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For people who are severely obese or have health problems due to obesity, surgery may be recommended. There are several types of weight loss surgery, including vertical banded gastroplasty, laparoscopic gastric banding, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and biliopancreatic diversion. Although these surgeries may be effective weight loss procedures, it is important to know that success will involve a lifelong commitment to behavioral change and medical follow-up.
Weight Loss Surgery: An OverviewSeveral different options are available for treating obesity. While not the first option for treating obesity, weight loss surgery (known as bariatric surgery) may be recommended for some people who suffer from severe obesity or who have health problems as a result of obesity.
You may be a candidate for surgery if you have:
- A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (see BMI Calculator to find your BMI)
- A BMI between 35 and 39.9 and a serious obesity-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or severe sleep apnea (see Health Effects of Obesity)
- An understanding of the operation and the lifestyle changes (including diet and exercise) you will need to make.
Types of Weight Loss SurgerySeveral different types of surgeries are available to treat obesity. Each one promotes weight loss by restricting food intake and, in some cases, interrupting the normal digestive process. The different types of surgery for weight loss include:
- Vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG)
- Laparoscopic gastric banding (Lap-Band)
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RGB)
- Biliopancreatic diversion (BPD).
Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG)
Vertical banded gastroplasty used to be one of the common restrictive surgeries for weight loss. However, VBG is not often used today. With this procedure, both a band and surgical staples are used to divide the stomach into two parts. The upper part is small, which limits space for food. Food empties from the upper pouch into the lower pouch through a small opening. A band is put around this opening so it doesn't stretch.