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What surgical options are used to treat obesity?

 

Weight loss surgeries — also called bariatric (bair-ee-AT-rik) surgeries — can help treat obesity. You should only consider surgical treatment for weight loss if you:

  • Have a BMI of 40 or higher
  • Have a BMI of 35 or higher and weight-related health problems
  • Have not had success with other weight-loss methods

Common types of weight loss surgeries are:

  • Roux-en-Y (ROO-en-WEYE) gastric bypass. The surgeon uses surgical staples to create a small stomach pouch. This limits the amount of food you can eat. The pouch is attached to the middle part of the small intestine. Food bypasses the upper part of the small intestine and stomach, reducing the amount of calories and nutrients your body absorbs.
  • Laparoscopic (LAP-uh-ruh-SKAWP-ik) gastric banding. A band is placed around the upper stomach to create a small pouch and narrow passage into the rest of the stomach. This limits the amount of food you can eat. The size of the band can be adjusted. A surgeon can remove the band if needed.
  • Biliopancreatic (bil-ee-oh-pan-kree-at-ik) diversion (BPD) or BPD with duodenal (doo-AW-duh-nul) switch (BPD/DS). In BPD, a large part of the stomach is removed, leaving a small pouch. The pouch is connected to the last part of the small intestine, bypassing other parts of the small intestine. In BPD/DS, less of the stomach and small intestine are removed. This surgery reduces the amount of food you can eat and the amount of calories and nutrients your body absorbs from food. This surgery is used less often than other types of surgery because of the high risk of malnutrition.

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