What is the Best Surgery to Lose Weight?
Obesity is a major cause of serious health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, liver failure, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Bariatric surgery has proven to be an effective solution as it promotes sudden weight loss for people living with obesity. In recent times, weight loss surgeries are performed using minimally invasive procedures. Bariatric surgery facilitates weight loss by limiting the amount of food held by the stomach. This leads to malabsorption of nutrients caused by hormonal changes triggered by gastric restriction.
Whether you are new to weight loss surgeries or considering bariatric surgery in the future, it is important to have an idea of the various types of surgeries available for weight loss and the way they facilitate weight loss. Keep in mind that each type of bariatric surgery has its benefits and downsides so it is important to weigh options with your surgeon to find what suits your situation and preferences.
- Gastric Bypass
Gastric Bypass is regarded as the gold standard of weight loss surgery with only two components to the procedure. The top part of the stomach is separated from the lower stomach to create a small pouch that limits food intake. The second procedure involves dividing the initial portion of the small intestine and connecting the rear end of the bisected small intestine to the bypassed stomach. The top part of the bisected small intestine is further connected to the remaining part of the lower stomach to allow food from the bypassed stomach to mix with digestive enzymes and stomach acids.
Rerouting the food passages stimulates changes in gut hormones that suppress hunger, promote satiety and reverse the primary mechanism by which obesity induces type 2 diabetes. However, gastric bypass requires a longer stay in the hospital and is technically a more complex operation compared to adjustable gastric band surgery. It also requires adherence to strict dietary recommendations and can lead to long-term vitamin or mineral deficiencies in the body.
- Sleeve Gastrectomy
Sleeve gastrectomy is often performed by reducing the size of the stomach by a bigger percentage, approximately 80 percent. The remaining part of the stomach is shaped like a tubular pouch that takes a crescent shape. The new stomach helps to reduce the number of calories consumed by holding a considerably smaller volume of food compared to the normal stomach. However, sleeve gastrectomy has a huge impact on gut hormones that influence satiety, hunger, and blood sugar control.
Medical research and studies show that sleeve gastrectomy is effective in improving type 2 diabetes. The major difference between this type of surgery and gastric bypass or adjustable gastric band is that it does not require foreign objects inside the body and there is no re-routing of food stream in the intestines. However, it is a non-reversible procedure with a high complication rate and has the potential for long-term vitamin deficiencies.
All the above bariatric surgeries are effective at promoting weight loss but they all have their benefits and downsides. The decision to choose between these types of weight loss surgeries will depend on many factors such as mortality risk and health issues that may occur after the surgery. It is important to talk to your surgeon about your weight goals and concerns. Obesity can affect your quality of life and pose potential challenges to weight loss. Professional surgeons can offer a better guide to patients considering a bariatric procedure as they have years of experience and skilled knowledge regarding weight-loss operations.
Dr. Saniea F. Majid, MD, FACS, FASMBS, is our founder, director, and award-winning surgeon with more than 10 years of experience treating patients. She is the President of the New Jersey state chapter of ASMBS, a member of the Board of Directors at New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance, and Chair of the Post Operative Weight Recurrence Task Force (POWER). Dr. Majid has devoted her life to helping people like you lose weight and transform their lives and not only started and directed the Metabolic and Bariatric Center at Saint Michaels Medical Center but also achieved the National Center of Excellence. Dr. Majid is one of only three bariatric doctors and surgeons featured in the 2023 Healthy Living magazine published by NJ Top Docs. She is also a regular guest speaker for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) where she trains bariatric surgeons on the latest methods and techniques.