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The Differences Between Bariatric Surgical Procedures

As one of the nation’s leading bariatric surgeons, Michael Feiz, M.D., F.A.C.S. is an expert on all of the various types of procedures currently being offered. While certain procedures have become more popular in recent times, as discussion has centered largely on Lap Band vs. sleeve gastrectomy, the three basic procedures remain essentially the same.

Gastric Bypass

As its name indicates, the bypass – the oldest of the most commonly performed procedures — actually shortens the path by which food is digested. A very small mini-stomach of sorts is created which connects to the small intestine further down from where food ordinarily enters the digestive organ. The result is that the appetite is greatly reduced because eating large amounts of food becomes uncomfortable. Also, bypassing part of the intestine means that fewer calories can be absorbed. While extremely effective, this method has a number of downsides and possible side effects.

Lap Band

This procedure essentially ties-off a very large portion of the stomach, great reducing its size. As with the bypass, reducing the size of the stomach reduces the appetite, but since the digestive system is left otherwise the same, the changes are less extreme. Patients may still eat a full range of foods, only in smaller amounts. Individuals also are often attracted to the fact that band is both removable and adjustable. While highly effective, when results are insufficient or otherwise problematic additional procedures typically produce outstanding results. Dr. Feiz has an outstanding record when it comes to Lap Band revision surgery.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

This procedure is so-named because, when it is done, the stomach is left in a sleeve-like configuration. As with the Lap Band, it works by greatly reducing the size of the stomach, making overeating far more difficult. However, it also boasts an additional level of effectiveness because, along with 75 to 85 percent of the stomach, the operation removes a section responsible for the product of ghrelin, a very powerful hunger hormone. Dr. Feiz has performed a great many hugely successful sleeve procedures, as well as numerous Lap Band to sleeve conversions.

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