For some time now, the two most common bariatric procedures have been the sleeve gastrectomy and banding procedures such as the Lap Bad. These operations have been very attractive to patients because they are both significantly less invasive than the older gastric bypass. While the bypass significantly altered the digestive system so that fewer calories (and fewer nutrients) were absorbed by the body, both of these newer procedures focus more on lowering the patient’s appetite, making it much easier to stick to a significantly lower calorie diet on a long-term basis.
Michael Feiz, M.D., F.A.C.S. has had considerable experience with all weight loss procedures. He now suggests sleeve gastrectomies over the procedures commonly known as Lap Bands, the brand name which became synonymous with those types of procedures.
Both Lap Bands and sleeve gastrectomies work by making the available area of the stomach a great deal smaller, making overeating uncomfortable and thereby reducing the appetite. Banding, as the word implies, essentially tied off a portion of the stomach, and many patients liked the fact that the procedure was reversible. However, the procedure also required follow-up procedures to adjust the band, and bands could occasionally slip.
Sleeve gastrectomies, on the other hand, permanently reduce the size of the stomach by roughly 75-85%. Over time, it turned out that these procedures were more reliable, largely because of a positive side-benefit of the operation. It is that, along with most of the stomach, the surgery also removes something called the fundus, which produces ghrelin, a hormone tasked with alerting the brain when it’s time to eat. The problem with ghrelin is that overweight people seem to produce more of it than others. Even worse, production of the hormone tends to increase as we lose weight. It’s one major reason for the grim statistics on significant long-term weight loss without a bariatric procedure.
Fortunately, the two-fold impact of making overeating unpleasant and actually reducing the excessive impulses to eat in the first place, has proven to be a very powerful combination when it comes to defeating obesity. Given the very high chances of long-term successful outcomes, Dr. Feiz now typically suggests this procedure to patients who are candidates for a weight loss procedure.
If you or someone you love is struggling with severe obesity – defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or 35 or greater with related health problems – our team at Dr. Feiz & Associates may be able to help. To find out more, please contact us at the phone number above. You can also reach out to us over the Internet through our contact page.