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Learn More About Obesity Weight Loss Surgery

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Todd Eibes, MD

Obesity Weight Loss SurgeryObesity weight loss surgery has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment option for those affected by severe or morbid obesity, altering the digestive process in order to achieve rapid weight loss.

These procedures, aside from having a direct impact on appetite suppression, can also improve or resolve conditions that can occur as a result of severe obesity like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other conditions brought on by or made worse by obesity.

There are several types of restrictive and combined surgeries that lead to rapid weight loss, each one having its own benefits and risks.

The three main types are:


Restrictive weight loss surgeries such as laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (lap-band) limit food intake, reducing the amount of food the stomach can hold and slowing the passage of food through the stomach.

These surgeries only limit food intake and do not interfere with the normal digestive process. The results of the procedure causes a feeling of fullness after eating and limits caloric intake, thus resulting in rapid weight loss in most patients.

Restrictive obesity weight loss surgeries are easier to perform and are generally safer than malabsorptive or combined operations and are usually done via laparoscopy, which uses smaller incisions, creates less tissue damage, and involves shorter operating time and hospital stays than open procedures.


Malabsorptive weight loss surgeries do not limit food intake, but instead exclude most of the small intestine from the digestive tract so fewer calories and nutrients are absorbed.

Malabsorptive weight loss surgeries, also called intestinal bypasses, are no longer recommended because they result in severe nutritional deficiencies.

Combined Restrictive/Malabsorptive

Combined operations use stomach restriction and a partial bypass of the small intestine.

Do I meet the criteria?

Obesity weight loss surgery may be the next step for people who remain severely obese after trying nonsurgical approaches, or for people who have an obesity-related disease. However, not all people affected by severe obesity will qualify for weight loss surgery.

There are certain criteria that a person must meet in order to be a candidate for this type of weight loss treatment. You may be a candidate for obesity weight loss surgery if you have:

  1. a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women
  2. a BMI between 35 and 39.9 and a serious obesity-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or severe sleep apnea
  3. an understanding of the operation and the lifestyle changes you will need to make.

Surgery to produce quick weight loss is a highly personal decision. You should discuss the benefits and risks of each type of procedure with your doctor, helping you to measure the probability of benefits so that you can make an informed decision.

If you’re interested in learning more about:

  • Dr. Todd Eibes
  • Iowa Weight Loss Specialists
  • Our West Des Moines location
  • Our weekly informational class
  • Or would like to schedule a consultation

Please call 515-327-2000 or email us.

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