Weight loss surgeries are the only procedures so far that have been proven to facilitate long term permanent weight loss. While the sleeve gastrectomy is now the bariatric procedure most often recommended here at Dr. Feiz & Associates, there are other options – each with their own benefits and risks – that patients should be aware of.
This procedure is the oldest weight loss surgery and has therefore been the subject of a great deal of research documenting its benefits. It is considered the most reliable of the procedures because of its proven status; however, it is also the most radical. In a gastric bypass, only a very small portion of the stomach is utilized, and a section of the intestine is used to bypass a significant part of the digestive system so that fewer calories are absorbed. The most common version of this surgery is called the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Since the very small stomach reduces the appetite very significantly, and fewer calories are absorbed, this procedure has proven to be extremely reliable in terms of ensuring a weight loss. However, it carries with it a number of possible drawbacks. In particular, it is important that patients take advantage of extensive supplementation to ward off possible vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by bypassing part of the digestive tract. Also, particularly if patients are not extremely careful in their choice of foods, they may experience “dumping syndrome,” which is as unpleasant as it sounds. It can involve a risk of fainting, severe nausea, and weakness, as well as diarrhea.
Highly reliable, yet much less radical than the gastric bypass, this type of procedure has been producing consistently good results for weight loss surgery patients since its introduction in the late 1980s. A sleeve gastrectromy essentially leaves the digestive system intact while removing roughly 75-85% of the stomach, leaving a smaller, sleeve-like structure in place. It appears to reduce the appetite in two distinct ways. First, the smaller area of the stomach makes overeating uncomfortable. Second, removing the majority of the stomach appears to produce some very significant hormonal benefits which make losing weight and keeping it off significantly easier. Specifically, removing most of the stomach also reduces the body’s production of ghrelin, a hormone associated with the powerful urges to overeat that tend to increase as we lose weight.
While most patients are now opting for the sleeve gastrectomy, no two cases are ever exactly alike. Dr. Feiz and Associates is happy to help patients explore their options and will help them to develop a treatment plan that works best for them. To get started, please call us at the phone number above or reach out to us via our contact page.