Obesity may sometimes cross over the threshold beyond which no amount of rigorous exercise or controlled dieting can help you lose that excess weight. In such a situation, bariatric surgery may be the most helpful option. While the term may be used to refer to weight loss surgery in general, a little bit of research will tell you that there are several types of surgery for weight loss. In this article, we have reviewed seven such surgeries, six of which we recommend. Read on to find out more about these surgeries.


Product FAQ


Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the several types of surgery for weight loss.

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1. What Is a Surgery for Weight Loss?

2. What Are the Different Types of Surgery for Weight Loss?  

3. What Are the Benefits of the Many Types of Surgery for Weight Loss?

4. Who Is a Good Candidate for the Different Types of Surgery for Weight Loss?

5. Are the Various Types of Surgery for Weight Loss Covered by Insurance?


​How We Reviewed


Our team of reviewers looked at the many types of surgery for weight loss and reviewed each of them based on the procedure involved, its pros and cons, and the complications (if any) involved in the surgery. We have also gone the extra mile to compile a list of links where you can understand and learn more about these surgical options.


​​Overall Price Range Of This Product (and Similar Products)


The price range of these surgical procedures might differ if you possess insurance coverage. But typically, it costs somewhere around $8,000 to around $30,000 depending on the type of weight loss surgery.


​​​What We Reviewed


  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass 
  • vBloc Therapy
  • Gastric Balloon
  • Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
  • Gastric Sleeve
  • Aspire Assist
  • Lap-Band


Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Description

Among the different types of surgery for weight loss, the gastric bypass surgery is the one that is the most commonly undertaken. In this procedure, a surgeon divides your stomach into two parts, where one is much smaller than the other. Your intestines are then routed to the smaller part of the stomach.

Consequently, your stomach gets smaller and you will feel full much sooner, thereby making you eat a lot less. Most people who undergo gastric bypass experience something known as ‘dumping syndrome’ where the food travels to the intestines quickly after eating. This can cause discomfort such as cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, among other side effects.

Why We Recommend

We recommend the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery mainly because it leads to dramatic changes in your body within months. Some people report losing as much as 50% of their weight in around 6 months. Also, these results tend to last if you take good care of yourself and follow a healthy and clean diet plan.

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  Pros

  • Suppresses hunger and promotes satiety
  • Improves mobility and quality of life
  • Weight loss is rapid and can happen within a matter of months
  • Tends to decrease cravings for food

Cons

  • Food does not travel through a large part of your stomach and intestine, making you lose the ability to absorb some nutrients and calories 
  • Surgery is permanent and irreversible

vBloc Therapy

Description

vBloc therapy is a promising alternative to the other types of surgery for losing weight. According to this procedure, a device is implanted below your rib cage by a surgeon, just under your skin. The device works by blocking the signals sent by the vagus nerve (which is one of the longest nerves in your body) to your stomach. The nerve sends signals about hunger and satiety from the stomach to your brain. By blocking these signals, the implant prevents your body from producing hormones that encourage or inhibit eating.

Why We Recommend

Unlike other types of surgery, the vBloc therapy is minimally invasive and the procedure can be completed within a period of 90 minutes. It is akin to a pacemaker and is approved for use by the FDA, therefore guaranteeing safety. The device can also be removed or deactivated if you no longer need it. Plus, you get access to an action plan and to a network of trained surgeons and dieticians.

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  Pros

  • Device is approved by the FDA and is safe to use
  • vBloc therapy improves heart issues, blood pressure, and diabetes
  • Procedure is not permanent and can be fully reversed

Cons

  • Implanted device has to be recharged almost every single day
  • Weight loss results are inconclusive and are mixed

​Gastric Balloon

Description

While the other types of surgery are invasive to a certain extent, the gastric balloon procedure is completely non-invasive. In this procedure, a surgeon inserts a soft balloon made of silicone into your stomach through your mouth via an endoscope. This balloon then partially fills the stomach and makes you feel full. This ultimately reduces the amount of food you eat and curbs hunger pangs, leading your weight loss success.

Why We Recommend

Since the gastric balloon procedure is completely non-invasive, it can be performed as an out-patient procedure with only a mild sedative. The procedure is relatively quick to perform and requires no post-operative care. The gastric balloon is also considerably cheaper than other alternatives and is temporary.

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  Pros

  • Procedure is painless and takes about 15 minutes to complete
  • Risks and complications associated with invasive types of surgery are not observed in this procedure
  • Perfect for people who do not qualify for other types of invasive surgery

Cons

  • Balloon must be deflated and removed after around 6 months due to a risk of the balloon deteriorating
  • Weight loss process is slower 
  • The amount of weight loss is generally lower than in other alternatives

​​Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch

Description

Although less common, the Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (also known as DS) is one of the very few effective types of surgery for weight loss. The surgical procedure is split into two major parts. The first part involves removing a major part of the stomach (almost 80 percent). The second part involves bypassing two-thirds to three-fourths of the small intestine and connecting the end of the small intestine to the stomach. The gall bladder is removed, the duodenum is divided, and the long biliopancreatic limb (which contains bile) is connected to the common intestinal channel.  

Why We Recommend

Although the process is riskier as it entails a lot of changes within the body, the weight loss results are rapid and long lasting. Also, people who undergo this procedure do not experience dumping syndrome and are more tolerant to a wide range of foods. The malabsorptive component of the surgery is reversible as the intestines are merely re-routed..

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  Pros

  • People experience a higher percentage of weight loss when compared to other types of surgery
  • It has the potential to cure type 2 diabetes
  • People do not experience dumping syndrome, which is typical with gastric bypass
  • Procedure is partially reversible as no part of the intestine is removed 

Cons

  • Procedure is riskier than other alternatives and is generally done only on people with BMI greater than 50.
  • Severely restricts caloric and nutrient absorption, thereby putting you at risk for malnutrition

​​​Gastric Sleeve

Description

Gastric sleeve surgery is relatively safe and is a reliable and great way to lose weight. Although it might sound similar to gastric bypass surgery, the gastric sleeve procedure is widely different. According to the procedure, a surgeon removes a large part of the stomach, leaving behind only a banana shaped sleeve. The surgery removes the part of the stomach which secretes a hormone that boosts your appetite. This drastically reduced portion of the stomach will make you eat less, feel full quicker, and decrease your food cravings.

Why We Recommend

Unlike the other types of surgery for weight loss, gastric sleeve surgery does not alter the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Also, the gastric sleeve procedure does not require you to restrict your diet, meaning their are no prohibited foods. The majority of the weight loss occurs within 6 months to a year of undergoing the surgical procedure.

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  Pros

  • Perfect for extremely obese people and people who are classified as being too heavy for gastric bypass
  • Weight loss effects are rapid and are long lasting
  • People experience a complete cure or a drastic improvement in obesity-related health problems

Cons

  • Indigestion and stomach upsets can become common after the surgery
  • Vitamin and mineral supplementation are necessary

​​​Aspire Assist

Description

The Aspire Assist is an FDA approved weight loss device that is implanted into your body via a surgical procedure. This device lets you empty a part of you consumed food shortly after you eat, thereby reducing the amount of calories absorbed by your body. According to the procedure, a port is implanted in your stomach which then connects to an external device that acts as a stomach pump to remove some of the food before digestion takes place.

Why We Recommend

The procedure is relatively easy and minimally invasive when compared with other types of surgery. It takes only around 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Only a mild sedation is needed to perform the surgery and the recovery times are greatly reduced.

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  Pros

  • Procedure is cost effective when compared with other bariatric surgeries
  • There are no foods that are off-limits and people who undergo the procedure can lead a normal lifestyle
  • The procedure is completely reversible and requires no changes to the anatomy of your body

Cons

  • Emptying partially digested food can be unappealing for most people
  • Some people might experience irritation and even infection at the tubing implant site

Lap-Band

Description

In this surgical procedure, an adjustable band is placed around the upper portion of your stomach to create a small pouch and a narrow passage into the rest of the stomach. This band can then be tightened or loosened by inflating or deflating it with saline solution through a reservoir implanted beneath your skin. Therefore, when you eat, the small pouch that has been created will fill up with food and make you feel full. Then, as time passes, the food slowly moves down to the remainder of the stomach through the narrow passageway.

Why We Recommend

Lap Band is not a quick solution for weight loss as it is gradual and takes a long period of time. It also requires major lifestyle changes in order to see success. Eating clean and nutritious food along with indulging in plenty of exercise is mandatory in order to fully realize its benefits. Apart from the above, there can be several complications such as slippage of the band, erosion of the stomach due to over tightness, and shifting of the port, among others.

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  Pros

  • Procedure is performed through a laparoscope thereby reducing the number of complications
  • Lap-Band can be removed anytime through a minimally invasive procedure
  • There is no loss in the nutrient absorbing capacity of the stomach  

Cons

  • Not as effective as other types of surgery for weight loss
  • Some people might experience nausea, vomiting, and gastroesophageal reflux


​The Verdict


With so many surgical options available for weight loss, it all boils down to your preference and compatibility. Before prescribing any weight loss surgery, a doctor will examine you to determine whether you fit the criteria for your chosen surgery. The vBloc therapy and Aspire Assist are good options for people looking for a minimally invasive and hassle-free procedure as they both have quick recovery times and fewer complications. The gastric bypass and gastric sleeve procedures are slightly more drastic measures but are perfect for extremely obese people suffering from obesity-related health problems.  

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