Breaking Down the Different Types of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery

Are you curious about bariatric surgery and wondering if it’s the right choice for you? Look no further! Let’s explore different types of bariatric surgeries and the benefits they offer for individuals struggling with severe obesity. These procedures have the potential to transform lives, providing them with renewed hope, improved health, and a brighter future.

Before we dive into the specific types of surgeries, it’s important to understand the two main categories of procedures: restrictive and malabsorptive.

  • Restrictive surgeries work by limiting the stomach’s capacity to hold food.
  • Malabsorptive surgeries aim to reduce the absorption of calories and nutrients by the body.

Now, let’s break down the four most common types of bariatric surgical procedures. Each has advantages and disadvantages, which is why it’s important to talk to a bariatric surgeon who can walk you through the options that best meet your needs.

Most Common Types of Bariatric Surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery, also referred to as sleeve gastrectomy, is a restrictive surgery that removes a large portion of the stomach to create a smaller pouch. This smaller stomach can only hold a limited amount of food, which helps people eat less and therefore consume less calories. People report that this reduced stomach size enables them to feel full and satisfied with smaller portions. Gastric sleeve surgery also reduces levels of ghrelin, a hormone responsible for hunger.

If you’re considering gastric sleeve surgery, it’s important to understand that this procedure permanently changes the stomach’s size and shape. However, it is also one of the most effective bariatric surgeries available. Patients can expect to lose up to 60% of their excess weight within the first two years following the procedure.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery, also referred to as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is a combination of restrictive and malabsorptive techniques. It involves creating a small stomach pouch, similar to gastric sleeve surgery, but it also reroutes a portion of the small intestine to limit the amount of calories and nutrients the body can absorb through food.

Gastric bypass surgery has been shown to result in significant weight-loss and improve many weight-related health issues such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and others.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, also known as lap band surgery, is a restrictive surgery that places an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch. This band can be adjusted to limit the amount of food the stomach can hold.

One of the advantages of lap band surgery is that it is minimally invasive and can be reversed, if necessary. However, it has a lower success rate than gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery. Patients can expect to lose around 30% of their excess weight.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD-DS)

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD-DS), also referred to as duodenal switch surgery, is a malabsorptive surgery that involves two major steps.

The first step is a sleeve gastrectomy, which removes a portion of the stomach and creates a smaller, tube-shaped stomach. The pyloric value, which opens to allow food to pass from the stomach to the small intestine, is left to stay, along with a limited portion of the small intestine that normally connects to the stomach (duodenum).

The second step bypasses the majority of the intestine by connecting the end portion of the intestine to the duodenum near the stomach. This limits the amount of calories and nutrients the body can absorb.  Duodenal switch surgery is typically reserved for patients with a higher BMI, as it has the highest rate of malabsorption of any of the other procedures.


In addition to considering the type of surgery, conducting thorough research and finding a qualified and experienced surgeon is crucial to guide you through the process. If you need help locating one, search here using the Obesity Care Providers Locator powered by the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).

It’s also important to understand that bariatric surgery is an effective tool, but it requires a commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle after the procedure. This includes following a high protein diet, exercising regularly, taking vitamin supplements and attending follow-up appointments with your surgeon and medical team for the rest of your life.


Learn. Connect. Engage.

learn, connect, engage icons

Gain the tools you need to succeed in your health journey. Join the OAC Community at NO COST and get access to: Valuable Education – Ongoing Support – Meaningful Connections – Much More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *