Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

What Is the Safest Form of Weight Loss Surgery?

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
January 14, 2023
What Is the Safest Form of Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is a last resort for those who have tried to lose weight in traditional ways. They might have tried diet and exercise, which is always the first step in trying to lose weight. They could also have tried different forms of diet and gone to nutritionists to get help with their weight loss. 

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

There are all sorts of bariatric surgeries that will allow you to lose weight.  But they all have their benefits and risks. 

Gastric Bypass Roux-en-Y surgery

This is a surgery that is done in two parts. The first part is when the surgeon creates a smaller stomach by partitioning a small part of the stomach. They then cut the small intestine and attach it to the new small pouch. Food can go directly from this small piece of the stomach into the lower part of the small intestine. This bypasses the biggest part of the stomach, allowing the patient to feel a lot fuller quicker. 

The big part of the stomach is still there and still creating digestive juices that aid in the digestive process, but you can’t use it to store more food. It allows you to lose weight with the use of malabsorption and also through the use of hormonal changes because of the surgery. 

There are several pros and cons to this type of weight loss surgery. Roux-en-Y surgery allows for substantial weight loss while remaining reversible without inserting foreign objects. However, a surgery this big requires serious commitment and a lifestyle change. It also opens you up to malabsorption of nutrients.

Laparoscopic Duodenal Switch

This surgery is another procedure that is done in two steps. During the first part of the surgery, the surgeon will remove a big part of the stomach. They leave the valve that allows food into the small intestine intact. However, the surgeon does close a middle section of the intestine and attaches the last part directly to the first part of the small intestine. 

This bypasses a big part of the intestines and the food has a limited amount of time to absorb. This doesn’t give your body much time to turn food into fat. Since the stomach is small the patient also will only be able to eat a limited amount of food. 

The rest of the bypassed intestine will allow bile and digestive juices to still flow and aid in digesting your food. It enables massive weight loss without inserting foreign objects. Individuals need to seriously consider whether this is for them, as this operation removes a large part of the stomach. People will require more nutrients and a slow return to regular eating habits. 

Gastric Sleeve 

During this surgery, the biggest part of the stomach gets sectioned and removed from the body. What remains is a small piece of the vertical stomach that resembles a shirt sleeve. This is one of the most popular weight loss surgeries that is available at the moment. This is a newer, very effective surgery that allows you to lose a lot of weight. 

There are many reasons for individuals to go with gastric sleeve surgery. This reduces the amount of food being consumed while normalizing nutrient absorption and reducing appetite hormone production. This allows people to absorb enough nutrition while being hungry less often. People have to be aware of is that this surgery permanently removes a part of the stomach.  

Gastric Band Surgery 

This is when a surgeon will take a type of band and place it over the top of the stomach. It reduces the size of the stomach and you can’t consume as much food as you used to. 

However, this one is not as effective as some of the other surgeries, and in many ways, it has fewer rewards. Even though it is not invasive, it implants a foreign object that could be rejected. Self-control is essential, as it is not as limiting compared to other surgical types.

Though the risks are many, there are benefits to this procedure. The amount of food that can be consumed is physically reduced. Surgery is minimally invasive with a faster recovery period.

Safety Comparisons 

These types of weight loss surgery are performed often. But they each have their risks. Since both gastric bypass surgery and duodenal switch surgery has more steps to complete, these are both bigger surgeries. 

Gastric band surgery is an older option but this does not give the same benefits as the newer and more modern surgeries that are now available. It is less invasive and that is a bonus, but it won’t give you the massive weight loss of other surgeries. You also add a foreign object to your body and that can be rejected and make you sick. 

For many people, the best option for weight loss surgery is gastric sleeve surgery. This allows you to lose a lot of weight while still absorbing nutrients. And you will produce fewer hormones that make you hungry. Making this the safest option to choose.

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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