Thanks to the outstanding results enjoyed by countless patients, public awareness of weight loss surgeries has been growing by leaps and bounds. Even so, many prospective patients are wondering about the pluses and minuses of Lap Band versus gastric bypass procedures, without knowing much about them or even being aware that there is a third procedure, sleeve gastrectomy, which is quickly becoming the most widely recommended weight loss procedure. Of course, all three procedures have helped a great many people lose weight and go on to healthier, and happier lives. However, Dr. Feiz & Associates is committed to ensuring that patients understand all of the available options. So, here is a brief rundown of how these procedures work, their benefits and issues.
Sometimes referred to medically as the Roux-en-Y, this is an older procedure that has produced outstanding results for many patients. At the same time, however, it radically alters the digestive tract, creating an extremely small stomach pouch and actually bypassing much of the small intestine. As with all weight loss surgeries, this means that patients must eat much smaller portions than before, but it also may have some issues relating to absorbing nutrients, which may require the use of additional nutritional supplements. There may be some increased side effects, including a higher risk of such issues as kidney stones and gall stones.
Actually a brand name, the Lap Band and other banding procedures appeal to many patients as it is much less invasive, leaves the digestive system essentially intact, and is also reversible if necessary. Requiring a number of adjustments after the band is first implanted, most of the stomach is essentially tied off, allowing only a very small area of the stomach available. This causes overeating to be very uncomfortable and most patients report that it makes losing weight easier. However, its results are slower than with other procedures, and may often be somewhat less effective in terms of fostering a truly significant weight loss.
Like the Lap Band, a sleeve gastrectomy is a minimally invasive procedure done with the use of a laparoscope, a tiny camera which allows procedures to be done with a minimal number of extremely small incisions. It differs from banding, however, in that it permanently removes approximately 75 to 85 percent of the stomach, while otherwise leaving the digestive system largely as it was. At the same time, as with a gastric bypass, it allows for weight loss that is more rapid and certain than with banding.
This procedure offers two important benefits. First, it greatly reduces the available area of the stomach and makes overeating difficult. Second, the removal of most of the stomach also reduces the production of ghrelin, a hunger hormone which appears to be largely responsible for sabotaging most long-term weight loss efforts. For this reason, many patients and their doctors agree that the sleeve gastrectomy represents a highly satisfactory compromise between the pros and cons of gastric bypasses and banding procedures.
Making a decision about a weight loss surgery requires the counsel of an experienced weight loss specialist. Noted bariatric surgeon Michael Feiz, M.D., F.A.C.S. is here to work with patients with severe obesity – i.e., those with a BMI (body mass index) of 40 and above, or 35 and above with related health problems such as type 2 diabetes. He has helped countless patients defeat their severe obesity once and for all, and he is ready to help you. To get started, please contact us at the phone number on this page, or reach out via e-mail through our contact page.