Why names are important will be understood from the different names given to bariatric surgery. Although the purpose of all surgeries is the same, to reduce hunger and the ability of food intake, there are at least six different procedures. Gastric bypass, gastric sleeve surgery, duodenal switch, Lap-band surgery, gastric balloon and V-Bloc therapy are the different types of surgery that are practiced. Which one would be suitable for you would depend on your health condition and your budget. The surgeon will definitely guide you in this respect.
Categories of Surgery
Bariatric surgery can be divided into three categories.
- Restrictive surgeries are aimed at reducing the capacity of stomach so that it holds less food. After you have eaten something little, it gives a sense of fullness. This reduces the urge to eat more thereby preventing the cause of obesity. Gastric sleeve surgery, lap band surgery and gastric balloon surgery belong to this group.
- Malabsorptive surgeries limit the food intake by modifying the digestive system either by removing a part of it or re-arranging it. The nutrients that are required by the body – vitamins, fat, minerals and calories are all reduced and results in high loss of weight. The accompanying complications are also more for these procedures. Gastric bypass surgery and duodenal switch are performed in this process.
- Vagal nerve blocking is aimed at blocking the hunger signals that are sent from the stomach to the brain. This is achieved by using controlled electrical simulation as done in vBloc therapy.
The Surgical Procedures
l Gastric sleeve surgery– In this procedure a large portion of the stomach is removed and an elongated pouch connecting the esophagus to the intestine is created. Keeping the pouch that is stapled, the other part of the stomach is removed. Since the stomach is belittled, hunger hormones are reduced and the feeling of hunger is less. A feeling of fullness stays for long even with less food intake.
l Gastric bypass surgery – A pouch is formed by dividing the stomach into two parts and the pouch at the top is connected to the esophagus while the other part remains attached to the intestines. As intestines re re-arranged the body receives fewer minerals. The small stomach size restricts food intake.
l Duodenal switch – In this procedure, the stomach is reduced in size by forming a gastric sleeve and the intestines re-arranged. It helps to reduce food intake and the body receives fewer minerals and calories. The small stomach secretes fewer hormones that cause hunger.
l Lap Band surgery – The upper middle part of the stomach is restricted by tying a band with a small stomach portion on the top. Since the small part gets filled quickly, it reduces hunger.
l Gastric balloon – One or a pair of inflated silicon balloons re inserted into the stomach to reduce its capacity.
l vBloc therapy – It is a device that is implanted in the stomach to obstruct hunger signals from reaching the brain.
Knowing about the bariatric surgery procedures will help you to take better decision in consultation with the doctor.