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Local Doctor William Graber Discusses Weight Loss Surgery – Lap Band vs Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve

Photo Provided by: Office of Dr William Graber

Local weight loss surgeon Dr. William Graber joined WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning to talk about rapid weight loss, and the different types of surgeries.

So, what is the difference between gastric bypass, the lap band surgery and the gastric sleeve?

First off, the lap band surgery (recently undergone by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie) is about to become a thing of the past, Dr. Graber said.

”The company that actually makes lap bands is for sale…and the number of bands being done every year is dropping drastically,” Graber said.

The doctor speculated that Gov. Christie may have gone with the band because of his busy schedule and reduced recovery time.

”Gastric bypass is about 100 years old and was initially designed for ulcer surgery,” he said.

The difference between the three?

Gastric band – ”A balloon that’s wrapped around the top of the stomach and you slowly fill it. You have to adjust it for the lifetime of the patient and the band. It doesn’t really have many hormonal effects that we know of.”

Gastric Bypass – ”Was initially designed for ulcers but works for weight loss. It’s something like a shotgun blast…it effects lots of pathways in the body. Suddenly you’ll burn more calories, and there are lots of hormonal changes – even decades later we’re still trying to understand what’s happening [to the body after the surgery],” Dr. Draber said.

Gastric Sleeve -  Draber compared the newer sleeve process to the staple procedure, which is no longer used. He said it is fairly new, and said instead of stitches, staples are used. He cautioned though, that there is a risk of the staples ripping the stomach open if the wounds haven’t healed and a patient begins to eat too much.

There’s no question people are living longer because of weight loss surgeries. People who are heavy and have the surgeries, as a group, they live longer,” and rates for cancer, diabetes, stroke all decrease. ”It’s incredible,” Graber said.

Graber did add that medical professionals prefer that people loose weight on their own, but acknowledged that in some cases that may not be realistic.

Full interview from WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning:

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