My Bariatric Life: Types of Weight-Loss (Obesity) Surgery Procedures

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  •  There are several bariatric surgery procedures, commonly known as weight-loss surgery, which are performed to treat morbid obesity. Two types of approaches are used:


    • Malabsorptive procedures divert food from the stomach to a lower part of the digestive tract where the normal mixing of digestive fluids and absorption of nutrients cannot occur.
    • Restrictive procedures restrict the size of the stomach and decrease intake.
    • Many procedures can combine both types of approaches


    The following are descriptions of bariatric surgery procedures:


    1. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGBP)

    The RYGBP achieves weight loss by gastric restriction and malabsorption. Reduction of the stomach to a small gastric pouch (30 cc - about the size of an egg) results in feelings of satiety following even small meals. This small pouch is connected to a segment of the jejunum, bypassing the duodenum and very proximal small intestine, thereby reducing absorption. RYGBP procedures can be open or laparoscopic.

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    2. Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS)

    The BPD achieves weight loss by gastric restriction and malabsorption. The stomach is partially resected, but the remaining capacity is generous compared to that achieved with RYGBP. As such, patients eat relatively normal-sized meals and do not need to restrict intake radically, since the most proximal areas of the small intestine (i.e., the duodenum and jejunum) are bypassed, and substantial malabsorption occurs. The partial BPD/DS is a variant of the BPD procedure. It involves resection of the greater curvature of the stomach, preservation of the pyloric sphincter, and transection of the duodenum above the ampulla of Vater with a duodenoileal anastomosis and a lower ileoileal anastomosis. BPD/DS procedures can be open or laparoscopic.


    3. Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB) - Lap-Band, Realize Band

    The AGB achieves weight loss by gastric restriction only. A band creating a gastric pouch with a capacity of approximately 15 to 30 cc's encircles the uppermost portion of the stomach. The band is an inflatable doughnut-shaped balloon, the diameter of which can be adjusted in the clinic by adding or removing saline via a port that is positioned beneath the skin. The bands are adjustable, allowing the size of the gastric outlet to be modified as needed, depending on the rate of a patient's weight loss. AGB procedures are laparoscopic only.


    4. Sleeve Gastrectomy

    Sleeve gastrectomy is a 70%-80% greater curvature gastrectomy (sleeve resection of the stomach) with continuity of the gastric lesser curve being maintained while simultaneously reducing stomach volume. It may be the first step in a two-stage procedure when performing RYGBP. Sleeve gastrectomy procedures can be open or laparoscopic.


    5. Vertical Gastric Banding (VGB)

    The VGB achieves weight loss by gastric restriction only. The upper part of the stomach is stapled, creating a narrow gastric inlet or pouch that remains connected with the remainder of the stomach. In addition, a non-adjustable band is placed around this new inlet in an attempt to prevent future enlargement of the stoma (opening). As a result, patients experience a sense of fullness after eating small meals. Weight loss from this procedure results entirely from eating less. VGB procedures are essentially no longer performed.


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    6. Intestinal Bypass Surgery

    The Intestinal Bypass achieves weight loss by malabsorption only. The safety of this surgery for treatment of obesity has not been demonstrated. Severe adverse reactions such as steatorrhea, electrolyte depletion, liver failure, arthralgia, hypoplasia of bone marrow, and avitaminosis have sometimes occurred as a result of this procedure. It is an older former of bariatric surgery and generally not performed anymore. Read one patient's story with intestinal bypass surgery.


    7. Gastric Balloon for Treatment of Obesity

    The gastric balloon is a medical device developed for use as a temporary adjunct to diet and behavior modification to reduce the weight of patients who fail to lose weight with those measures alone. It is inserted into the stomach to reduce the capacity of the stomach and to affect early satiety. The long term safety and efficacy of the device in the treatment of obesity has not been established. This procedure essentially is no longer performed.



    Up next: My Decision to Have Weight-Loss Surgery



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    My Story...

    You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.



Published On: July 07, 2011