Weight Loss

Major Weight Loss

Explore different bariatric procedures to help you on your weight loss journey
Last updated on
February 4, 2024

Lose weight with lifestyle changes and surgical procedures

Significant weight loss is not essential, but when advised by a medical professional, there are proven methods to lose the excess weight. Discover different approaches to healthily trim down through lifestyle changes and surgical procedures.

The best procedures and surgeries for weight loss

If traditional diet and exercise have not produced the weight-loss results you are after, it might be time to explore surgical options for weight reduction. For suitable candidates, these surgeries can pave the way to a healthier lifestyle and consistent weight management.

Here are the top bariatric procedures endorsed by medical professionals and patients for optimal weight-loss outcomes:

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Sleeve Gastrectomy, commonly referred to as gastric sleeve surgery, makes a smaller stomach, enabling easier portion control that assists weight loss. Compared to other bariatric procedures, there is no intestinal tract reconstruction with this method. Predominantly, it shrinks the stomach's size by up to 80%, ensuring satiety is achieved sooner preventing overconsumption. An added benefit is the removal of the fundus, which is responsible for ghrelin secretion, the hunger-triggering hormone.

Post-sleeve gastrectomy, anticipate dropping upwards of 60% of your body weight within a 12-month span. Commitment to a balanced diet and consistent physical exercises, especially cardiovascular activities, can amplify your results.

The gastric sleeve holds an advantage over gastric bypass surgery. It presents a more patient-friendly approach, being considerably less invasive than the bypass. Even for the most weight-challenged patients the sleeve still has great outcomes. Gastrectomy also significantly minimizes potential post-surgery complications.

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Gastric Bypass Surgery

A Gastric bypass segments your stomach into dual compartments, decreasing its capacity by roughly 90%. This design ensures you feel fuller quicker. In this procedure a part of the small intestine is circumvented, ensuring reduced caloric absorption. Additionally, ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone, sees a notable drop.

Characterized as a malabsorptive weight-loss operation, this surgery implies your downsized stomach will limit nutrient absorption. After this surgery, lifelong adherence to a healthy diet, rich in whole foods complemented by nutritional supplements, becomes imperative.

On the bright side, anticipate a weight reduction of approximately 70 to 80% within the initial 12 to 18 months post-surgery. Studies highlight that an impressive 90% of individuals retain a minimum of 50% weight loss, a trend observed even 20 years post-operation.

However, a note of caution, a fraction of individuals might witness weight resurgence several years post-surgery, necessitating a revision of the gastric bypass to restore the stomach pouch's tightness.

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Lap Band Surgery

The gastric band, commonly referred to as lap band surgery, is an implanted device circling your stomach, effectively reducing its volume, which results in quicker satiety even with smaller meals. What is noteworthy is its adjustable nature, enabling individuals to fine-tune their dietary intake and gradually lessen their reliance on the band, helping to develop better portion control.

However, it's crucial to understand that lap band surgery is primarily a restrictive mechanism. Commitment to drastic dietary changes and embracing a healthier way of life is pivotal for its effectiveness.

Exceeding the intake capacity of the stomach pouch may lead to overstretching. Consequently, there's a risk of reflux into the esophagus, potentially inducing nausea and episodes of vomiting.

Statistically speaking, lap band surgery is less effective when compared to other weight loss interventions. Studies also indicate a reoperation frequency of about 20%, a stark contrast to the modest 3 to 9% associated with gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery.

In the evolving landscape of bariatric/metabolic surgical interventions, there's a discernible shift away from the gastric band. Notwithstanding, there are still many successful lap band surgeries. But, like all medical procedures, it’s accompanied by inherent risks, potential adverse reactions, and cases of ineffectiveness.

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Duodenal Switch Surgery

The Duodenal Switch shrinks your stomach's dimensions and also alters the small intestine and digestive tract. This results in a decrease in calorie absorption and promotes effective fat loss. In comparison to gastric bypass surgery, this method has a greater diversion of food flow. An impressive weight reduction of 70% or higher can be expected within a span of 5 years.

Though the initial phase post-surgery emphasizes portion control, many individuals eventually progress to relatively standard meal sizes while upholding healthy eating habits.

Especially beneficial for diabetic patients, this surgery can also curtail the risk of associated health concerns, including cardiovascular issues and elevated blood pressure.

However, it's paramount to recognize that the Duodenal switch stands out as the most intricate and invasive among bariatric surgeries. It demands a protracted recovery phase and is associated with heightened complication risks. To mitigate potential challenges and to ensure the best outcomes, entrust yourself to a surgeon with board certification and extensive experience in performing this specific procedure.

Interested in a duodenal switch? Find a surgeon today

Noninvasive procedures for weight loss

Gastric Balloon

The Gastric balloon procedure acts as a space-occupier within the stomach, curbing excessive eating. Notably, it only takes 10 minutes to complete this procedure and it does not require surgical or invasive elements. This procedure is recommended for individuals with a BMI ranging from 30 to 40.

An individual ingests a special capsule tethered to a tiny tube. Post-ingestion, the encased balloon is aerated, expanding it within the stomach to roughly the volume of an orange. The process is repeated twice every fortnight, cumulatively placing 3 balloons within the stomach. These remain for a half-year, afterwards, they are retrieved via an endoscopy.

Although the creators promote a potential weight reduction of up to 20 kg, there are accompanying caveats. Potential side effects include nausea, acid reflux, bloating and irregular digestive patterns. It is also important to note that those who underwent gastric bypass surgery previously are not suitable candidates. Some users have expressed sensing the presence of these balloons, particularly during reclining positions.

Interested in gastric balloons? Find a doctor now

Who is a good candidate for weight loss surgery?

As outlined by Healthdirect Australia, weight loss surgery is usually offered to individuals who are very obese (body mass index over 40) or patients with a BMI over 35 who have other serious health issues like diabetes or heart disease.

Weight gain and obesity predispose individuals to a plethora of medical issues like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For a segment of the population, drastic weight loss becomes imperative to sustain their health.

Though dieting trends, like intermittent fasting, might occasionally yield remarkable weight loss results, their efficacy and longevity remain debatable.

When starting your weight loss journey, collaborate with healthcare professionals like physicians, nutrition experts, or dieticians to create a regimen that ensures you lose weight at a healthy rate. 

Different weight-loss procedures either mandate food intake moderation or modify the digestive process of food eaten. The optimal choice is affected by an array of variables: your holistic health, lifestyle, weight target, and individual inclinations.

How to lose weight with out surgery

The same fundamental guidelines apply whether you want to lose a lot or just a little bit of weight. Losing weight is all about expending more calories than what is ingested. Integrating a healthy diet with a committed workout routine is crucial to control calories in and out. For enduring results, these lifestyle modifications must be embedded permanently.

Before starting your weight loss journey it is recommended to consult healthcare professionals to help create a diet plan and exercise program. Existing research highlights that individuals on protein-centric diets typically consume 441 fewer calories daily. A 2020 study further demonstrated the efficacy of a strict low-carb diet in facilitating weight loss among senior demographics. Another finding from research is that low-carbohydrate diets can lower hunger sensations, which translates to reduced caloric intake and weight reduction.

On the flip side, regular exercise is a cornerstone for both shedding weight and weight management. Embracing cardiovascular activity and resistance training not only burns surplus calories but also promotes muscle development and overall well-being.

Sources & Studies

Gibson, AA, Seimon, RV, Lee, CMY, Ayre, J, Franklin, J, Markovic, TP, Caterson, ID & Sainsbury, A 2014, ‘Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis’, Obesity Reviews, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 64–76, viewed 8 September 2023, <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25402637/>.

Goss, AM, Gower, B, Soleymani, T, Stewart, M, Pendergrass, M, Lockhart, M, Krantz, O, Dowla, S, Bush, N, Garr Barry, V & Fontaine, KR 2020, ‘Effects of weight loss during a very low carbohydrate diet on specific adipose tissue depots and insulin sensitivity in older adults with obesity: a randomized clinical trial’, Nutrition & Metabolism, vol. 17, no. 1, viewed 8 September 2023, <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32817749/>.

Healthdirect Australia 2020, Guide to bariatric surgery, www.healthdirect.gov.au, viewed 8 September 2023, <https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/guide-to-bariatric-surgery>.

Ibrahim, AM, Thumma, JR & Dimick, JB 2017, ‘Reoperation and Medicare Expenditures After Laparoscopic Gastric Band Surgery’, JAMA Surgery, vol. 152, no. 9, p. 835, viewed 8 September 2023, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5710463/>.

Weigle, DS, Breen, PA, Matthys, CC, Callahan, HS, Meeuws, KE, Burden, VR & Purnell, JQ 2005, ‘A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations’, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 82, no. 1, pp. 41–48, viewed 8 September 2023, <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002916523295076?via%3Dihub>.

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