For people who are extremely obese and have had trouble losing weight through more conventional methods, weight-loss surgery may be an option.

There are 2 main types of weight-loss surgery:

  • Stomach surgery: Sometimes referred to as stomach-stapling surgery, this procedure uses either staples or a band to section off part of the stomach and reduce the stomach's volume. This in turn reduces the amount of food it takes to feel uncomfortably full.
  • Stomach surgery plus intestinal bypass: Like traditional stomach surgery, this procedure involves using staples or bands to reduce the amount of room in the stomach. In this procedure, the surgeon also creates a bypass around the part of the small intestine that absorbs the most calories from food, so that you not only eat less, but absorb fewer calories from the food you do eat.

Though weight-loss surgery is often effective, it can also be dangerous, with risks that include gallstones and hernia in addition to those that accompany any major surgery. As well, many people are only able to eat small amounts of food following surgery, or else they may suffer from nausea and other symptoms.

Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team