Weight Loss Surgery Basics

There is a lot of information surrounding weight loss surgery that you need to know before, after and during the procedure. By having all the information you can gather ahead of time, the better prepared you can be and the amount of questions or surprises you come across will be reduced.

In preparation for your bariatric surgery you will need to understand what the pre-op procedures consist of including what tests and consultations you should expect. After your surgery you should be prepared for a new diet, a consistent exercise routine and a drastic change in your body rather quickly.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are a number of different bariatric surgery procedures and how they go about helping you achieve weight loss. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your specific situation and needs your choice in procedure may differ from someone else and what meets their needs. Your doctor can review your situation and the options with you to determine the best route for you to take.

Restrictive Bariatric Surgery Procedures

Restrictive bariatric surgery works by physically reducing the size of the stomach and lowering the amount of food that you are able to take in. Food intake is restricted by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach where the food enters. This pouch can initially hold about 1 ounce of food but can expand to hold up to 2-3 ounces over time. The pouch’s outlet usually has a total diameter of about 1/4 inch. This small outlet delays the emptying of food from the stomach and causes a feeling of fullness so you eat less.

Weight Loss Surgeries that are restrictive in method are:

  • Gastric Banding
  • Gastric Sleeve
  • Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
  • Gastric Plication

Malabsorptive Bariatric Surgery Procedures

Malabsorptive weight loss surgery works by helping patients lose weight by decreasing the amount of nutrition (calories) the body is able to absorb through the intestinal tract. This is accomplished by bypassing a portion of the small intestine so that it cannot access digested food, decreasing the calories the body can use. This type of surgery does not limit the amount of food that can be taken in.

Weight Loss Surgeries that are malabsorptive in method are:

  • Biliopancreatic Diversion

Hybrid (Combination) Bariatric Surgery Procedures

Hybrid or combination weight loss surgeries combine the techniques of both a restrictive procedure and a malabsorptive procedure in to one. The thought is that both reducing the amount of food intake as well as the ability to absorb that food will help to give a two phased approach to weight loss.

Weight Loss Surgeries that are a combination of restrictive and malabsorptive in method are:

  • Gastric Bypass
  • Duodenal Switch