How Bariatric Surgery Can Help You Lose Weight

Bariatric surgery is an umbrella term for all surgical procedures, including gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, that involves altering your digestive system to help you lose weight. These procedures are usually the last resort if diet and exercise do not help you lose enough weight. Bariatric surgery may be an option for obese patients with conditions such as sleep apnea, acid reflux disease, and are 18 years or older. Patients should also be willing to commit to lifelong healthy diet changes and engage in regular exercise. Since weight-loss surgeries are major procedures, working with a certified and skilled specialist like Dr. Michael Sutker in McKinney can help minimize the risk of post-treatment complications.

Types of bariatric surgery

  • Gastric bypass

It is the most common weight loss surgery, and it alters the way your stomach and intestines handle food. Surgery involves two processes, the first one being the division of the stomach into two –a small upper section and a more significant bottom part. The smaller area of the stomach is called a pouch and can only hold approximately an ounce of food. Because of these changes, you will eat less and get full faster. For the second part of the surgery, the doctor cuts the small intestines and directly connects them to the pouch. Because of this, food bypasses most parts of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestines, limiting the body’s calories absorption. Less caloric absorption helps you lose weight faster, which reduces your risk of diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.

  • Sleeve gastrectomy

A sleeve gastrectomy procedure reduces your stomach size by approximately 80%, leaving 20-25% of the usually banana-shaped stomach. Surgery can be done using a laparoscope where the surgeon makes tiny incisions in your upper abdomen to serve as entry points for the device. A small tube is then placed in the stomach to estimate the size of your new pouch. Using a stapler, the surgeon divides the stomach into two unequal parts, leaving a small tube-like pocket that will now be your new stomach. The significant changes in stomach size make you eat less and give you a faster feeling of fullness. However, like any other surgical procedure, it poses potential health risks such as infection, excessive bleeding, and reaction to anesthesia. Others, like leaking of stomach contents, may occur in the long term.

  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch

It is a less common weight-loss surgery and involves two procedures – sleeve gastrectomy and intestinal bypass. The first part of the surgery involves the surgeon removing 80% of the stomach and leaving a small pouch the shape of a banana. During the procedure, your surgeon leaves the pyloric valve and duodenum (upper part of the small intestines), which aids the next step. For the next part of the surgery, the surgeon connects the end of the small intestines to the duodenum, bypassing most parts of the intestines. It can be performed as a single procedure, or sometimes patients undergo intestinal bypass after notable changes from sleeve gastrectomy.

If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 35 and above, consult with your specialist at Michael Sutker, MD, to understand whether bariatric surgery is an option for you.