Because dieting doesn’t work! About 90 percent of people regain some or all of the weight they lost while dieting in less than one year. We can argue all day and night about which diet might possibly be effective, but the fact is that only obesity surgery offers a permanent solution to the problem. With that in mind, here are three of the most popular types of weight loss surgery.
Adjustable Gastric Banding
In this procedure, the surgeon uses a band that squeezes the stomach into two much smaller sections: a small upper pouch and a larger lower one. Still connected by a tiny passage that slows the emptying of food, patients can no longer eat as much or as quickly as they once did. On average, most can only swallow half a cup of food before feeling full.
Advantages: Much simpler and safer than a gastric bypass, this procedure requires less cutting, which means a shorter recovery period. The bands can also be adjusted to further restrict or expand the size of the stomach.
Disadvantages: Because it a simpler, less aggressive operation, the results tend to be less dramatic than other weight loss procedures. Some patients have even regained some of the weight they lost over time.
Another type of restrictive surgery, this operation involves the removal of most of the stomach — typically about 75 percent. The remainder is much smaller and narrower and cannot hold nearly as much food. As such, it is physically impossible for patients to eat as much as they once did.
Advantages: It works. Removing most of the stomach is a sure-fire way to reduce total caloric consumption.
Disadvantages: Unlike the previous procedure, a sleeve gastrectomy is completely and totally irreversible. It is also a relatively new surgical option, so doctors aren’t certain about the long-term benefits.
The most common types of obesity surgery, the gastric bypass makes the stomach much smaller by dividing it into two separate parts: an upper and lower segment. The upper segment is then connected to the small intestine, bypassing the lower part of the stomach and leaving it unused.
Advantages: Not only does it reduce the amount of food you can consume, it also shortens the length of the digestive tract, which makes it harder for you to get calories from your meals. As a result, pounds tend to come off in short order. About half of the weight most patients lose is shed in the first six months.