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What Are the Different Types of Bariatric Surgery?


If you or someone you know is considering having some form of surgical procedure to help them lose weight, there are two important questions that should be asked:

  1. What types of weight loss, or bariatric surgery are available?
  2. Are you or someone you know a suitable candidate for any of these procedures?

People who seek to have bariatric surgery need to meet some important criteria. They must be at least 100 pounds overweight, which puts them in the category of chronically obese, and they must have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40. If you fall into these categories, you may want to learn more about the different types of bariatric surgery that are available to you. Listed below are some of the most common types of bariatric surgery that are used today; however, there are numerous variations of the procedures, which are selected based on the individual’s needs. 

What is Bariatrics?

Bariatrics is the area of medicine dedicated to the causes of obesity, as well as its prevention and treatment. Bariatric surgery is the clinical name used for all types of weight loss surgery.

Common Types of Bariatric Surgery

  • Gastric Bypass – This type of weight loss surgery may sound familiar to you, mainly because it’s been used successfully for years. In a gastric bypass, a small part of the upper stomach is stapled shut and ultimately becomes unusable. Then the remaining, smaller part of the stomach is connected to the intestine. The result of this is a reduced stomach capacity, which causes a diminished appetite and in turn, weight loss.
  • Adjustable Gastric Band – This form of bariatric surgery uses laparoscopic techniques to insert a band around the upper portion of the stomach. Like the gastric bypass, this procedure divides the stomach into two parts, but the surgery isn’t nearly as invasive. This Lap-Band serves as an adjustable gastric banding, and has become increasingly popular in recent years.
  • Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG) – In this procedure, two of the surgical techniques mentioned previously are combined – stomach bands and staples.  Also similar to other types of bariatric surgery, the VBG portions off the stomach, actually creating a stomach-within-a-stomach.
  • Gastric Sleeve Surgery – Compared to the other procedures mentioned here, this form of bariatric surgery is relatively new. You may have heard it referred to as laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, or LSG. In this procedure, a fairly large portion of the stomach is removed, with only a sleeve-shaped portion remaining. 

This will give you a better understanding of the fundamentals of the different types of bariatric surgery. Keep in mind that there are numerous varieties of procedures that can be done, based on the individual situation of each patient. 

If you are considering weight loss surgery, this information can serve as a good starting point for further research. You also should talk to your doctor to see if you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery, and to discuss which type of procedure is best-suited to your needs.


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