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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What weight loss surgery options are available?

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    Dr Steven Leibman

    Bariatric (Obesity) Surgeon, General Surgeon, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Upper GI Surgeon (Abdominal)

    Dr Leibman is a general, upper gastrointestinal and bariatric (weight loss) surgeon. Dr Leibman's surgical interests include surgery for gallstone disease, hernias, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, … View Profile

    There are various different choices of operation designed to achieve weight loss and while none are perfect, most comprehensive weight loss surgeons will tailor an operation to the patient based on their unique medical situation. The most common procedures performed for weight loss today are the sleeve gastrectomy, the gastric bypass, and the gastric band operation. The gastric band has in the past been the most popular operation in Australia but over recent years has been decreasing in popularity both by patients and surgeons because of a number of factors including cumulative long-term complications, less successful long term weight loss compared to some of the alternative procedures, the impact on quality of life for many patients, and the need for ongoing frequent medical follow-up and band adjustments. The gastric band is the only common procedure where an artificial device is actually placed inside the body and expected to stay there for the rest of the patients’ life without any problems. This device is prone to a number of long-term problems such as infection, change in position, or erosion into the stomach as well as wear and tear with leakage and loss of effectiveness. Many surgeons have now chosen to stop performing gastric band surgery unless there is a specific indication for it. Many patients who have had gastric band surgery are seeking revisional surgery because of either limited success or a complication related to the band.

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