As obesity surgery increases in popularity, the number of procedures available does likewise. Developments in medicine and surgical techniques have allowed more complex procedures to be used to address what some people are calling our obesity epidemic.
At the moment, there are five main types of obesity surgery - gastric band, gastric bypass, gastric balloon, sleeve gastrectomy, and biliopancreatic diversion. Each procedure shares many similarities but several key differences.
A gastric band is one of the safest types of weight loss procedures, and one of the least invasive with just one night in hospital required or even less (assuming keyhole surgery is used). Recovery time is just two weeks, and up to 50% weight loss can be achieved.
A gastric bypass reduces the volume of the stomach as well as manipulating the small intestine to affect the absorption of food. The treatment requires at least two nights in hospital, and sometimes as long as five. Recovery time is three weeks, and up to 70% weight loss can be achieved.
A gastric balloon is a non surgical procedure that does not require an overnight stay in hospital, and recovery time is just a day or so. In some cases, patients have lost up to 40% of their body mass.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a type of weight loss treatment commonly used as an alternative to a gastric bypass. At least two nights are required in hospital, recovery time is three weeks, and up to 70% weight loss can be achieved.
And finally, a biliopancreatic diversion is a complex procedure, again requiring at least two nights in hospital, and three weeks recovery time. In some cases, a massive 80% weight loss can be achieved using this method.
Common Bariatrics Questions
What are the side effects of a gastrointestinal bypass operation?
How much pain will I experience during or after a stomach banding procedure?