Weight-loss-surgery or Bariatric Surgery has been shown to be very effective at producing significant and sustained weight-loss. There are several different weight-loss operations that are currently available that can lead to this desired result. Because of this, one of the most frequent questions I get from patients considering weight-loss surgery is, “How do I decide which procedure is right for me?”
Effectiveness of Weight-loss Surgery Operations
It is my opinion that EACH of the most common weight-loss operations done today (gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding, and sleeve gastrectomy) are effective when:
- They are performed by an Expert Bariatric Surgeon
- They are done in a center that offers an aftercare program that focuses on dietary, behavioral and exercise changes.
- And most importantly, we are done on a patient willing to work with their operation
No matter what procedure a patient chooses, the key to weight-loss surgery is getting the patient to use their weight-loss operation to implement a lifestyle change. Each of the available surgeries truly is a “tool” that will help to control hunger and portion size, but that’s it! The rest is up to the patient.
Having said that, there are some differences between the available “tools.” Here are some of the things a patient should consider when deciding which surgery is right for them.
How to choose a surgery type?
In general, patients undergone a bypass surgery will lose 70 percent of the extra weight, gastrectomy patients lose approx. 60 percent and gastric band patients will lose around 50 percent. The results depend on the scheduled follow-ups attended by the patient and lifestyle changes made after the surgery.
Patients who underwent gastric bypass or sleeve surgery, most likely achieve the expected amount of weight loss as mentioned above. If these patients don’t follow the recommended lifestyle, then they may gain weight in due course of time. In the case of gastric banding surgery patients can lose 70 – 90 percent of excess weight which is higher than the expected weight loss of 50 percent and in some cases there is no weight loss. No weight loss happens in the case where the patient doesn’t follow up or making changes in the lifestyle.
Patients of Gastric bypass and sleeve generally tend to lose 5 – 7 pounds per week and achieve the expected weight loss amount in a year. Therefore, these surgeries give results in less time while gastric banding patients have a slow and steady weight loss. They tend to lose 1-2 pounds per week and achieve the expected weight loss in two years of time.
Some patients prefer gastric banding over the bypass surgery in a hope that when some cure for obesity will come up, they will get rid of the band and live like before. Although gastric bypass is also reversible, it is more challenging than removing a band. A sleeve gastrectomy cannot be reversed like the other two methods. But it should be noted that when banding or bypass is reversed the patient tends to gain weight since the device for controlling hunger and food intake has been removed. The only way is to maintain the lost weight after reversal surgery is to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Many patients fear that minimally invasive surgery means more danger. Although, this is right that gastric bypass or sleeve surgery are major operations, when we look at the complication occurrence rate, we found out that both surgeries carry the same probability rate of 10 – 15 percent complication rate but surgeries in recent times are much safer.