Types of Weight Loss Surgery
While proper diet and exercise can help most people get to and stay at a healthy weight, some people need to
take additional measures to achieve their weight loss goals. People who are extremely overweight often try many
diets, of both the fad and healthy variety, and do not experience success. For some people, weight loss surgery is
the best, and perhaps the only option for meaningful weight loss.
There are a variety of different surgical options for people who, as a result of disease, extreme obesity,
genetic issues, or other factors, cannot lose weight through less drastic measures.
Weight loss surgery does have a high likelihood of leading to a significant weight loss. However, weight loss
surgery is not without risks. When investigating options for weight loss surgery, it is important to look at the
risks and potential side effects associated with each type of surgery in addition to looking at the success rate
for each procedure.
Stomach stapling has been around for many years as a surgical technique for weight loss. When a person has his
or her stomach stapled, the size of the stomach is reduced as a result of stapling portions of it with surgical
staples designed especially for this procedure.
Because the patient’s stomach effectively becomes smaller as a result of the surgery, the patient feels full
faster. This results in weight loss due reduced caloric intake. Patients who eat more than they should are likely
to become ill. Patients who have their stomachs stapled may need to take nutritional supplements to make up for
deficiencies that may result form forced decreased food consumption.
The procedure for stomach stapling has evolved over the past ten years. The original stomach stapling procedure
required opening up the patient’s abdomen. However, recent advances have made laparoscopic stomach stapling
possible for many patients. There is a small risk of bleeding associated with laparoscopic stomach stapling
Gastric bypass is another common form of weight loss surgery. Gastric bypass involves removing part of the
stomach. There are substantial risks associated with this type of surgery although many people have experienced
significant weight loss as a result of the procedure. Like patients who have their stomachs stapled, those who have
gastric bypass surgery need to take nutritional supplements to make sure that all of their nutritional needs are
The Lap Band procedure has become the preferred method of weight loss surgery in recent years. This procedure
poses much less patient risk than does stomach stapling or gastric bypass. The Lap Band procedure can generally be
completed in an outpatient setting. It is generally considered to be safe and doesn’t require a lengthy recovery
period. It involves installing an adjustable device, called a Lap Band, around the stomach. The stomach doesn’t
have to be punctured, and the device can be adjusted or removed as the patient loses weight.
Lap Band patients do typically experience rapid weight loss. It is important for patients to remain under the
care of a licensed physician following the procedure. It is not uncommon for patients to experience hormonal
changes and fluctuations during periods of rapid weight loss.
There are several other forms of weight loss surgery. Your physician is the best source of guidance about
whether or not weight loss surgery is a good option for you. Your physician can also make specific recommendations
regarding the specific types of procedures that might be best for you.