Carlos A. Barba on Understanding Your Options for Weight-loss Surgery

Weight loss has been on people’s minds for ages. It improves general health and leads to a better quality of life. Among the many weight loss options an overweight person has, bariatric, or weight loss, surgery is perhaps one of the most sought after procedures these days.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Carlos A. Barba, owner of Carlos A. Barba MD, PLLC, has performed more than 6,000 bariatric surgeries since 1995. He explains that it is important the patient understands their options carefully and receives the pre-operative education and post-operative education that they need for a safe and effective weight loss surgery.

The main two bariatric procedures that people would be interested in are gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. In terms of safety and efficiency, they are highly rated over the other types of weight loss surgery. So, what are these procedures and what makes each one stand out?

Carlos A. Barba on Understanding Your Options for Weight-loss Surgery

Gastric Bypass

When seeking to treat obesity and control weight, the surgeon might recommend gastric bypass to an obese person, especially if the patient has obesity-related health issues such as type 2 diabetes. According to Carlos A. Barba, Gastric bypass is a restrictive form of weight loss where the stomach is divided into two sections, thus altering how the small intestine handles food. After the stomach is divided into a small pouch at the top and the rest of the stomach below it, the small intestine is also divided in a similar way. Then the small stomach pouch is connected to the lower part of the small intestine, thus bypassing both the larger stomach and small intestine divisions.

According to the team at Carlos A. Barba, MD, PLLC, this procedure is called “Roux-en-Y”. It restricts the absorption of calories and nutrients while the small stomach pouch makes the patient feel full with considerably lesser amounts of food. The gastric bypass procedure has many advantages:

  • Quick recovery time ranging from four to six weeks for full healing.
  • Noticeable health improvements for diabetic patients who find that they don’t need their diabetes medications as much after the procedure.
  • Doesn’t require any further adjustments in most cases.
  • Has satisfying cardiovascular benefits from reducing high blood pressure to lowering cholesterol levels as a result of bringing obesity under control.

However, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is not without risks. It’s true the post-op and recovery are often accompanied by such symptoms as slight stomach pain, tenderness around the incision, and easy dehydration, but these are mild symptoms. The real risks might involve kidney stones, hernia, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The ongoing aftercare that the team at Carlos A. Barba, MD, PLLC offers patients helps in preventing these complications.

Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve surgery is similar to the gastric bypass in the way the stomach gets divided into two sections. However, unlike Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, no rerouting is involved. In gastric sleeve procedures, the stomach is often stapled to create a small stomach pouch while the larger section of the stomach gets removed. “It’s a restrictive form of bariatric surgery,” Carlos A. Barba explains, “since we use physical restrictions on the stomach to manage and achieve weight loss. At our clinic, we use state of the art techniques to ensure the success of these procedures.”

Some of the advantages that the gastric sleeve procedure has include:

  • It leads to gradual weight loss over a span of two years. This allows the patient to ease into their new life rather than face abrupt weight loss as is the case with gastric bypass surgery.
  • As a result of the gastric sleeve procedure, the patient usually gets hungry less often than before the operation. That’s due to the reduced amounts of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, in the small stomach pouch.
  • It’s a quick procedure that takes less time than other bariatric surgeries. On average, the procedure would take less than an hour from start to finish.

As for post-op and recovery, in most cases, the patient is ready to go back to work within one to two weeks after the surgery. The first day is often spent at the hospital where the patient might experience pain or discomfort. But by the third day, the pain would be manageable and the patient is often discharged. For the next week or two, they would have to stick to a diet and take gradual steps to get back to a more active lifestyle.

Carlos A. Barba, MD is committed to providing the highest level of care in the fields of general surgery and weight loss surgery.