What Weight Loss Surgery Is Best For Me?

Deciding on your surgical weight loss treatment is personal and varies from person to person. Before your surgery we will help you learn about the surgical options available so that you can choose the best surgery for your needs.

At University of Utah Health, we offer three bariatric surgery options:

  1. Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
  2. Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
  3. Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

Surgery can be performed with open (traditional) or minimally invasive techniques.

  • During open surgery, your surgeon will make an incision (cut) in your midline from below your breastbone to your belly button or beyond.
  • During minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery, your surgeon will make a number of small cuts using a long, thin scope (camera) and other tools.

Learn more about minimally invasive surgery.

Comparing Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy, & Gastric Banding

Deciding what weight loss surgery is best for you will depend on your recovery and weight loss goals.

Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

  • Surgery Length: About two to two-and-a-half hours
  • Hospital Stay: Two to three days
  • Recovery Time: Two weeks on average

How many follow-up visits will I need?: You will need to see your surgeon or physician assistant for a follow-up five times a year for the first year after your gastric bypass. After that, you will need to see your bariatric surgery provider once a year for a follow-up appointment.

Is the procedure reversible?: A gastric bypass surgery is difficult to reverse.

How quickly will I lose weight?: Patients who have gastric bypass surgery lose weight faster than patients who get adjustable gastric banding. Of all the different types of weight loss surgeries, patients lose the most weight on average and maintain their weight loss after gastric bypass.

What are the side effects?: Gastric bypass surgery treats heartburn. If you eat large amounts of sugar, you may also have dumping syndrome after getting a gastric bypass. You may also have diarrhea, cramps, and sweating, and your body may have a higher chance of having nutrition deficiencies if you don't take vitamin supplements.

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • Surgery Length: One and a half hours to two hours
  • Hospital Stay: One to two days
  • Recovery Time: Two weeks on average

How many follow-up visits will I need?: You will need 5 visits with your surgeon or physician assistant during the first year after your surgery; after that, you will need to make an appointment with your bariatric surgery provider once each year.

Is the procedure reversible?: No, sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible.

How quickly will I lose weight?: After having a sleeve gastrectomy, most patients lose weight faster than with adjustable gastric banding; generally falls between gastric bypass and gastric banding.

What are the side effects?: Sleeve gastrectomy may cause heartburn. But there's no dumping syndrome after the procedure, and you also have a lower chance of having malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

  • Surgery Length: About one hour
  • Hospital Stay: One to two days
  • Recovery Time: Two weeks on average

How many follow-up visits will I need?: You will need to see your surgeon or physician assistant for a follow-up appointment each month for the first 12-18 months after your surgery so your band can be adjusted. After that, you will need to see your bariatric surgery provider at least once a year for a follow-up appointment.

Is the procedure reversible?: Yes, gastric banding is reversible and adjustable.

How quickly will I lose weight?: Patients who have gastric banding will lose less weight and will also lose weight more slowly compared to patients who have gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. 

What are the side effects?: Gastric banding may cause heartburn. But there's no dumping syndrome after the procedure, and you also have a lower chance of having malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies.

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