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Different types of weight loss surgery: Which one is right for you?

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In 2019 alone, 256,000 people in the United States underwent a bariatric procedure to promote weight loss. Gastric sleeve surgery was the most requested. With this type of surgery, it is estimated that up to 50% of patients can lose excess body weight in the first six months, while 60% of them will be able to maintain this loss for more than ten years. But, what is the best surgery for you and your needs? Get to know the different types of weight-loss surgery and which one might be best for you!

Vagal nerve blocking

types of weight-loss surgery
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Vagal nerve blocking is an effective and immediate solution appetite reduction, which, in most cases, leads people to consume excess calories during the day. It is a device similar to a pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses to the vagus nerve, making you feel satisfied.

Perhaps one of the most important advantages of this type of weight-loss surgery is that the device (which is placed under the rib cage), is controlled externally with a remote control that can be adjusted. Being a minimally invasive surgery, vagal nerve blocking is usually recommended for people who are morbidly obese and are looking for an immediate, and in many cases reversible, solution.

Gastric sleeve surgery

Doctor performing surgery posing
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This is, without a doubt, the procedure that is most in demand in the United States, since 59% of patients who undergo weight-loss surgery choose the gastric sleeve. In  this procedure, the surgeon removes 75% of the stomach. This surgery is an irreversible but effective way to achieve an ideal amount of weight loss. Gastric sleeve surgery, unlike other surgical procedures, does not alter the absorption of food in the intestine and therefore does not put patients at risk for nutritional deficiencies associated with surgery.

Adjustable gastric band

The adjustable gastric band is a surgical procedure considered to be ‘safer’ than bypass surgery, although people who undergo it usually gain back more weight over the years. Although the percentage of body weight lost is lower than in other surgeries, it accounts for about 10% of weight-loss surgeries. This procedure consists of dividing the stomach into two sections, lower and upper, which are connected by a small channel. This means that the you can only consume between a half and a cup of food before feeling full.

Gastric bypass weight-loss surgery

types of weight-loss surgery
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Also known as Roux-en Y or RYGB, the gastric bypass surgery was chosen by 17.9% of all people who underwent a bariatric procedure to lose weight in the past decade. One of its advantages is that it has been associated with a significant improvement with respect to diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and even heartburn.

During a gastric bypass, the surgeon divides the stomach into two parts, connecting the upper part with the lower section of the small intestine. This allows for the absorption of fewer calories, which results in a loss of up to 50% of the excess body weight during the first six months.

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch

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Some gastric surgeries are more “extreme” than others. This is the case with the biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. It was chosen by only .9% of obese patients who underwent such an intervention between 2011-2019. During the surgery, up to 70% of the stomach is removed. This results in faster weight-loss, in addition to reducing the risk of side effects such as malnutrition, ulcers and evacuation syndrome.

AspireAssist Surgery

Relatively new, the AspireAssist device was approved in 2016 by the FDA. It is a tube that is placed through an abdominal incision. Thirty minutes after eating, you connect the tube to an external drainage system to eliminate up to 30% of the calories that have been consumed. So far, it has been proven that patients who undergo surgery to place the AspireAssist device, and follow a diet and exercise routine, manage to lose up to 12% of their body weight.

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