Weight loss procedures: What are the options?

Gastric band surgery for weight loss is something that most people have heard of, but many know very little about what it entails. Confusingly, the term ‘gastric band’ is also often used to group together many different types of weight loss treatments.  

While exercise and diet can help you with some weight loss, the results are often mild and temporary, and may prove ineffective and disappointing for you. This is especially true if your movement is restricted by injury or underlying health conditions, or you suffer from morbid obesity where a permanent change in metabolism forbids weight loss. 

In these cases, a number of different weight loss interventions are available. Almost overnight, you’ll have the self-control to maintain your weight to a healthy level and more easily carry out your day-to-day tasks. Below, we’ve broken down what weight loss interventions are currently available to help you consider your options.

Gastric balloons

These are the simplest of procedures, as they do not require any surgery at all.  The balloons are synthetic and filled with sterile fluid. They sit in the stomach and partially fill the space inside. This makes you feel less hungry, and feel fuller quicker and longer when you do eat. Balloons generally result in 10 to 15% total body weight loss. 

Two types of gastric balloons are currently available on the market.   

Allurion Balloon (formerly Elipse)

The Allurion Balloon is a non-invasive procedure which does not involve any sedation, anaesthesia, or endoscopy. Following assessment, patients will be invited to attend the hospital where they will be asked to swallow a capsule. Once the capsule reaches the stomach, it will be filled with water, which helps convert the capsule into a balloon that will occupy space within the stomach. The procedure takes about 20 minutes and you can go home straight afterwards. 

Orbera Balloon

The Orbera Balloon – which is available in six-month and 12-month varieties, thus offering potentially longer-term weight loss – requires deep sedation or anaesthesia, and is inserted under endoscopic guidance as a day-case procedure. Six or 12 months later, a further endoscopy is performed to remove the balloon, after which time dietary support will help you maintain a more controlled diet and your subsequent weight loss. 

Gastric surgery

This can be further sub-divided into three commonly performed keyhole operations: sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and gastric band surgery. 

Sleeve gastrectomy 

Currently, this is the most popular weight loss intervention worldwide. This procedure re-shapes the stomach into a long, slim tube. By ensuring the size and the angles of this tube are calibrated accurately, patients get very quick fullness and satisfaction from eating. The result is you want to eat less, and lose weight very soon after surgery. 

Patients can expect to lose 25 to 30% of their total body weight during treatment. Like a gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy usually results in almost immediate cure of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Gastric bypass 

The most complex and effective of bariatric procedures, the gastric bypass cuts away (but does not remove) about 80% of the existing stomach, leaving behind a small stomach pouch that bypasses a portion of the small intestine. This combination allows patients to lose up to 25 to 35% of their body weight. Gastric bypass is particularly beneficial for those suffering from moderate to severe type 2 diabetes and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

Gastric band 

A gastric band is an adjustable silicone band which is placed around the upper part of the stomach. As a result, your stomach feels full sooner, preventing you from wanting to eat more than you should.

Once the gastric banding surgery has been carried out, there will be a small pouch at the top of your stomach acting as a gateway. When you eat, this part of the stomach fills up, recreating the impression of being full and preventing you from wanting to eat. 

Is weight loss intervention right for me? 

While only you can decide whether you need to reduce your weight, our doctors can inform your decision-making process. Experienced in all aspects of weight loss, they provide evidence-backed consultations that highlight the benefits of non-surgical and surgical interventions, while being transparent about any potential drawbacks. 

Naturally, only the patient can dictate the outcome of any procedure – you’ll still need to be conscious of your diet and exercise. It benefits greatly to have your procedure carried out at a hospital like Cromwell Hospital, which contains some of the world’s leading weight loss experts.

Considering a weight loss procedure?

Too many people allow their weight to limit their quality of life, largely because of an apprehension about (and misunderstanding around) weight loss interventions.

Cromwell Hospital provides the understanding and facilities necessary to support weight loss success. It isn’t enough to perform the procedure – our multidisciplinary team of experts help create the correct environment for a successful weight loss journey. 

Find out more about bariatric and weight loss procedures >

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