Choosing the best Weight Loss Surgery option

5 Oct , 2020Bariatric Surgery

If you’re thinking about having weight loss surgery, be prepared that it is life changing and requires a change in mindset in order to be successful in the long run. That being said, weight loss surgery can significantly boost your overall life quality and can also improve existing health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea and high blood pressure, as well as your risks of developing them.

Weight loss surgery has two significant benefits. Firstly, it reduces the stomach to a much smaller size reducing the amount of food able to be consumed. Secondly, it changes your hunger hormones (ghrelin, leptin etc) decreasing your appetite, making you less likely to want to grab a second serving of food.

However, each operation has its own unique abilities and risks. Let’s look into this a bit further.

Lap Band or Gastric Band surgery involves placing an adjustable ring around the top of the stomach, creating a small pouch that slows the progression of food to the main part of the stomach. It leaves you feeling full after eating just a small portion of food. Lap bands are adjustable and can be removed at a later date if required, which makes them attractive. This device however is high maintenance and the risks associated with the device include food getting stuck, the band slipping and the tube breaking. This type of surgery can be a good option for people with a BMI (Body Mass Index) in the 30-32 range looking for a non-permanent option.

adjustable gastric band surgery

Gastric Sleeve or Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery requires the removal of 60-70% of your stomach, including the part that produces the hormone that makes you hungry (ghrelin). It is a good option if you struggle with portion control but generally eat healthily and are looking for a permanent solution. The risks associated with this option include leakage which happens with 1-3% of surgeries and can happen if you are smoking or taking medication that affects the immune system, by way of its ability to heal. Also, this surgery might not be the best option for you if you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux. Reflux or heartburn is a side effect of having gastric sleeve surgery that occurs in around 7-19% of individuals who are having this operation.

That being said gastric sleeve is a very popular operation and has taken over the gastric bypass given its great safety profile.

Gastric sleeve surgery

Gastric Bypass surgery is a more time-tested operation. It can be of one of two different types: The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (commonly known as a gastric bypass or simply RNY) and the Mini gastric bypass (MGB) also known as One Anastomosis Gastric Bypass (OAGB). Both types involve creating a small stomach pouch that is joined directly to the small intestine, bypassing most of the stomach and part of the small intestine. This surgery can be a great revisional operation for people who have not achieved their desired weight loss or have developed issues from previous weight loss surgery. It is also a good option for people struggling with diabetes or if your BMI is 45 or above.

roux-en-y bypass

In very general terms, the difference between the RNY bypass and the MGB is that the RNY bypass surgery has two joins, whereas the MGB surgery has only one join. If you suffer from heartburn, then the Roux-en-Y bypass is a better option for you. On the other hand, if heartburn is not an issue for you, then a mini bypass is an option worthy of consideration.

If you have been thinking about weight loss surgery for a while and would like further information, book a complementary 20 minute phone consultation with our patient advisor. Our Patient advisor will provide you with an overview of what weight loss surgery involves and will answer most if not all your questions regarding the amazing after surgery support package, which is critical for long term success after weight loss surgery.

Co-authored by Charlotte Davey and Dr Arun Dhir