Weight Loss Surgery Procedures

Paul White's picture

The decision to investigate weight loss surgery procedures is a serious one that should not be taken lightly or made in haste. The implications are far reaching and will affect every aspect of a patient's life. The recover time is extensive and complications can result such as a dramatic loss of weight and infections. As you and your physician may agree that surgery is necessary it would be helpful to know the procedures that are used. Below is short outline of the categories available.


This is also known as Lipoplasty and is a very common surgical operation. Many believe liposuction to be cosmetic surgery because it is often used with the intent of improving personal appearance. But with obese patients it is a way to directly remove fat from various areas of the body. The reduced amount of body weight resulting from this procedure has health benefits for those undergoing it. Due to the fact that the amount of work and energy expenditure necessary for the body to carry around the additional weight is reduced, stress on the body is alleviated and the patient benefits almost immediately.

Restrictive Procedures

The chief aim here is to directly influence the amount of food an individual is likely to consume by reducing the size of the stomach. The procedure will result in a smaller stomach area being created through invasive surgery techniques. When the stomach area that holds the food consumed is reduced in size the individual is more likely to eat less and become full sooner. The results from restrictive procedures have proven positive for many people. The reasons most individuals have opted for this procedure is that they have been unable or have failed to obtain desired results using other methods. Bariatric surgery is the term used to describe a combination of restrictive and mal-absorptive procedures. Most surgeons perform combination procedures for obese patients rarely performing only restrictive although most people associate Bariatric surgery as a restrictive procedure.

Mal-absorptive Procedures

As the restrictive procedure aims to restrict the size of the stomach, mal-absorptive procedures target the small intestine. The small intestine is responsible for absorbing food into the body, hence the term mal-absorptive. The premise is that if you can prevent the small intestine from absorbing as many calories then the food will be bypassed and eliminated. When fewer calories are being absorbed by the small intestine the amount of weight gain is curtailed. Although the individual may continue to consume the same amount of calories in food and because the surgery has altered the small intestine, the actual amounts of absorbed calories are reduced. As you can imagine balancing caloric intake and activity levels can be a complex proposition for both the physician and the patient. Mal-absorptive techniques used in combination with restrictive procedures have produced positive results for obese patients both in the short and long-term. The most common mal-absorptive procedure is Gastric Bypass where a section of the small intestine is altered.

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