How Does Weight Loss Surgery Work?

bypassThere are two different ways that weight loss can be achieved through surgery:

  1.   Restrictive – by minimizing the size of your stomach, you will be able to eat fewer calories and feel full and satisfied
  2.   Malapsorptive – by separating the digestive enzymes from the ingested food, bypassing some of your digestive tract, your intestines are not able to absorb the calories in the food that you eat

Both the Lap Band procedure and the Sleeve Gastrectomy are only restrictive operations – your body will continue to absorb all of the calories that you eat, you will just eat fewer calories in order to feel as you’ve had a complete meal.  This helps you adhere to your diet and reduce your food intake. Please pay careful attention to the way restrictive bariatric weight loss surgery works – both the sleeve and the lap band do not make it “impossible” for you to eat more than a few bites.  In fact, with a little determination, sleeve and band patients are able to eat a fairly large meal.  However, if you limit yourself to a small meal of lean protein, whole grains and low starch vegetables, you’ll find that with small portions, you’ll be able to eat less while feeling full, without going hungry between meals.

lap-bandThe Gastric Bypass has both a restrictive and a malapsorptive component.  The stomach is turned into a walnut sized pouch and the intestines are re-arranged so that the ingested food and the digestive enzymes are separated for the first third of the intestinal tract, preventing your body from fully absorbing the calories that you eat.  Over time, your body will adjust to the new anatomy and the remainder of your intestines will become better able to absorb calories and the restrictive component will become the more important factor for your weight loss or maintenance.

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery can help you reduce your caloric intake, and subsequently lose weight; however it is important to understand, long term success is guaranteed by one factor only: your ability to change your exercise and eating habits permanently. As with any weight loss plan, diet and exercise are key components of achieving your weight reduction goals. The surgery will make it easier for you to make these changes, but without altering the way you think about food (as fuel, not pleasure) and exercise (as fun, not work), you will not achieve long term weight loss, even with surgery.

Contact Dr. Weiner today to find out how bariatric weight loss surgery can help you lose pounds on your way towards a healthier lifestyle.

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