Most people have heard about gastric bypass surgery for weight loss, but many do not know that there are several different types of gastric bypass procedures. Each one comes with unique benefits and risks, so you should carefully consider your options before choosing to undergo bariatric surgery.


Gastric Band

Also known simply as “the band,” gastric bands are inflatable devices that fit around the stomach to reduce appetite. By restricting the size of the stomach, the patient will feel fuller after eating smaller quantities of food. The application procedure carries few risks, and patients who get the band are usually in and out of the hospital within 24 hours. The band can be easily adjusted or removed. While the band definitely helps people lose weight, it is not as effective as other gastric bypass surgeries.


Sleeve Gastrectomy

A laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy involves removing about 80 percent of the patient’s stomach. The pouch that remains looks like a tubular sleeve, which can only hold a limited amount of food at one time. On top of suppressing appetite, this procedure also stimulates gut hormones to improve satiety and blood sugar control. Studies suggests that getting a sleeve gastrectomy can help manage diabetes.


The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

 The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery begins with the creation of a small pouch in the upper stomach. Since the pouch is the only portion that can hold food, the amount of calories the patient can comfortably consume at once is drastically reduced. Next, the small intestine is cut and connected to the upper pouch. The lower portion of the stomach is finally reconnected to the intestine further down so that digestive juices can flow into the small intestine. Therefore, food bypasses part of the intestine, so less calories are absorbed into the body. Weight loss results can be drastic, yet there are some risks to consider. The recovery period can take weeks, and patients must pay special attention to their dietary needs for the rest of their life to avoid malnutrition.


Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
First, most of the stomach is removed. The middle section of the small intestine is then sealed off, and the lower part is attached directly to the first portion of the small intestine, which is called the duodenal. The remaining middle part of the intestine is then attached to the end, which allows for the flow of bile and pancreatic digestive juices to this area. As a result, food bypasses the majority of the small intestine, so less food gets into the body and less nutrients get absorbed. This option typically produces the best results in terms of weight loss, but it carries the most significant risks and complication rates.


The Gastric Balloon

Integrated Dual Balloon System
A balloon is inserted into the stomach and inflated, which leaves less space for food and makes the patient feel fuller. Gastric balloons must be taken out within six months, so they can be a short term solution to help jump start a comprehensive weight loss program that also involves diet and exercise.