Types of Surgery

Helpful Links

Bariatric Solutions — adult bariatric surgery program
Nutrition Solutions — nutrition resource center for weight loss patients
Obesity Help — online support group for weight loss surgery patients
Obesity Action Coalition

Gastric Bypass

During a gastric bypass procedure, both restrictive and malabsorptive surgery techniques are performed. The surgeon first creates a small stomach pouch and then attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine, which absorbs calories and nutrients. Having a smaller stomach pouch causes you to feel full sooner and eat less food; bypassing a portion of the small intestine means your body absorbs fewer calories. Gastric bypass patients report an early sense of fullness and satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat.

Gastric bypass uses both a restrictive and a malabsorptive surgery technique. It restricts food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs. In addition to creating a smaller stomach pouch, the surgery changes the body’s normal digestive process. As a result, food bypasses a large part of the stomach and most of the small intestine.

In a clinical study, gastric bypass surgery reduced the total number of serious health problems (known as comorbid conditions or comorbidities) of participating patients by 96%!

Sleeve Gastrectomy

During this procedure, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device, and the rest of the stomach is removed. The sleeve is about the size of a banana. This procedure limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full sooner. It allows for normal digestion and absorption. Food consumed passes through the digestive tract in the usual order, allowing it to be fully absorbed in the body.

Sleeve gastrectomy can be the first step before gastric bypass or it can be a single procedure for weight loss. If a sleeve gastrectomy is used as part of a two-step procedure, the first step is for the surgeon to create the small stomach “sleeve.” After a period of time determined by the surgeon, another procedure would be done in which the surgeon attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the stomach pouch. This allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine. Doing so enables your body to absorb fewer calories, in addition to consuming less food.

Gastric Banding (REALIZE Band)

During the gastric band procedure, the REALIZE Band is placed around the uppermost part of the stomach, dividing it into two parts: a small upper pouch and a lower stomach. The upper pouch can hold only about 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of food. As a result, you eat less food at one time, feel full sooner, and feel satisfied longer. The goal is to lose weight gradually, at a healthy rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week.

No part of your stomach is stapled or removed during surgery, and your intestines are not rerouted, so you can continue to absorb nutrients from food.

The side of the REALIZE Band that fits against your stomach is lined with a soft balloon. After gastric banding surgery,saline (a safe fluid) is delivered into the balloon under x-ray to control the band tightness.

The degree of band tightness affects how much food you can eat during a meal and the length of time it takes for food to empty from the upper pouch. When the band is adjusted to the proper tightness, you’ll feel full sooner and stay fuller longer. As the REALIZE Band helps you eat less food, your body will stop storing excess calories and start using its fat supply for energy.

The REALIZE Band is intended for long-term use. Because adjustable gastric banding surgery does not permanently change the anatomy of the stomach and intestines, the REALIZE Band can be removed, if necessary. Please keep in mind that surgery reversal is not simple, and weight gain is usually observed in people who have had their bands removed and do not continue a healthy eating regimen.