When diets don’t work, it may be time to consider one of the many types of weight loss surgery options available. Some types of weight loss surgery reduce calorie intake. Others physically remove fat from the body. You should discuss all the options, including diets and other non-surgical approaches, with your doctor before proceeding with any type of weight loss surgery.
Older methods of weight loss surgery were all aimed at removing fat from the body. These types of weight loss surgery include liposuction and tummy tucks and are still available options. Liposuction is actually a very serious type of weight loss surgery in which an instrument is inserted under the skin in problematic areas – the thighs, hips, buttocks, belly – and physically sucks out excess fat. This type of weight loss surgery is not always safe or effective; it can result in infection, bleeding and other severe complications. Weight loss is not always permanent, defeating the entire purpose of this type of weight loss surgery.
Tummy tuck is a type of weight loss surgery commonly performed by a plastic surgeon, in which excess skin and fat are cut away from the belly and the skin and muscles tightened, resulting in immediate weight loss and an improved shape. A “paniculectomy” is a variation of this type of weight loss surgery in which a large overhanging fold is cut away from the belly of severely obese people.
The more commonly performed types of weight loss surgery these days, however, involve changes to the stomach itself, shrinking it so that it can no longer handle the same, large meals that contribute to weight gain. These types of weight loss surgery generally include gastric bypass and lap banding. In these types of weight loss surgery, the stomach is divided – either with staples or a “rubber band” – into two parts; the resulting smaller portion remains connected to the esophagus and is the only portion that can accept food.
In addition, in gastric bypass, the small intestine is cut way below the stomach and then brought up to the small pouch, so that the small amount of food in there “bypasses” the normal digestion and absorption that happens in the small intestine. This makes gastric bypass the most effective type of weight loss surgery.