Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery Types: Which One Is the Safest? 

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
December 20, 2021
Weight Loss Surgery Types: Which One Is the Safest? 

America has seen rising rates of obesity in recent years. Being overweight or obese is a health concern that can cause many other problems. Some ways to combat being overweight or obese include adjusting your diet, incorporating exercise, and/ or undergoing surgery for weight loss. Learning as much as you can about weight loss surgeries can help you determine which is the best option for you and your needs. This article will discuss each weight loss procedure and identify which surgery is the safest. 

Types of Weight Loss Surgeries

Gastric Sleeve

Gastric sleeve surgery, better known as laparoscopic vertical gastrectomy, is a common surgery in which a portion of the stomach is removed from the body. During this surgery, the stomach is made into a banana or sleeve shape that is about 20% of the original stomach size. The reduction of the stomach has multiple effects. First, it reduces the size of the stomach. Once the stomach is smaller, the patient feels full more quickly and therefore consumes less food, which will lead to weight loss. Another effect of gastric sleeve surgery is that the stomach will not produce as much ghrelin, a hormone that affects hunger. The stomach produces ghrelin, which is released in different parts of the body such as the brain, pancreas, small intestine, and stomach.

Gastric Bypass

The laparoscopic roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery sections off the stomach into a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. This sectioning is called gastric remnant. The smaller upper pouch is surgically connected to the small intestines so that food will leave the small pouch and enter directly into the small intestines. The larger part of the stomach remains in the body to create digestive juices and break down food. 

This procedure helps with weight loss because it restricts the amount of food that the stomach can comfortably consume. It also promotes malabsorption, which occurs when the body has a hard time digesting or absorbing food and its nutrients. Hormonal changes following gastric bypass surgery may also decrease feelings of hunger.

Gastric Band

Another surgery for weight loss is the lap-band procedure, otherwise known as laparoscopic adjustable gastric band. This procedure places a ring made of material similar to rubber around the upper stomach. An inflatable balloon attached to the ring holds the ring in place. The band divides the stomach into a small pouch and a large pouch without cutting it. The lap band is a bit different from the bypass surgery because the stomach is not surgically separated and the band can adjust the size of each section of the stomach, which is done by a surgeon injecting or removing fluid inside the inflatable balloon. This procedure helps with weight loss by restricting how much food the stomach can take in.

Duodenal Switch

Laparoscopic Duodenal Switch starts with gastric sleeve surgery followed by disconnecting the top of the small intestines from the stomach, closing it off, and reconnecting it to the bottom of the small intestine. The middle section of the small intestine remains in the body and is reattached to the bottom of the small intestines to help provide digestive juices. This procedure leads to weight loss because it reduces the size of the stomach and prevents food from traveling through most of the small intestines. This will ensure that calories and nutrition are not absorbed by the body. 

Which procedure is the safest?

Each procedure has its own risks. However, surgeries such as the duodenal switch that affect malabsorption are riskier. Although lap-band surgery is less effective, it could be considered the safest because it does not require any cutting or removing of organs. Gastric sleeve surgery is also a safer option because the small intestine is not changed. 

For more information about each procedure or to get started on your weight loss journey, call Bass Bariatric Surgery Center today at 923-281-3711 or you can make an appointment at the BASS Bariatric Surgery Center website. Our experts can help you reach your health goals and restart your life in a new way. 

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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