Risks and Rewards of Weight-loss Surgery

When diet and exercise aren’t working for you, it may be time to consider weight-loss surgery. But not before you know all the facts.

Dr. Christina Richards with the Bariatric Medicine Institute lays out the risks and rewards of weight-loss surgery.

Gastric Banding Versus Sleeve Gastrectomy

The prevalence of obesity in the United States is continually increasing, and the rate at which Americans are developing health problems related to excess weight is also on the rise. Bariatric surgery has been shown to improve the health of most struggling with obesity. There are two common types of weight-loss surgeries, both with unique benefits and drawbacks.

Gastric Banding is performed laparoscopically, dividing the stomach into a small upper section and a larger lower section with an adjustable band. The small section limits the amount of food a patient can eat by producing a feeling of fullness after eating a small amount of food.

Benefits of Gastric Banding

– One of the least invasive methods to surgical weight loss

– Band is adjustable, allowing patients to have options in weight loss

– Shorter hospital stay

– Band is easy to remove

Drawbacks of Gastric Banding

– Weight loss may be slower and based off patient’s commitment to lifestyle changes
– Frequent band adjustments involved

Sleeve Gastrectomy is also performed laparoscopically and involves removing a large portion of the stomach to create a tube or sleeve shape. This restricts the amount of food a patient can ingest.

Benefits of Sleeve Gastrectomy

– Once surgery is complete, no additional adjustments are necessary

– Quicker weight loss

– Shorter recovery time

– Fewer long-term complications

Drawbacks of Sleeve Gastrectomy

– Relatively new procedure lacking long-term data

– Insurance companies may not cover procedure

– Not a reversible procedure

It is important to keep in mind that not everyone is a good candidate for bariatric weight loss surgery. A consultation with a physician is the best place to start. For more information, visit www.bmiut.com.

Dr. Christina Richards
Bariatric Medicine Institute in association with Salt Lake Regional Surgical Weight Loss
1046 East 100 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Phone: 801-869-7150
Website: www.bmiut.com

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