Explaining and Comparing the Different Types of Bariatric Procedures

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Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important ways to protect your health. It lowers your risk for countless illnesses, including heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US. This is a well-known fact, but weight loss is far easier said than done.

For that reason, weight loss procedures can help many patients reach their goals. There are more types of weight loss procedures, also called bariatric procedures, than most people realize. Our guide below lays out the basic options.

Types of Bariatric Procedures: An Overview

Weight loss always involves some degree of diet and/or exercise regulation. However, these procedures can set up your body for success:

Gastric Sleeve

While it's somewhat new, a gastric sleeve surgery has a strong track record of success. It's a laparoscopic procedure, which means we use instruments through tiny incisions rather than a large incision.

During a gastric sleeve procedure, we remove about 75-85% of the stomach. All that remains is a small, sleeve-like tube. This offers the most common benefit of bariatric surgery: limiting the amount of food a patient can eat.

Gastic Bypass

Gastric bypass is the most common type of bariatric surgery in North America. It combines two tactics: limiting the amount of food you can eat and reducing the amount of that food your body absorbs.

During a gastric bypass, we reduce the size of the stomach by about 90%. However, unlike a gastric sleeve, we also bypass part of the intestines and connect the small stomach to a later point of the intestines. This creates the limited absorption.

It's interesting to note that a gastric bypass surgery helps weight loss in other ways, too. Many patients report that they don't feel hungry anymore, or they feel little hunger. Certain foods like sweets also make patients feel ill because the body processes them differently. This discourages patients from eating these unhealthy foods.

Duodenal Switch

A duodenal switch procedure has many of the same advantages of the duodenal switch. However, it's performed in two stages.

The first stage is a gastric sleeve procedure to limit the stomach's size. In the second stage, we rearrange part of the digestive system to bypass a large amount of the small intestines.

Like a gastric bypass, the duodenal switch combines a smaller stomach with limited absorption for successful weight loss.


LAP-BAND(R) is the most popular brand name for an adjustable gastric band. In a gastric band procedure, we place a medical band around part of your stomach. The cinching effect triggers your "I feel full" signals faster by keeping the food at the top of your stomach.

We can adjust the tightness of the band to determine how much food to allow through. This lets you control your weight loss rate. Stills, it's important to follow a healthy diet after a LAP-BAND(R) procedure.

Gastric Balloon

For patients who want a less invasive approach, the gastric balloon may be an option. During this procedure, we use an endoscope, a tiny tube that goes down your throat. The endoscope carries a medical balloon into your stomach and we inflate it to a specified level.

A gastric balloon helps weight loss by limiting the amount of food your stomach can hold. It's left in place for about six months depending on your needs, and then the balloon is removed.

Weight Loss Options

Sometimes traditional dieting and exercise doesn't get the results you want. In these cases, the bariatric procedures above can be healthy options for the right patients.

To find out if you're a candidate for any of these procedures, schedule an appointment at our weight loss office.