Understanding the Different Types of Weight Loss Surgery

The latest studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveal that more than 42% of the adult American population is obese. But what exactly is “obese”? You may step on the scale or look in the mirror and see that you could stand to lose a few pounds, but if you really want to know if you’re too heavy, the medical community has a formula. 

It’s called the body mass indicator, or BMI, and it’s used as a screening tool in determining whether your weight falls into a healthy range. The formula divides your weight by your height. You can use a BMI calculator to find out where you fall on the scale. 

If the BMI number indicates you’re severely overweight or obese, you may undergo a test to measure your skinfold thickness, evaluate your diet and other medical conditions, and assess your family health history. If your BMI is 30 or above, you may qualify for weight loss surgery.

Dr. Nirav Naik at New Life Medical in Bakersfield, California, specializes in several types of weight loss surgery and can help you determine if one of them is right for you. Here are the types of weight loss procedures Dr. Naik performs.

Gastric band surgery

If your BMI is 30-35 or even higher, especially if you have other complicating issues such as diabetes, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure. Dr. Naik may recommend New Life lap band surgery.

This is a minimally invasive procedure that places a band around the upper portion of your stomach, effectively decreasing its capacity. Dr. Naik attaches a tube just under the skin in your abdomen so he can tighten or relax the band as needed. 

Because your stomach is smaller with the band in place, it holds less food, which means you feel full faster and eat less. Your body still digests food and absorbs nutrients normally.

Lap band surgery is widely popular. The risks are minimal, recovery is rapid, results are long lasting, and once you reach your healthy goal weight, Dr. Naik can remove the band.

Gastric bypass surgery

Another type of bariatric, or weight loss, surgery called gastric bypass permanently changes your anatomy. Here, Dr. Naik redefines your stomach space using staples to create an egg-sized pocket in the upper part of your stomach. Like the lap band procedure, gastric bypass decreases your stomach’s capacity, so you feel full sooner. 

Unlike the lap band procedure, gastric bypass also involves some rerouting of your digestive tract. Gastric bypass not only limits food and calorie intake, but it also changes your digestion and alters your gut hormones, having an appetite-suppressant effect. 

Sleeve gastrectomy

Gastrectomy refers to the partial or complete removal of the stomach. For weight loss purposes, Dr. Naik performs what’s called sleeve gastrectomy, which only removes a portion of your stomach, leaving a portion about the size and shape of a banana intact. 

The average human stomach typically holds about 1-1.5 liters of food, but after sleeve gastrectomy, the capacity drops to about 50-150 milliliters. The procedure also changes the way your body process signals of satiety and hunger, so you eat less and feel fuller faster.

Gastrectomy requires no rerouting of your digestive tract, so digestion and nutrient absorption are unaltered. 

Gastric balloon

The gastric balloon procedure is not a surgery at all. No incisions are necessary, and you need only a light sedation for this in-office procedure. Dr. Naki trusts the Orbera® balloon for its proven effectiveness and reversibility. 

While you’re comfortably sedated, Dr. Naik guides a deflated balloon down your throat and through your esophagus. Once it reaches your stomach, he withdraws the guiding instruments and fills the balloon with a sterile saline solution until it’s the size of a grapefruit.

The balloon helps you feel full and retrains your brain to adhere to healthier portion sizes. In about six months, once you lose the weight, Dr. Naik deflates the balloon and removes it.

Choosing the right weight loss procedure

Weight loss surgery is typically reserved for those who have earnestly tried conventional methods of weight loss with no success and for those who have a BMI of at least 30. Deciding on which procedure is right for your unique body and health considerations depends on several variables.

Dr. Naik takes plenty of time to evaluate your current condition and full health history before advising you about weight loss procedures.

To learn more, call New Life Medical at 661-230-8306 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Naik.

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