How to Choose the Right Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery has become a relatively safe, effective way for obese patients to drop excess weight quickly. Surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above and have tried other types of weight loss programs with no success. It may also be considered for patients who have developed serious medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease as a result of the weight gain. If a doctor recommends surgery to a patient, knowing how to choose the right weight loss surgery is important for a successful procedure.


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    Learn about the different types of weight loss surgery available.
    • The 3 most common types of gastric surgery include gastric banding, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Each of these procedures comes with its own set of pros and cons. For example, gastric bypass patients typically lose the most weight, but face the longest recovery time after surgery. Gastric banding is considered the least invasive of all the procedures, but requires regular follow-up appointments to adjust the band. Once you understand the various weight loss options available, it is easier to discuss the best weight loss surgery with your doctor.
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    Determine how much weight you want to lose.
    • Patients who have gastric bypass can lose an average of 70 percent of their excess weight, while those who opt for sleeve gastrectomy can expect to lose about 60 percent. Gastric banding results in the most gradual weight loss, with most patients losing an average of 50 percent of their excess weight. It should be noted that all of these estimations are based on the patient's ability to adhere to diet and lifestyle changes after surgery that are designed to promote weight loss.
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    Consider how much support you will have after surgery.
    • Recovery times after bariatric surgery vary, with gastric bypass usually requiring the most time off work and support at home after the procedure. Sleeve gastrectomy is a less invasive procedure, but it is often performed on patients who are not in good enough health for gastric banding. In many cases, these patients may face a second bariatric surgery a year later, once the initial weight loss has improved the patient's health to the point where the more invasive procedure is safe. A weight loss band is also a less invasive procedure that requires little downtime afterward.
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    Discuss your medical history with your doctor.
    • Patients who are dealing with obesity-related medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea, may choose gastric bypass because it will help them shed excess weight more rapidly. This bariatric surgery may provide the faster weight loss needed to bring them to an improved state of health so it is easier to make diet and exercise changes necessary to continue their weight loss program.
    • Your medical history may also determine which type of weight loss surgery is safest for you. If your current medical conditions are severe, more invasive surgery may be too risky. Your doctor may recommend a less invasive procedure like a sleeve gastrectomy or weight loss band to help you lose enough weight to bring you to a state of improved health. At that time, you may have additional bariatric surgery to help you achieve your final weight loss goal.

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Categories: Losing Weight