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Three Common Types of Bariatric Surgery

Mark Holterman

For the last six years, Mark Holterman, MD, has served as a professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Also an active medical researcher, Dr. Mark Holterman has given presentations and co-written medical texts on such topics as bariatric surgery.

Surgeons use bariatric procedures to encourage food malabsorption, eating regulation, or a combination of the two in their patients. There are several different types of bariatric surgery that can elicit these results. Here are three of the most common procedures:

1. Gastric Bypass - This procedure enables surgeons to reduce the size of their patients’ stomachs. Taking a small portion of the upper stomach, surgeons staple this section off and redirect a piece of the small intestine to this “pouch.” This both limits what the patient can eat and alters the hormones in the stomach, which can further encourage a shift in appetite.

2. Sleeve Gastrectomy - In this procedure, surgeons remove a large portion of the stomach, which leaves behind only a small pouch. Similar to the results of gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy minimizes the size of the stomach and prevents patients from overeating.

3. Gastric Band - Unlike other bariatric procedures, gastric band surgery does not involve the removal of a section of the stomach. Instead, surgeons place a flexible band around a small stomach pouch. This allows them to alter the diameter of the opening between that and the larger stomach section at any time. This procedure requires more ongoing maintenance than other bariatric surgeries. Should patients need to modify the band opening, they must visit their surgeons.

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