Commonly referred to as weight loss surgery, bariatric surgery is one of the few weight loss treatments that have a history of proven results. The term bariatric surgery refers to any surgical procedure on the stomach or intestines to induce weight loss. There are 4 different main types of bariatric surgery :
- Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Laparoscopic Banding
- Sleeve Gastrectomy (more commonly referred to as the Gastric Sleeve)
- Biliopancreatic Diversion
Laparoscopic bariatric surgery
Laparoscopic weight-loss surgery involves making five half-inch incisions and performing the operation by observation through a small camera called the laparoscope. The entire operation is performed “inside” the abdomen after gas has been inserted to expand the abdomen and create a working space.
Advantages of the laparoscopic approach include less post-operative pain, a shorter hospital stay, faster return to work and improved appearance. Recovery time also is shorter, absent any operative complications.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery
What is gastric sleeve, and is it superior compared to other types of bariatric surgery?
Sleeve Gastrectomy (more commonly referred to as the Gastric Sleeve) is a procedure in which about 85% of the stomach is removed, leaving 15% of the original capacity which is shaped like a sleeve. The medical community is embracing this operation as an alternative to the band and bypass procedures because the results and the risks are in the middle. There is excellent midterm scientific data from the past five-plus years to prove the effectiveness of the sleeve, with results almost comparable to the bypass yet with a lower risk profile. Sometimes it is superior compared to other types of bariatric surgery.
Who is a good candidate for bariatric surgery?
- Be over the age of 18
- Demonstrate that all appropriate and available non-surgical measures have been adequately tried but have failed to maintain weight loss
- Have a genuine desire to overcome your obesity problems and demonstrate full commitment to finally getting your weight under control
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of greater than 40, or a BMI of >35 accompanied by other issues related to health (co-morbidities). These co-morbidities include diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, hyperlipidemia, etc.
- Be mobile, medically stable, and have an actively involved and supportive primary care physician.
- Have a stable psychological status with adequate social support system to help them through
- the course of surgery and the postoperative period.