Which Weight-Loss Surgery is the Best Option for You?

Weight loss surgery is a major decision that requires careful consideration. Learn about different types of surgeries available, their benefits & risks & how they can help you reach your goals.

Which Weight-Loss Surgery is the Best Option for You?

Weight loss surgery is a major decision that requires careful consideration. It is important to understand the different types of weight-loss surgeries available, their benefits and risks, and how they can help you reach your weight-loss goals. The two most common weight-loss procedures are Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. A large study found that patients with a lap band reduce their BMI by about 8 points, the average maximum.

Gastric bypass surgery boasts the greatest weight loss, both in the short and long term. Studies have shown that many people maintain most of their weight for 10 years or more. Gastric sleeve, a newer surgery, has become the most popular weight loss procedure today. With this surgery, we remove about 80% of your stomach.

It remains a long and thin bag or “sleeve”. This helps you control the amount of food you eat at the same time and makes you feel full very quickly with a very reduced ability to eat food. The weight loss results of the gastric sleeve procedure are similar to those of the bypass. Fewer food intolerances than with gastric band, faster weight loss than gastric band, and suitable for teenagers from 14 years old are some of its advantages. Gastric bypass also has good long-term results.

Rapid weight loss due to gastric bypass has been reported, with patients experiencing resolution of diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and coronary artery disease. However, it also had the highest complication rates in the month after surgery. Former patients with gastric bypass who have regained weight and patients who did not lose weight after gastric bypass can opt for endoscopic plication without incision to return the stomach pouch to the size achieved after gastric bypass. Today, most types of bariatric surgery are performed laparoscopically. A laparoscope is a small tubular instrument with a camera attached which is inserted through small incisions in the abdomen.

The small camera at the tip of the laparoscope allows the surgeon to see and operate inside the abdomen without making traditional large incisions. Laparoscopic surgery can speed up and shorten recovery, but it is not suitable for everyone. At UPMC Bariatric Services, our team of board-certified surgeons will explain the pros and cons of gastric sleeve surgeries vs. gastric bypass or other types of bariatric surgery for long-term weight loss. Every weight-loss surgery has benefits for certain people, depending on their health status and situation. It's important to consider how much weight they can expect to lose after surgery, how committed they are to making a new lifestyle change, how prepared they and their family are to take the step of surgery.

Depending on several health factors, you're generally eligible for weight-loss surgery if your body mass index (BMI) is 35 or higher, or 30 or higher if you have complications from obesity, such as diabetes or coronary heart disease. It is also possible not to lose enough weight or regain weight after any type of weight-loss surgery, even if the procedure itself works properly. Abdominal band surgery is the least invasive procedure for weight loss surgery as it provides the fastest recovery time. Make a list of things you want to do that your weight has prevented you from doing and reward yourself when you reach those goals. Every bariatric surgery offers excellent weight-loss results: no surgery is better than another for the treatment of obesity.