There are many types of obesity surgeries. Choosing your obesity procedure will ultimately depend on which surgery fits your lifestyle best.
This page gives an overview of each procedure. For in-depth obesity surgery information by procedure please see the links below.
Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass
Roux En Y is the standard procedure termed laparoscopic gastric bypass in the United States. It is both restrictive and malabsorptive. This procedure uses staples to reduce your stomach size to a small pouch. It also re-routes your small intestines so that food bypasses the duodenum which normally absorbs much of the calories.
- See laparoscopic gastric bypass videos
- What you need to know before laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery
- Find out what others are doing after laparoscopic gastric bypass
Most surgeons refer to this procedure as the “Gold Standard” obesity surgery. Please view our Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Procedure section to learn more about this obesity procedure and if its right for you.
Lap Band Surgery
The Lap Band is the first laparoscopic gastric band to become available in the United States. The other product that just received approval in 2008 for gastric banding is the Realize Band. Allergan’s lap band has been on the American Market the longest of the two gastric bands available.
- This is solely a restrictive obesity surgery where the band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach to restrict the amount of food that can be eaten.
- If you eat too much, the food will sit in this pouch and most likely make you feel sick.
- It can be very effective if you are committed to losing weight. But it might not be the right obesity surgery for everyone.
- Please see our section on the Lap Band Procedure and Gastric Bands to learn if this is right for you.
The Realize Band
The Realize laparoscopic gastric band is made by Johnson and Johnson and has been available oversees for years. It is the most recent gastric band to enter the US Market. For the most part this band is similar to the Lap Band in the way it works.
It creates a small pouch by wrapping around the upper part of the stomach, thus restricting the amount of food you can eat. The band can be filled with saline to adjust the level of tightness and thereby decrease/or increase the amount you can eat.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery
The Gastric Sleeve procedure was originally the first part of a duodenal switch surgery. Surgeons performed this typically because the patient could not tolerate the length of time required for a duodenal switch procedure. Once the patients lost some weight and were in better health the surgeon would perform the remainder of the surgery. However, surgeons noticed that their obese patients loss considerable amounts of weight from the first stage, the gastric sleeve, and they did not require further surgery. As time went on more and more surgeons saw results that were in between a lap gastric band and gastric bypass. But the gastric sleeve surgery was easier and less risky than a gastric bypass. Many patients began to self-pay for gastric sleeves as a primary obesity surgery procedure. Just recently United Healthcare started covering this procedure as a primary obesity surgery and ObesityCoverage expects more to follow suit.
Duodenal Switch Surgery
The duodenal switch surgery is probably the least popular of the four types of obesity procedures. This is not because it’s a bad procedure. The duodenal switch procedure has the longest operative time (sometimes up to 8 hours) and requires the most surgeon skill. Often times this procedure is not covered by insurance but it is worth researching. A skilled surgeon with a history of good results with DS is highly recommend.