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How to Pick the Bariatric Surgery That's Right for You

Learn how to pick the right bariatric surgery for you in this Howcast video about obesity treatments.


Bariatric surgery includes surgeries like the gastric band, the sleeve gastrectomy, or the gastric bypass. All three surgeries work well, however you need to be comfortable with choosing the surgery that is going to work for you. So some things that you might want to consider when trying to decide which surgery is best for you, are the following.

Number one, is it important to you that your surgery is adjustable? What do I mean by that? Well, the lap band is the only surgery of those three that is adjustable. The band is a silicone balloon that is placed at the top of your stomach, which is connected by a tubing to a port that sits by your belly button, underneath your skin.

Your surgeon can tighten your band in his/her office by using a needle and injecting saline into the port, which travels through the tubing and inflates the balloon. So the band is adjustable. In addition, it's also potentially reversible. Soif you have a problem with the band or if it doesn't work for you, it can be removed with another surgery.

The sleeve and the bypass, the gastric sleeve and the gastric bypass are not reversible. So if that is something that is important to you, then maybe you should lean more towards the band. One more thing to consider is, with the gastric band, it is a foreign body that will be in you, potentially for life. So if that's something that might bother you, maybe the gastric band isn't the right choice for you.

Something that's important for you to know is that the sleeve gastrectomy, involves actually removing part of your stomach, and the gastric bypass involves cutting your stomach into a smaller pouch, and also rearranging your intestines. So if you don't want a surgery where your anatomy is changed, then maybe you want to choose the band. However, if you want a faster weight loss, and you do not mind having part of your stomach removed, or your intestines re-routed, then you may be able to choose the sleeve gastectromy or the gastric bypass.

Another thing to consider is how much weight do you have to lose? If you need to lose over 100 pounds, maybe you want to choose a surgery, like the sleeve gastrectomy or the gastric bypass, where you're going to have more of a weight loss and a more rapid weight loss, as well. Something else to consider is how quickly do you want to lose the weight? The average weight loss after the gastric band is approximately 1-2 pounds per week. That for the sleeve and the gastric bypass is a little more. It is between 3-5 pounds per week.

Next, you might want to consider what types of foods you really enjoy, and what things are you more tempted to eat. For example, if you are a person that really craves sweets, maybe the gastric band isn't the right choice for you, because you will still be able to eat more sweets. They will go through the band. Maybe then, you need to consider the gastric bypass.

Because with the gastric bypass in certain patients, if you eat sweet foods, your body is going to tell you that you do not want to do that again. You may have an unpleasant feeling after eating sweet foods from the gastric bypass. That's called Dumping Syndrome. So these are some things you might want to consider in choosing a weight loss surgery for you.

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