There are a number of different weight loss surgery options that can produce significant and sustained results, though each is suited to different patient needs. Deciding which one is best for you is something you will be guided through with your bariatric consultant, taking into account many factors including your BMI, diet, any health problems, previous surgeries, and your weight loss goals.
A soft silicon gastric balloon is inserted into your stomach, partially filling it so that you have less room for food. A gastric balloon is temporary, and usually removed after a maximum of six months although there are 12 months balloons. This makes it an option for kick-starting a long-term weight loss and maintenance plan without committing to a more permanent procedure with higher risks.
A gastric balloon could be suitable for patients with a BMI between 27 and 35 who may not meet the criteria for other bariatric surgery, or who are preparing for other surgery that requires a reduced BMI. Fitting a gastric balloon is non-surgical and can take as little as 15 minutes. This means you can go home the same day, as well as being the cheapest weight loss procedure.
A gastric band is an inflatable silicone band that divides your stomach into two sections, creating a smaller top pouch that limits the amount of solid food you can eat. The smaller section fills up with only a small amount of food, causing you to feel less hungry.
With a band you’re likely to lose 50% of your excess weight if you commit to the new recommended diet, although every patient is different. A gastric band is a good option if you’re not quite ready to go under the knife with more invasive weight loss solutions, as a gastric band is fully reversable and has a low risk of complications. The gradual weight loss will be accompanied by several follow-up appointments to adjust the tightness of the band to suit your needs, the first of which is usually around 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
Gastric sleeve surgery permanently removes around 75% of your stomach, leaving a narrow tube or sleeve. This means you’ll only be able to eat small meals and you’ll feel less hungry quicker. The feeling of hunger will also be reduced as the cells that contain the appetite-prompting hormone, ghrelin, are removed.
This surgical option offers dramatic weight loss of around 60% of your excess weight assuming you follow the new, recommended change of diet. This is generally an option for patients with a BMI of over 40 who want to lose a more substantial amount of weight. It’s a permanent change that means you’ll be able to eat normal food but in smaller portions, and reduces the risk of nutritional deficiencies often associated with a full gastric bypass although you will still need to take vitamins for life.
A gastric bypass divides your stomach into two parts, and connects the resulting smaller upper section directly to your small intestine, bypassing the rest of your stomach, the duodenum, and the upper intestine.
It reduces your food intake as well as the number of calories absorbed, as some of the food will not be fully digested. Gastric bypass patients can usually lose around 70% of their excess weight following surgery, assuming they stick to post-operation guidelines. This procedure can be an option if you have a BMI over 35 with an associated medical condition, or a BMI over 40 and you are looking for significant weight loss. A gastric bypass comes with the risk of nutritional deficiencies, so specific supplements are needed to ensure you get everything you need. A gastric bypass presents a more extreme surgical option suited to more severe cases.
Ramsay Health Care is a leading provider of weight loss surgery in the UK. We work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced weight loss surgeons in the UK. These consultant bariatric surgeons have undergone intensive training in the specialism and work with nutritionists, clinical behaviourists, and physiotherapists to ensure you receive the best treatment for your individual needs.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss bariatric surgery in more detail.