Which Bariatric Surgery Is Right for You?

You, and only you, can answer this important question after you have considered all the medical evidence and facts about the risks and benefits of each procedure. You may choose to research weight loss surgery on your own. As with any search for medical information, be sure that your sources are responsible. Talk to your general practitioner and any specialist that is involved in your care. There is no substitute for consulting with recognized experts in laparoscopic bariatric surgery (Dr. Chow) who has extensive experience with all the procedures you are considering. Finally, make sure you know the answer to these questions. Write them down and go over the answers several times before you decide.
  1. What is the risk of the worst possible outcome with each procedure?
  2. What are the short-term complications (within 30 days of the surgery) of each procedure?
  3. What are the long-term (basically for the rest of your life) complications of each surgery?
  4. What are the weight loss results in the short term (5 years) and long term (beyond 10 years) after the surgery?
  5. Do you want to eliminate the hunger you always feel?
  6. Do you want to lose as much of the extra weight you carry as possible?
  7. How fast do you want to lose the weight?
  8. What is the “back-up plan” if the procedure you chose fails to produce your weight loss goal?

Our Recommendations

Our #1 recommendation is the “gold standard” Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass because of excellent results up to 25 years after the surgery. We recommend the gastric sleeve (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) as an alternate to the gastric bypass.

We strongly recommend against the adjustable gastric band surgery. The results after 5 years or longer show such a high complication rate that our bariatric surgeons decided to stop offering this surgery to our patients since 2015. Over 1/3 of gastric bands ever inserted have required surgeries both urgently or electively to remove them for slippage, erosion, obstruction, or failure of weight loss!

We do not recommend the gastric balloon as it is a temporary procedure, just like the diets you tried and failed. They all must be removed within 6 months with ensuing weight regain thereafter. There have also been cases of deflation, causing distal intestinal obstruction and possibly death.

The duodenal switch is reserved for special cases e.g. weight over 450 lbs or 220 kg.

There are many experimental procedures that we do not yet recommend because the long term results are not known (eg. single anastomosis bypass, ileal interposition etc.).