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How is gastric banding different from a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass?

There are several types of bariatric surgery:

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB): In this procedure, sometimes known as "stomach stapling," the stomach is reduced to the size of a golf ball. The stomach is divided into a large portion and a small portion. The small portion is sewn or stapled together to make a small pouch, which holds only about a cup of food. The small pouch is then disconnected from the upper portion of the digestive tract and reconnected to a lower portion of the intestine. Not only do you eat fewer calories, but your body absorbs fewer calories because part of the intestine, the duodenum, has been bypassed.
  • Adjustable gastric band: This procedure is performed laparoscopically, through a small incision in the abdomen. The surgeon wraps a saline-filled silicone band around the top of the stomach to create a small pouch about the size of a thumb. The size of the pouch can be altered by increasing or decreasing the amount of saline (salt water) in the pouch. You eat less because you feel full sooner.

Other less common procedures include:

  • Biliopancreatic bypass with duodenal switch (BPDS): In this procedure, much of the stomach is removed, leaving only a "gastric sleeve" that is attached to the small intestine, completely bypassing the duodenum and upper small intestine.

In a similar procedure, called biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, a smaller portion of the stomach is removed, and the remaining stomach (gastric sleeve) remains attached to the duodenum. The duodenum is connected to the lower part of the small intestine. As with the gastric bypass procedure, you absorb fewer calories with both of these procedures. You also eat less because your stomach is so much smaller. Removing part of the stomach is also thought to reduce production of an appetite-related hormone called grehlin.

  • Gastric sleeve: This procedure is actually the first part of the surgery performed in the BPDS, only the remaining pouch does not bypass the intestine. About three-quarters of the stomach is removed, and the remaining narrow pouch—or sleeve—connects to the intestines This procedure seems to be effective on its own and has shown excellent results, although it is still considered investigational.

All procedures can lead to "full and rapid" remission of diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, kidney failure and other weight-related medical conditions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.