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Surgical Options to Treat Obesity

Learn about the various surgical options to treat obesity in this Howcast video.


Let's talk about the different surgical options to help treat obesity. There are three surgery options that I'm going to talk about. The first one is the gastric band. The second one is the sleeve gastrectomy, and the third one is gastric bypass. All three surgeries are restrictive.
What this means is that it makes your stomach smaller or in the case of the band, it makes your brain think your stomach is smaller.

What does that mean? So the gastric band is a device that's made of silicone that sits on the top of your stomach, and it has a balloon in its circumference. So it sits at the top of your stomach and forms a small pouch out of your stomach. So when you eat now, your food is going to go into that little pouch, and get held up there for a little longer, so you'll get full faster.

The band gets tightened by your doctor every month or so, until it gets to the appropriate tightness. The tighter the band, the longer the food is going to stay in that little pouch above the band, and the longer you'll feel full. The band is potentially reversible. If there's a problem or if it's not working, it can be removed with another surgery, so the band is the only surgical treatment option that is reversible.

Next, let's talk about the sleeve gastrectomy. The sleeve gastrectomy simply means that your surgeon is removing about 75% of your stomach. So we're taking your stomach and making it from the size of about a football to the size of a banana. This works for two reasons. One, you're obviously eating less, because the size of your stomach is smaller. Secondly, by removing that part of your stomach, we're removing hormones that make you hungry, so therefore you're simply not hungry, and you're also eating less when you do eat.

The third surgical treatment option is the gastric bypass. This has been around the longest, and is considered by many to be the gold standard. It is the most invasive of the three surgeries. In the gastric bypass, your surgeon will cut your stomach, make a small pouch, and your intestines are also cut and rerouted, in such a way that not everything you eat gets absorbed. There are certain things to look for after having a gastric bypass. You need to be sure that you're getting in enough protein and enough vitamins and minerals. So those are three options for surgical treatment of obesity.

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