How To Choose the Best Bariatric Surgery For Your Lifestyle and Weight Loss Goals

You’ve tried everything — diets, gym memberships, the latest superfoods, and the “miracle” shakes and pills — yet you’re still tipping the scales into unhealthy territory. If you’re among the one-third of the population in the United States that’s considered obese, bariatric surgery offers a ray of hope. This type of surgery has helped people finally gain control over their weight and begin leading happy, healthy lives long into the future.

Here at the Weight Loss Institute of Arizona, our goal is to help our clients look and feel great, inside and out. And the first step toward this goal is shedding the extra pounds that are holding you back in life. We offer several types of bariatric surgery, which meet most every goal and every lifestyle.

Choosing the right one for you will depend upon your unique situation, so here’s a primer on the different bariatric surgery options to get you started.

Gastric bypass

One of the more popular bariatric surgeries is our gastric bypass, wherein we shrink the size of your stomach and attach it to the lower part of your small intestine. This type of surgery accomplishes two goals at once: It restricts the size of your stomach and prevents much of your small intestine from absorbing calories.

A gastric bypass surgery is long on results, helping our patients lose 60-80% of their excess weight. The disadvantages are that you may not get the full benefit of certain vitamins and nutrients, which we can make up with supplements.

Gastric sleeve

This bariatric option simply reduces the size of your stomach by as much as 80-85%, which means your capacity for eating will correspond. But another benefit of this type of surgery is that by reducing the size of your stomach, we also counteract the effects that stomach hormones can have, leaving you feeling less hungry and more satisfied, and it may even work to better control your blood sugar, which is very helpful for Type 2 diabetics.

The procedure is irreversible, which you should consider when you’re making your choice.

Gastric band

With this type of bariatric surgery, we place The Lap-Band®, a soft, saline-filled ring, around your stomach, decreasing its capacity, allowing you to eat far less before you feel full and satiated. The gastric band is effective, leading to a 40-50% loss of excess weight.

Beyond that, a gastric band is adjustable and reversible, which may make you feel more comfortable about the procedure knowing that you’re not permanently removing or rerouting any of your digestive tract.  

While your results won’t be as dramatic as the two options listed above, this bariatric option is effective for longer-term weight loss.

Duodenal switch

A duodenal switch is a little more involved than the other options, as it’s a two-part procedure. First, we remove a part of your stomach to make a smaller pouch. Then we bring the lower part of your small intestine up to your duodenum, which is the top part of your small intestine, essentially reducing the length of your small intestine by as much as 75%.

This procedure works to both restrict the amount of food you take in because of the smaller stomach pouch, and greatly reduce how many calories you absorb through your small intestine.

While effective, the duodenal switch is a more complicated surgical procedure and it may cause long-term vitamin deficiencies, which we can make up with supplements.

Obalon balloon

Our last bariatric option is fairly uncomplicated — you simply swallow the Obalon® balloon, which reduces the amount of space in your stomach. With the balloon, you feel full more quickly, so you eat far less for effective weight loss.

The bottom line is that there’s a bariatric surgery to fit most needs, and all of them deliver incredible results. To help you decide upon the right one for you, we’re happy to sit down with you to discuss your options further. Simply call one of our offices in Tempe, Glendale, Mesa, Tucson, or Phoenix, Arizona, or use the online scheduler to set up a consultation.

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