Apparently not all weight loss surgery is the same.
All of these are now usually done laparoscopically. This means there are a few (4 or 5) tiny incisions (half inch or so) around the perimeter of the stomach area.
Rarely will they need to cut someone open to do this, but the surgeon may reserve the right to, in case of complications.
There are three primary operations:
- AGB, Adjustable Gastric Band, aka Lap band
- RYGB, Gastric Bypass, aka Roux en-Y
- VSG, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, aka Sleeve
(There is a 4th type, a combo of VSG and RYGB, but it's complex and rarely done or offered: Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal Switch.)
Each of the 3 operations have their own set of pros and cons.
Minimum weight loss expected: (% of weight to lose)
- AGB: 50%
- RYGB: 70%
- VGS: 60%
- AGB: Reversible; no cutting of the stomach
- RYGB: Max weight loss expected; theoretically reversible.
- VGS: no rerouting of food path pipes
- AGB: Port needed; refills of saline required to maintain;
Possibility of erosion of stomach (rubbing of band)
- RYGB: Rerouting, dumping syndrome*
- VGS: not reversible
* Dumping syndrome is (briefly) an unpleasant gastric side effects of eating high fat/sugar foods.
I've seen that many hospital don't even offer the band anymore. Apparently too many of them needed to be removed. I didn't like the idea of having a port, and having to get saline added every two weeks or so to keep it tight. (Or that I could let I get looser if I wanted to eat more!)
The RYGB seemed risky with the re-attaching of intestines.
VGS seems kind of middle of the road; both safe and effective. This seems to be the best fit for me.
(More info coming soon.)