By Dr. Tarun Mittal , Bariatrics
When it comes to weight loss, exercise and a strict diet plan are not enough for everyone. In cases of obesity, surgery may be required to reduce the risks associated with obesity and to aid in weight management. Bariatric surgery helps reduce weight by limiting the amount of food the stomach can hold and shortening the passage of food through the small intestines. There are four different types of bariatric surgery that may be performed.
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
This surgery is akin to creating a smaller, separate stomach. Here, the surgeon will create an artificial pouch near the stomach and direct all the food to this pouch. The section of the small intestines is also connected to this pouch while the main stomach remains connected to another part of the small intestines. As the pouch is considerably smaller than the stomach, it limits the amount of food that can be eaten comfortably. Food from this pouch then flows directly to the small intestines while digestive juices are secreted by the main stomach. Since the food passes through a smaller section of the small intestines, fewer calories are absorbed into the body.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
The main aim of this surgery is to reduce the amount of food being consumed without interfering with the absorption of nutrients. Here an adjustable band with an inflatable balloon is inserted around the upper half of the stomach. This divides the stomach into two halves with a very narrow opening between them. A port is placed under the abdominal skin and connected to the band with a tube. Fluid is then injected or removed from the port to inflate or deflate the balloon and thereby adjust the band size.
In this surgery, part of the existing stomach is removed to reduce the size and capacity of the stomach. The remaining part of the stomach is used to create a tube like structure. As a result of this surgery, the stomach capacity is greatly reduced and the secretion of hormones such as ghrelin that regulates appetite is also lowered. This surgery does not interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients in any way.
Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch
This surgery aims at reducing the amount of food consumed and the amount of nutrients and fats absorbed by the body. As with the above surgery, a part of the stomach is removed to lower its capacity. A section in the middle of the small intestines is then closed off and the lower half of the small intestines is attached directly to the duodenum. This is known as the duodenal switch. The separated half of the small intestines is reattached to the end of the small intestines. This allows pancreatic juices and bile to flow into the intestines. This is referred to as the biliopancreatic diversion.