Types of Weight Loss Surgery

Many of us crib about being fat and not in shape, but being overweight and obese is the real challenge, both developed and developing countries are facing today. According to a recent report by WHO, more than 1.9 billion adults over 18 years were overweight in 2014 and 600 million among them are obese.

In a report, it was stated that more than 23% of urban women in India are either overweight or obese.

With these alarming figures and obesity being a growing health emergency, experts believe that only lifestyle changes like diet and exercise might not be the right solution to treat obesity. These might be effective for the initial few years, but people tend to gain back the lost weight within a period of 5 years.

In case, you have unsuccessfully tried and tested traditional methods of weight loss, you may want to consider a weight loss surgery.

What is a Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery or Bariatric surgery is a procedure, performed on the stomach and/or intestine of an obese patient. People between the age 18-65 years, who are extremely obese, that is with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40 or more, generally choose to undergo these surgeries. However, those with BMI between 35 to 40 accompanied by a life threatening disease like high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, mortality and others may also want to opt for this surgery.

Bariatric surgery not only helps to reduce the weight, but also helps to alleviate the above mentioned life-threatening diseases, which are usually associated with obesity. It also enhances the quality of life of an obese person.

Types of Weight loss Surgeries

There are different types of Bariatric surgeries and choosing the right one depends on your requirements and health condition. Weight loss surgeries can be broadly divided into 3 major types:


Here, the size of the stomach is reduced to regulate the amount of food intake. This type includes Adjustable Gastric Banding or Lap Band Surgery and Gastric Sleeve.


During this surgery, a part of the digestive system is removed to restrict the amount of calories and nutrients that can be absorbed by the body. This results in a higher degree of weight loss, but the complication rate is also high.


This is a combination of both restrictive and malabsorptive procedures. Most surgeries contains a small element of both.

Also ReadGreen Tea – How it Helps in Weight Loss?

Weight Loss Surgery Procedures

Below are some major and established weight loss procedures.

Gastric Bypass Surgery (Roux-en-Y)

Gastric Bypass Surgery

A small portion of the stomach is cut and made into a small pouch and attached to the end of the small intestine.

Risk factors

  • More than gastric lap band surgery
  • High mortality rate

One of the major side effects is the Dumping Syndrome, including weakness and nausea.

Adjustable Gastric Banding (Lap Band Surgery)

Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery

An adjustable band is tied across the stomach to reduce the size of the stomach.

Risk factors

  • Lower mortality rate, but in around 26% cases, a complication with the lap band has been reported.
  • The band can get eroded and it either needs to be changed or removed.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy)

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

This is safer and less complicated procedure, where the portion of the stomach is removed and only a long pouch is left connecting the esophagus and the small intestine.

Risk Factors

  • The mortality rate is lower than other procedures.
  • Since the pouch is stapled, the staples can leak or bleed over a period of time.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (Duodenal Switch or BPD/DS)

Duodenal Switch

A part of the stomach is removed and also the small intestine is shortened to restrict the amount of food intake. This is a combination of both restrictive and malabsorptive, but the malabsorptive part is primary. This results in maximum weight loss (around 50%) among all surgeries and have been proven to be successful in 86% patients over a period of 3 years.

Risk Factors

  • The mortality rate is lower and it is more effective to cure diabetes, high cholesterol and sleep apnea.
  • However, the risk is high and side effects include vitamin deficiency and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

 Also ReadDiet Plan to Boost Metabolism and Reduce Weight

Pros and Cons of Weight Loss Procedures

Different procedures have their own pros and cons and a different degree of success level. Here is a snapshot comparison of the type of surgeries, based on certain factors:

Name of Surgery Category Average Long-term Weight Loss Complication Rate
Gastric Bypass Combines (mostly restrictive) 50 % to 70% Upto 15%
Gastric Sleeve Restrictive 65% to 75% Upto 10%
Gastric Lap Banding Restrictive Average is 50%, but can vary over a wide range between 25% to 80% Upto 33%
Duodenal Switch Malabsoprtive 65% to 75% Upto 24%

The cost and research ranking (combination of long-term and short-term weight loss, insurance and risk factors) are also different for different surgeries.

There are certain procedures which are not longer performed like Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (“Stomach Stapling” or VBG) and Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery (MGBP), which are outdated or rejected.

The right procedure for the best result depends on the condition of the patient. In case you are considering a weight loss surgery, please consult an obesity expert or a Bariatric surgeon, who will be able to recommend if at all this surgery is necessary for you.

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Types of Weight Loss Surgery

Reference: Bariatric Surgery Source, Wikepedia

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