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Weight loss surgery is just a broad category for several different weight loss procedures. Here are some basic descriptions of the most common weight loss surgeries:

  • Roux-en-Y (pronounced roo-en-why) gastric bypass: A procedure in which the stomach and intestines are divided and rearranged to make a new small stomach (known as a pouch) and bypass part of the stomach and the intestines. Initially after the surgery, you’ll eat very small portions. This procedure is the most common weight loss procedure being done today.

  • Adjustable gastric banding: A procedure in which an inflatable silicone band or ring is placed around the upper part of the stomach. The band has a port that is placed under the skin, which is used to inflate the band. The port is accessed with a needle through the skin, and saline is added or removed; this is known as a fill or adjustment. Adjustments are given to reduce hunger and portion size and increase weight loss. The procedure is usually done laparoscopically.

  • Sleeve gastrectomy: A procedure in which up to 70 percent of your stomach is removed. The pylorus, which regulates the entry of food into the intestine, is not removed, and food enters the intestine normally. Initially after the surgery, you’ll feel less hungry and eat a lot less. This procedure has been increasing in numbers.

  • Biliopancreatic diversion: A procedure in which part of the stomach is removed and a significant intestinal bypass is performed. The biliopancreatic diversion can be performed in two ways, and the difference between the two procedures lies in which part of the stomach is removed. In the first version, known simply as biliopancreatic diversion, the lower part of the stomach is removed, and the remaining stomach is hooked up to the part of the small intestine that is closer to the colon, known as the ileum. In the second version, biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, the outer curve of the stomach is removed, and the first part of the small intestine is hooked up to the ileum. Approximately 90 percent of the small intestine is bypassed in both the surgeries, resulting in significantly fewer calories and nutrients being absorbed. Weight loss is maximized, but nutritional deficiencies can occur more frequently than with the other weight loss procedures, so you need to take nutritional supplements for the rest of your life.

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