Many individuals who struggle with obesity and weight-related health issues feel that diet and exercise alone are insufficient. However, they are reluctant to undergo bariatric surgery with its lengthy recovery period.

Fortunately, non-surgical bariatric procedures are effective and offer an alternative to yo-yo dieting or extreme exercise plans. The following non-invasive, reversible weight loss procedures are clinically proven to promote rapid and permanent weight loss.

Gastric Sleeve

On average, patients lose 70% of their excess weight within two years. This is due to reduced ghrelin suppressing hunger, improving satiety, and controlling blood sugar levels. The stomach is reduced in size and functions normally, requiring only a small amount of food to feel full.

In this surgical treatment, most of the stomach is removed, leaving just a small tube (sleeve) that limits the amount of food that may be ingested. The sleeve avoids the stomach region making ghrelin and restricts the amount of fat, carbohydrate, and protein absorbed.

Patients must follow strict dietary guidelines to ensure their stomach heals well in the short term. They will start with liquids, then progress to soft foods before gradually moving onto solid foods. It is important to remember that you will never be able to eat as much as you did before the surgery, so it is crucial to make wise food choices.

The sleeve is not reversible, but it can be revised or converted to other types of bariatric surgery with stronger results, such as gastric bypass or duodenal switch. A few risks associated with this surgery include leakage from the new connection between the stomach and intestine, the development of gallstones, or an infection at the staple line.

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass is a surgical procedure that reduces your stomach size, limits calorie absorption, and promotes positive metabolic changes in your body. It is typically performed after you’ve failed to lose significant weight through diet and exercise. Your doctor may recommend the operation if your BMI is 40 or higher (extreme obesity) or if you have serious weight-related health problems such as type 2 diabetes, severe sleep apnea, or heart disease.

During Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery, your surgeon makes a small pouch at the top of your stomach about the size of an egg. Food enters the pouch and goes directly into your intestine, bypassing most of your stomach and the first portion of your small intestine. This means your stomach acids and digestive enzymes never come into contact with your food.

Your surgeon uses surgical staples to create the new pouch and connect it to a section of your small intestine that is lower than where it normally connects. This rerouting of your stomach and small intestine significantly limits calorie absorption and increases your feeling of fullness after eating. The rerouting also produces hormone changes that decrease hunger and improve blood sugar control in diabetic patients. It reduces or eliminates the need for diabetes medications in many patients.

Unlike sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass patients experience more weight loss and fewer nutritional deficiencies. However, the connection between your pouch and intestine can narrow over time, which may lead to nausea, weakness, and diarrhea if you eat too much sugar or large amounts of food.

Duodenal Switch

The Duodenal Switch is restrictive and malabsorptive, reducing the calories your body absorbs. It also helps you lose more weight than gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy alone. During this procedure, the surgeon removes 80% of your stomach and bypasses part of the small intestine, like in gastric bypass. However, unlike the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, they use a single connection instead of two to bypass the stomach, which can lessen the chance of leakage and decrease your risk of dumping syndrome.

As with sleeve gastrectomy, you must follow strict diet guidelines following a DS operation to avoid nutritional deficiencies. You must take Vitamin A, C, and E supplements, calcium, and iron. You will also have to be careful not to eat fatty foods as they can block the intestinal tract and cause a blockage. You will also need to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and drugs.

Patients with a DS experience rapid and sustainable weight loss with the highest average expected remission of Type 2 diabetes and 98% remission of hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) compared to other bariatric procedures. However, it is important to remember that a duodenal switch is a permanent procedure, not a cure for obesity. It would help if you were committed to a long-term lifestyle change to achieve your desired results.

Nonsurgical Weight Loss

Many nonsurgical weight loss options are available to people who don’t qualify for surgery or don’t want it. Most of these procedures still require changing your eating pattern and diet, but they do so without cutting through your stomach or other major organs. They also generally have shorter recovery times, meaning you can return to your daily life much sooner.

Many of these procedures are designed to help you lose weight by limiting your food intake. Some, such as the gastric balloon, are designed to be a long-term solution, while others, such as the endoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, involve removing part of your stomach. These procedures can help you lose weight and improve your quality of life. They can lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of developing other health problems, and boost your confidence and self-esteem. They can also improve your ability to perform everyday activities and ease the pain of chronic conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.