Comparing Your Weight Loss Surgery Options

Bariatric surgical procedures affect weight loss through two fundamental mechanisms -- malabsorption and restriction. Some procedures combine the two:



Gastric Bypass

Gastric Banding


Biliopancreatic Diversion (with or without Duodenal Switch)

What's involved? Staples partition the stomach below the esophagus to make a small pouch. This pouch connects to the lower small intestine, bypassing the upper segment (duodenum). A band constricts the stomach just below the esophagus, creating a small pouch with a narrow outlet to the larger part of the stomach. The band may be adjustable. Staples and a band divide the stomach in two, creating a small pouch below the esophagus, with a narrow outlet to the larger section of stomach. Removes part of the stomach. The small intestine is cut. One end attaches to the stomach. The bypassed segment of small intestine reconnects near the colon.
Type Combination Restrictive Restrictive Combination
How common is this surgery? Most common of weight loss surgery Common -- about 10%-15% of weight loss surgery Rarely done due to lack of sustained/desired weight loss, as well as the high incidence of complications requiring revision (20 to 56 percent). Less common -- about 5% of weight loss surgery
How much excess weight do people typically lose after surgery?        

in 1 year

38% 21% 26% 53%-68%

in 2 years

70% 50%-60% 68% 70%-80%
Average absolute weight loss        

in 1 year

96 lbs 67 lbs 71 lbs 114 lbs

in 2 years

96 lbs 63 lbs 88 lbs 102 lbs
How well does it work in the long term?        
Average percent weight loss 10 years, 25% 10 years, 13% 10 years, 17% 8 years, 60%-70%
What are the risks of surgery?        
Death Laparo

Open Laparo

Open Laparo

Open Laparo

Death Less than 1% Less than 1% Less than 0.1% Less than 1% Less than 1% Less than 1% 1% Less than 1%
Internal leaking of the bowel or stomach 2% NA 1% 2%
Internal bleeding 2% Less than 1% Less than 1% Less than 1%
Repeat surgery 2% 8% 11% 4%
What percent of people have side effects after surgery?        

Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:



Difficulty swallowing

Dumping syndrome

17% 7% 18% 38%
Any nutrient or vitamin deficiency 17% NA 3% Up to 50%
Gallstones Up to 36%      
How long is the average hospital stay for this surgery?        


2 days 1 day 1 day 3 days


3 days 4 days 4 days
What's the average price of the surgery?        


$30,000 $22,000 $22,000 NA


$24,000 (average in U.S.) $15,000 (average in U.S.) NA



WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein, MD on August 03, 2015



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