss due to a smaller stomach, but can incur more vitamin deficiencies. The main takeaway is that while the surgical procedures have more weight loss than just gastric banding, vitamin deficiencies are common and supplements must be taken.
As always, please consult your doctor!
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-Written by Paavana Varanasi