Weight Loss Surgery Options

Deciding to get weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) isn't easy. And after making the decision to do it, there are still many different procedures to choose from. The best one for you depends on a lot of things: your goals, your surgeon's preference, your current health, and which procedures are covered by your insurance. Choosing a specific surgical approach requires a lot of thought and discussion with your surgeon.

There are two basic types of weight loss surgery -- restrictive surgeries and malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries. They help with weight loss in different ways. 

Restrictive surgeries work by physically restricting the size of the stomach and slowing down digestion. A normal stomach can hold about three pints of food. After surgery, the stomach may at first hold as little as an ounce, although later that could stretch to two or three ounces. The smaller the stomach, the less you can eat. The less you eat, the more weight you lose.

Malabsorptive/restrictive surgeries are more invasive surgeries that work by changing how you take in food. In addition to restricting the size of the stomach, these surgeries physically remove parts of your digestive tract, which makes it harder for your body to absorb calories. Purely malabsorptive surgeries -- also called intestinal bypasses -- are no longer done because of the side effects.

Specific Types of Weight Loss Surgery

There are many different surgical procedures for weight loss, and each has several variations. The following pages describe the three surgeries that we perform:

Dr. LaMasters was the first in Iowa to use the DaVinci robot for Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the first in Iowa to use the new sleeve gastrectomy procedure. 

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