Bariatric Surgery vs. Liposuction

When it comes to weight loss surgery, patients often wonder what the difference is between liposuction and bariatric procedures, such as Gastric SleeveGastric Bypass or LAP-BAND® surgery.

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure intended to remove existing fat, but does not address the issues causing the patient’s weight gain. While you may initially lose weight or inches with liposuction it is not a permanent weight loss solution. Liposuction is more commonly recommended for individuals who are not struggling with obesity, but rather have areas of stubborn fat that just won’t melt away with diet and exercise.

Bariatric surgeries such as Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass and LAP-BAND®, on the other hand, are all intended to address the cause of excess fat, rather than simply removing fat. Bariatric surgery can achieve long-term weight loss and is the best option for patients with a BMI of 30 or over.

LAP-BAND® Surgery
The objective of the LAP-BAND® surgery is to reduce the capacity of the stomach – thus significantly reducing the amount of food that can be eaten by way of restriction. The restrictive tool in this case is the LAP-BAND®/REALIZE™ Band.

Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric Bypass surgery
 makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. The most common gastric bypass surgery is a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. The stomach is made smaller by creating a pouch at the top of the stomach. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine.

Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Sleeve (or Sleeve Gastrectomy) involves resection of the portion of the stomach that produces grehlin – the hormone that is the major contributor to the feeling of hunger. As a result, patients who undergo Sleeve Gastrectomy report a reduced appetite, allowing them to lose weight.

Liposuction is an “instant gratification” surgery, but is not intended to treat patients who suffer from obesity. If you are seriously overweight or obese, weight loss surgery, such as LAP-BAND®, Gastric Sleeve, or Gastric Bypass may help you lose excess weight and keep it off.