Dr. Antonio Cueva

Personalizing Bariatric Surgery: Finding Your Ideal Procedure

When seeking an appropriate bariatric surgery procedure for yourself, it can be overwhelming to choose from the wide range of available options. However, this article aims to alleviate your concerns by discussing two leading procedures: gastric sleeve and gastric balloons. You will be better equipped to make an informed decision once you’ve learned about the advantages and significant factors pertaining to each of these procedures.

Gastric Sleeve

The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery: Transforming Lives Through Weight Loss
Performed laparoscopically, gastric sleeve surgery involves using stapling tools and surgical scissors to remove roughly 75-80% of the stomach, limiting its new narrow tubular shape to roughly the size of a banana. By permanently downsizing the stomach, the sleeve favors consuming smaller portions that satisfy your appetite sooner than before. With the stomach’s gastric capacity reduced, eating too much can become physically uncomfortable.

Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery:

  • Significant and sustained weight loss – Patients typically lose up to 60-70% of excess body weight and are able to maintain this long-term.
  • Alleviation of obesity-related diseases – Conditions like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure often improve or resolve with weight loss.
  • Reduced appetite and improved eating patterns – The smaller stomach produces a lasting effect of feeling full sooner after meals and discourages overeating.
  • Boost in self-esteem and quality of life – Achieving a healthier weight can lead to increased confidence and physical/social well-being.
  • Possible lowered dependency on medication – Weight loss may allow decreased reliance on prescription drugs for chronic diseases.
  • Enhanced fertility – For those struggling with fertility issues due to obesity, pregnancy becomes safer and more likely post surgery.
  • Longevity gains – Sustained weight control lowers risks for obesity-tied cancers, heart disease, and other conditions, improving the lifespan of the patients.


Knowing the possible risks and complications of gastric sleeve surgery is crucial when you’re considering getting it done. Like any surgical procedure, intrinsic risks are associated, such as bleeding, infections, and blood clots. However, the overall complication rate for gastric sleeve surgery is relatively low, making it a safe option for most patients. Maintaining optimal results over the long term requires postoperative care and support, which means adhering to dietary recommendations and engaging in regular exercise.

Gastric Balloon

Gastric Balloon Surgery
A deflated balloon is inserted into the stomach and subsequently inflated with saline solution during the non-surgical gastric balloon implantation technique. Due to the balloon’s space-occupying nature, the stomach feels fuller, and less food is consumed. It is a temporary operation that is usually suggested as a short-term weight loss alternative or for those who need to lose weight before having additional bariatric surgeries.

Benefits of Gastric Balloon Surgery:

  • Appetite and portion control through enforced stomach occupancy – The stretching of the stomach due to eating larger meals or rapid eating is minimized, encouraging reduced intake that feels adequately satisfying.
  • Low surgical risk and minimally invasive outpatient procedure – Insertion and removal require no incisions, just an endoscopy. Recovery proves much quicker than bariatric surgery, without dietary or mobility limitations.
  • Reduced medication reliance – Even modest weight loss from the balloon may lead to a decrease in dependence on diabetes or hypertension drug dosage in some cases.
  • Acts as an evaluation period for patient’s commitment – The temporary and short-term nature of the procedures allows for an assessment of the patient’s commitment to weight loss before opting for more permanent and invasive options, if required.
  • Improved fertility for struggling patients – Even smaller gains in weight loss may restore menstrual cycles and contribute to the effectiveness of fertility treatment that the patient may be undergoing.


Gastric balloons have the potential to reduce weight significantly. However, it is crucial to remember that the balloon is temporary and must be taken out after a predetermined amount of time, usually six months. Patients must also make lifestyle adjustments, such as eating differently and exercising frequently, in order to keep off the weight even after the balloon is removed.

Challenges in Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeves and gastric balloons, provides hope for individuals battling obesity. However, navigating the complexities of these operations involves overcoming several obstacles. Let’s delve into the challenges encountered during bariatric surgery and explore strategies to ensure successful patient outcomes.

Patient Selection and Evaluation: A Key Determinant

Proper patient selection is a critical factor in achieving positive outcomes in bariatric surgery. A thorough evaluation is essential, encompassing a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s medical history, lifestyle factors, psychological well-being, and overall health. This meticulous evaluation guides the decision-making process, enabling the selection of the most suitable procedure, whether it is gastric sleeve surgery or gastric balloon placement.

Long-Term Weight Maintenance: A Steadfast Challenge

One of the primary challenges in bariatric surgery lies in achieving and sustaining long-term weight loss. While the surgical procedure jumpstarts the weight loss journey, maintaining the desired weight requires continuous lifestyle changes and ongoing support. Long-term success requires patients to adopt better behaviors, such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

Psychological and Emotional Support: Addressing the Whole Patient

The patient’s psychological and emotional health are equally as important as their physical health when it comes to bariatric surgery. Many individuals seeking bariatric surgery have struggled with weight-related issues for a significant portion of their lives, which may contribute to psychological challenges such as anxiety, depression, and body image concerns. Providing comprehensive psychological support, including counseling and therapy, is crucial to help patients navigate these challenges and achieve long-term success. Collaborative care involving a multidisciplinary team, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and support groups, can enhance patient outcomes and overall well-being.

Education and Lifestyle Modification: Empowering Patients

Empowering patients with knowledge and equipping them with the tools for sustainable lifestyle modification is vital in overcoming the challenges of bariatric surgery. Education about nutrition, portion control, and healthy habits enables patients to make informed decisions and take up an active role in their weight loss journey. Ongoing support and guidance from healthcare professionals, including dietitians and specialized bariatric teams, fosters patient empowerment, enhances adherence to dietary guidelines, and promotes long-term success.

It is critical to handle these issues effectively. Proper doctor selection, long-term weight maintenance, complications and risk management, psychological and emotional support, and patient education are key areas that require attention.

Find the Right Expertise to Support You

Carefully assessing the choices for the best bariatric surgery depends on a number of criteria, including your BMI, general health, and personal preferences. By consulting with a bariatric surgeon like Dr. Antonio Cueva and understanding the benefits and risks of each procedure, you will be able to make an informed decision that aligns with your goals for a healthier future.

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