Choosing your weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery was considered the last step of a weight loss journey after diet, exercise, and other medical programs have failed. However, weight loss surgery has now gained increased consideration by the medical community as an effective and long-term option for weight loss in selected individuals. Weight loss surgery can restore a person’s self-respect, independence, and, most importantly, their health and survival.

If your goals are to live better, healthier and longer; you may want to choose weight loss surgery to help you achieve your goals. Weight loss surgery is major surgery. That is why you should make the decision to have obesity surgery only after careful consultation with an experienced weight loss surgeon.

The following factors should be taken into consideration before choosing the right weight loss surgery procedure for you:

  • Expected weight loss
    Gastric bypass patients will lose around 80 % of their excess weight, sleeve gastrectomy patients will lose around 70 %, and adjustable gastric banding patients will lose around 60 %. This depends on patients’ follow up and necessary lifestyle changes that must occur to make them successful over the long-term.
  • Reliability of weight loss
    Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy patients almost always achieve the expected weight loss. However, weight gain may be the problem if patients do not make the necessary lifestyle changes in the first year after their operation. On the other hand, weight loss with adjustable gastric banding is much more variable. However, the good news is that when an adjustable gastric banding patient loses weight, they almost always keep it off because they had to make lifestyle changes to take off the weight.
  • Fast or slow weight loss
    Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy patients will typically lose 2-4 Kg per week early and they will reach their expected weight loss 12-15 months after their operation. On the other hand, adjustable gastric banding patients tend to have a slower, steadier weight loss (0.5-1 Kg per week) but they will reach their expected weight loss 24-36 months after their operation.
  • Health problems
    If you have obesity related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or sleep apnea, gastric bypass will be a better choice to improve these problems than adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy.
  • Fear of the unknown
    The long-term effects of gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding are safe, and they lead to significant weight loss and improvement in obesity related health problems, and maintenance of the weight loss.
  • Eating patterns
    It is one of the most important factors to be considered when choosing weight loss surgery:

    Eating Pattern

    Your Best Choice

    Eat lots of sweets and chocolates

    Gastric bypass

    Eat lots of fatty and fried foods

    Gastric bypass

    Eat irregularly with long periods between meals

    All procedures are effective

    Eat small amounts

    Gastric bypass

    Emotional eating

    Gastric bypass or Sleeve gastrectomy

  • Ability to follow-up
    If your employer makes it very difficult for you to get to your doctor appointments or if you live a great distance from your surgeon (more than 2 hours), you are less likely to follow-up and therefore less likely to do well with your band.
    With all weight loss procedures, you will need to attend regular follow-up appointments after your surgery to ensure everything is going well and you are losing weight safely. You may also need regular blood tests.
    In the first year after adjustable gastric banding procedure, you will need more frequent appointments for band adjustment to achieve maximum weight loss.
  • Planning to become pregnant soon
    It is not recommended to get pregnant while you are rapidly losing weight especially during the first year. As, during weight loss, your body may not be getting all the essential nutrients it needs for you and your baby to be healthy. If you do fall pregnant, we advise you let us know so we can monitor you more closely. It is important to remember that you are likely to become more fertile when you lose weight and so precautions need to be taken.
  • Dumping factor
    Gastric bypass patients will very likely experience “dumping” if they eat foods containing sugars. After eating a sugary food, their heart starts racing, they start sweating and then they get severe abdominal pain, dizziness and oftentimes diarrhea. This really helps them stay away from those foods that may have caused them problems in the past.
    There is no dumping with adjustable gastric banding and sleeve patients so they need to be more controlled in their food choices when it comes to sweets.
  • Foreign body fear
    Adjustable gastric banding patients need to be very comfortable with having the band in their body for the rest of life.
  • Reversibility
    If you prefer a procedure that is reversible, the band may be the best choice for you as it is easier to reverse than the other procedures. However, you should not choose an operation depending on its reversibility because it is likely to result in your weight regain. 

Adjustable Gastric Banding

Gastric banding is an adjustable gastric band that alters the anatomy of the stomach to help you reduce your food intake.

It is performed laparoscopically, meaning that the surgeon makes small incisions as opposed to one large incision.


Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is one of the relatively newer types of weight loss surgery.

This surgery can also be referred to medically as gastric sleeve resection, gastric sleeve surgery or tube gastrectomy.


Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass) is regarded internationally as the “gold standard” of weight loss surgery designed to reduce your food intake if you have tried and failed to lose weight through diet and exercise. Follow up to 15 years after surgery has shown patients maintain weight loss after gastric bypass surgery.