If you are overweight or obese, you may have found — as is true for many people who struggle with weight — that lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise alone are often not enough to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Losing weight can be frustrating and downright discouraging, but it is important to know first of all that you are not a failure. For many patients, there are genetic and physiological factors at play that make it difficult to maintain any weight loss. There is a “set point” or weight that the body naturally wants to maintain. While this may be temporarily altered by diet and lifestyle changes, most people find that their body will return to this set point over time.
Bariatric surgery is a proven tool to help patients lose weight and can help reset or re-calibrate the natural set point by altering hormones that cause weight gain. Every year, nearly 200,000 patients nationwide make the decision to have weight loss surgery to lose weight and reclaim their health.
Are you considering weight loss surgery, or has your doctor recommended bariatric surgery as an option to help you lose weight? If so, there are a number of procedures available to you. But how can you know which option will be safest and most effective for you?
While it’s important to consult your doctor about your weight loss surgery options, take a look at the surgery options available and some of the key differences in bariatric procedures.
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB)
During the laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, a small stomach pouch is created and connected to the middle portion of the small intestine. The stomach size is reduced from about the size of a football to the size of a lemon, restricting the amount of food that can be consumed. This pouch “bypasses” the remainder of the stomach along with the first portion of the small intestine, thereby limiting intestinal absorption. The average gastric bypass patient will lose 70 to 80 percent of their excess body weight in the first year after surgery.
Though gastric bypass has long been considered the “gold standard” of weight loss operations, in recent years, advancements in the gastric sleeve procedure — particularly Dr. McCarty’s patented Mini Sleeve operation — have made gastric sleeve a more appealing option for many patients.
Gastric sleeve surgery has become a popular choice of bariatric patients in recent years. During this procedure, a large portion of the stomach is removed, reducing the overall size of the stomach by about 70 percent. By shrinking the size of the stomach, food consumption is restricted, resulting in significant weight loss. Gastric sleeve surgery also removes the portion of the stomach responsible for production of the hunger hormone, grehlin, resulting in reduced hunger. Gastric sleeve is a lower-risk surgery than gastric bypass and the average patient will lose about 70 to 80 percent of their excess body weight.
As an innovator in bariatric surgery, Dr. Todd McCarty has further improved the gastric sleeve procedure with his invention of the patented Mini Sleeve. Using the natural entrances to the abdominal cavity to remove the resected portion of the stomach, Dr. McCarty is able to avoid the many painful incisions required with standard laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery resulting in reduced risk for complications, faster recovery times, few scars and no hospital stay.
Gastric banding, such as the Lap-Band procedure, has been a popular option as it does not involve any cutting, stapling or intestinal rerouting. However, popularity of this procedure has declined in recent years due to the number of patients who require band removal and opt for bariatric revision from the original procedure.
During the gastric band procedure, an adjustable band is placed around the stomach to create a small pouch. A catheter is attached and fluid is injected to expand the band as needed. Gastric banding helps patients control portion control and feel fuller on less food. Gastric banding is the only weight loss surgery option that is reversible. Patients who choose gastric banding can expect to lose 30 to 40 percent of their excess body weight in the first year.
Unfortunately, there is simply no perfect weight loss procedure, nor is any one procedure the best option for every patient who needs to lose weight. There are limitations to each of the weight loss surgery options and for any number of reasons, some patients who undergo bariatric surgery may not be satisfied with their results. In these cases, patients who have undergone a prior bariatric surgery, have the option of surgical revision to help them get back on track and lose the weight.
If weight loss surgery is something you are considering to help you lose weight and reclaim your health, call McCarty Weight Loss Center today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Todd McCarty, a leader in bariatric surgery for more than 20 years. Dr. McCarty will help you choose the procedure that is the best option to help you safely lose weight and keep it off.