7 Different Surgeries To Help You Lose Weight

Updated on November 10, 2020

Weight-loss surgeries can help an individual lose weight. They also lower a person’s risk of obesity-associated medical problems. Surgeries for weight loss or bariatric surgeries have two main ways to contribute to weight loss: restriction and malabsorption.

The restriction happens when the surgery performed physically limits the total amount of food your stomach can hold. It, therefore, reduces your maximum calorie intake every day. On the other hand, malabsorption happens when the bariatric surgery bypasses or shortens part of your small intestine, reducing the calorie amount, including nutrients your body absorbs.

There are many weight loss surgery options available today. This makes it difficult to find the option that best fits your needs. To give you an idea of how each procedure works, outlined below is an overview of the seven different surgeries to help you lose weight:

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Gastric Bypass

Both malabsorptive and restrictive approaches are combined in gastric bypass. In this operation, the stomach will be divided into two parts by the surgeon. The upper section of the stomach will be sealed off from the lower. The upper stomach will then be connected by the surgeon to the small intestine’s lower section. 

What the surgeon is creating in gastric bypass surgery is essentially a shortcut for the food. This way, the food can bypass part of both a person’s stomach and their small intestine. As a result of skipping these digestive tract parts, the body will absorb fewer calories.

Based on several studies, good long-term results are associated with gastric bypass. Also, it has been found out that many individuals can keep most of their weight off for at least 10 years. However, based on average bariatric surgery costs, it’s one of the most expensive procedures for weight loss.

Gastric Banding

One type of surgery for restrictive weight loss is gastric banding. In this operation, the stomach will be squeezed into two sections by using an inflatable band. The two sections will be a larger lower section and a smaller upper pouch. Note that the two sections will still be connected by a very tiny channel, which slows down the upper pouch’s emptying process. As a result, only a maximum of one cup of food can be eaten by most people who have undergone the surgery before feeling too full. Some might even feel sick if they go beyond one cup of food. 

Compared to other operations like gastric bypass, gastric banding is safer and a simpler operation to do. Recovery is usually faster because you only get a smaller scar. Surgery can also remove the band if you want to. The band, though, can easily be adjusted even in a doctor’s office. 

The doctor will be injecting the band with more saline solution to tighten it, further restricting your stomach size. To loosen it, the doctor can use a needle to remove liquid from the band.

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Sleeve Gastrectomy

Another form of surgery for restrictive weight loss is the sleeve gastrectomy. In a gastric sleeve surgery, about 75% of your stomach will be removed by the surgeon. A narrow sleeve or tube is the only thing that remains of the stomach as it’ll connect to the intestines.

Other surgeries for weight loss may be too risky for very obese or sick individuals. For those who are looking for a lower-risk way of losing weight, a simpler operation they can go for is a sleeve gastrectomy. They can then have a second surgery like gastric bypass if needed, usually, after twelve to eighteen months, once their health has improved and they’ve already lost weight.

Note that sleeve gastrectomy won’t affect how the body absorbs food because the intestines won’t be affected during the operation. That means falling short on nutrients isn’t as much as other weight-loss surgeries. Sleeve gastrectomy, however, is irreversible, unlike gastric banding.

Vagal Blockade

The vagus nerve will receive regular electrical impulses from an implanted pacemaker-like device. The electrical impulses will signal the brain to tell the stomach that it’s already full. This is possible since the vagus nerve actually extends from your brain to the stomach. A remote control operates the blockade device so that it can be adjusted even outside the body. The blockade device is usually placed under a person’s rib cage.

Out of the different weight loss surgeries, implanting a vBloc is the least invasive. While the patient is still under general anesthesia, the outpatient procedure can take up to one hour and a half.

Biliopancreatic Diversion

This surgery is gastric bypass’ more drastic version. The surgeon bypasses more of your small intestine even if they already remove as much as seventy-percent of the stomach.

“Duodenal switch” is biliopancreatic diversion’s somewhat less extreme version. The biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch bypasses less of your small intestine and also removes less of your stomach. Compared to a standard biliopancreatic diversion, the “duodenal switch” makes ulcers, malnutrition, and dumping syndrome less common.

Also, compared to a gastric bypass, faster and greater weight loss can be achieved through biliopancreatic diversion. Although the procedure involves the removal of much of the stomach, what’s left is still significantly larger than the pouches that gastric bypass or gastric banding procedures form. That being said, you may still be able to consume larger meals with this weight-loss surgery.

Intragastric Ballon System

An intragastric balloon system or a gastric balloon is a restrictive type of weight-loss treatment. In this treatment, a deflated balloon will be placed through the mouth into the stomach. To provide a sense of fullness and curb hunger, it’ll then be filled with a saline solution once it’s in place. Take note that the intragastric balloon isn’t meant for individuals who have liver failure or bowel disease, as well as those who’ve had weight loss surgery.

The reason why some people opt for the gastric balloon is that there’s no surgery involved. Thus, no hospital stay is also required. Note that the balloon is only temporary as it only stays in the stomach for six months. An individual can lose around ten percent of his excess body weight during the duration of the six months that the intragastric balloon is in place.


AspireAssist is both a restrictive and malabsorptive approach to weight loss. AspireAssist is actually a device that has a disk-shaped port. 

The port sits flush against a person’s abdomen outside after the AspireAssist is put in place through an abdominal incision. The patient will attach the AspireAssist tube to a draining device that functions externally to remove food particles into the toilet about 20-30 minutes after each meal. The AspireAssist removes about 30% of calories that an individual consumes every meal. 

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Final Thoughts

A lot of people ask which is the best weight loss surgery. The truth is that the ideal surgery for weight loss depends on a person’s health and body type.

If you’ve had abdominal surgery before or if you’re obese, for instance, simpler surgeries might not work or may not be possible at all. The best thing to do is to talk with a physician about each available procedure’s pros and cons.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.