The decision to pursue bariatric, or weight-loss surgery, is a difficult one to make. It’s not easy to figure out whether you’ve given diet and exercise a fair chance and that you’re mentally, emotionally, and financially prepared for major surgery.
But once you decide surgery is the way to go, how do you decide which procedure is the right one for you?
Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, explains the three most common procedures in his column, “Ask Dr. K.”:
This procedure reduces the size of your stomach and reroutes the path your food takes through your intestines, resulting in feeling full after much less food and fewer calories being absorbed by your body.
Pros: Rapid weight loss for up to two years that is commonly maintained for up to 10 years. Cons: Higher complication rate than other procedures and the stomach pouch tends to stretch over time.
Also known as the lap-band surgery, this procedure involves an elastic band being placed around your stomach, restricting the amount of food you’re able to eat.
Pro: Weight loss with fewer complications than gastric bypass. Cons: Less dramatic weight loss that takes longer than with gastric bypass and is more dependent on healthy food choices.
A newer procedures, this surgery turns your stomach into a narrow tube, making you feel full with less food and causing your body to produce less of the hormone that makes you feel hungry.
Pros: Weight loss with fewer complications than gastric bypass. Cons: Weight loss is less dramatic than with gastric bypass.
Dr. Komaroff is an internist with 41 years’ experience and over 200 publications to his name. To learn more about how he’s rated by his patients, check out his Vitals profile.