Schedule an Appointment

Understanding Weight Loss Surgery: Your "New Stomach"

In my last blog, I talked about how weight loss surgeries work, mentioning three main ways surgery help patients lose weight. Today, let’s delve deeper into what us surgeons call "Restriction", which involves creating a smaller stomach.

What is Restriction?

With weight loss surgery we create a "new stomach". Surgery significantly reduces the size of the stomach, therefore fullness comes from eating just small portions. Because of this, you're not only likely to eat less at each meal but also feel satisfied longer between meals. This reduces your overall calorie intake, which helps in losing weight.

How does a Lap-Band Result in Restriction?

A Lap-Band is a mechanical devise that encircles the upper stomach and can be filled with fluid.  This way you can create a small pouch above the band.  The Lap-Band works only by restriction and doesn't have a metabolic, hormonal or hypoabsorptive affect like the other weight loss surgeries.  This also explains why we see less weight loss typically in patients who have a Lap-Band.

How does a Sleeve Gastrectomy Result in Restriction?

Sleeve gastrectomy is a type of weight loss surgery where a large part of the stomach is removed, leaving behind a smaller, tube-like stomach. After surgery there is just the "sleeve" connecting the esophagus to the small intestine. The idea is simple: with a smaller stomach, you can't hold as much food, which means you feel full after eating less.

How does a Gastric Bypass Result in Restriction?

Gastric bypass is another form of weight loss surgery, which also creates a new, smaller stomach, but it works a bit differently. In this procedure, the stomach is divided into two sections, no stomach is actually removed. The top section is made very small, about the size of an egg, and is the only part that receives food. This small part of the stomach is then directly connected to the small intestine. The rest of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine are bypassed, meaning food doesn’t go through them. Like the sleeve gastrectomy, this makes you feel full much quicker after eating smaller amounts.

How does a Duodenal Switch(DS) and SADI-S Result in Restriction?

DS and SADI-S are weight loss procedures which also result in restriction.  A new stomach is created by first performing a Sleeve Gastrectomy.  Further surgery is then done to bypass a portion of the small bowel.  As I mentioned in the previous blog, these procedures are essentially combining a sleeve with a bypass.

Things to Watch Out For

Even with a smaller stomach, there are ways to unintentionally bypass its benefits. For example, drinking calorie-rich liquids can be an issue. Liquids, especially those containing sugar, can pass through the new, smaller stomach very quickly. This means they don't make you feel full like solid foods do. Also, if you drink during your meals, you might thin out the food in your stomach, which lets you eat more before feeling full.

To get the most out of your surgery, it’s important to follow certain eating guidelines:

- Avoid drinking 30 minutes before, during, and 30 minutes after meals.

- Steer clear of high-calorie liquids and sugary drinks.

By sticking to these practices, you help ensure that your smaller meals satisfy you, thus lowering your total daily calorie intake while still feeling full and content.

Weight loss surgery is a powerful tool for significant weight loss, but their success greatly depends on adhering to the right eating habits post-surgery. If you're considering these types of surgery, discussing them thoroughly with your doctor can help you understand how they fit into your overall weight loss plan.