Comparing Bariatric Surgery Procedures

Comparing procedures can be somewhat difficult because not every weight loss surgery patient is suited to each of the bariatric surgery options available today. As surgical techniques have become more refined and new procedures have become available, patients now have a great deal of choice when they decide to undergo bariatric surgery.

The two main, and most commonly performed, weight loss surgery procedures are the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. The duodenal switch is also making a comeback as more clinical evidence as supported its use in selected patients. Until other procedures become more common, and long-term clinical data is more readily available, we will limit our comparisons to these three procedures. To learn more about these procedures and compare them to each other, please click on the links below:

No matter what procedure a patient ultimately chooses, bariatric surgery can offer life-changing, and sometimes lifesaving, intervention for obesity. While each procedure does offer some degree of additional benefit or risk over another, the key point to remember is that the patient will ultimately determine their success in weight loss after surgery.

There is no one surgery that is better than the rest. For example, while gastric bypass offers the greatest average excess body weight loss of the major bariatric procedures1, it is also more complex, and patients must take dietary and nutritional concerns seriously. Conversely, gastric banding, including the Lap-Band, while less invasive, offered lower potential weight loss potential after surgery and may have more frequent complications.1

In many cases, gastric sleeve is the goldilocks option, however it too has drawbacks that need to be discussed, such as the potential for worsened acid reflux.

Researching options is the key to making the best choice. It is important to remember that the experiences of other patients, while valuable, can represent isolated experiences that may not apply to everyone. Attending a free bariatric surgery information seminar, as well as scheduling a consultation with an experienced local bariatric surgeon, can help a great deal with understanding the benefits and potential risks of each of the weight loss procedures available.

1 Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric surgery. A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2004;292:1724-1737.

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