Most Common Types Of Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgeries

Minimally invasive bariatric surgery is also commonly known as laparoscopic bariatric surgery. It means completing your weight loss surgery without having to make a large, open incision.

If this is a weight loss procedure you’ve been contemplating then you may be curious to know more about the most common types of minimally invasive bariatric surgeries. The more knowledge and information you have about your list of complete options, the easier it’ll be to make a decision about which surgery may be most suitable for you or a loved one.

What is Non-Invasive Weight Loss Surgery?

Let’s start by answering the question about what is non-invasive weight loss surgery so you get a better understanding of it in detail. These types of procedures have to deal with the Stretta and the Reshape Duo Balloon (or gastric balloon) and don’t involve any incisions or surgery. The reality is that you may not experience as great of weight loss with a non-invasive approach.

On the other hand, minimally invasive surgeries have a proven ability to help you on your weight loss journey. While non-invasive weight loss procedures may carry long-term risks and offer less effective weight loss over time.

Laparoscopic Weight Loss Surgery

Laparoscopic bariatric surgery is the least invasive type of non-invasive bariatric surgery. It involves making four to five super tiny incisions, about as wide as your little fingernail, where a variety of surgical instruments are used to complete the surgery without needing a large open incision. Laparoscopy also involves using a specialized telescope (laparoscope) to view the stomach, which typically allows smaller abdominal incisions. You can expect to experience weight loss that will help you reach your wellness goals.

Laparoscopic Weight Loss Surgery

The following benefits come with choosing laparoscopic bariatric surgery:

  •         Smaller, more cosmetic incisions
  •         Reduced postoperative pain
  •         Shorter hospitalization
  •         Quicker return to activity and work
  •         Fewer wound complications

Single Site Weight Loss Surgery

Single site surgery is also known as Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery or SILS. It involves making one slightly larger incision, usually through the belly button, where multiple instruments are inserted. While recovery after weight loss surgery is not significantly different than conventional multi-incision laparoscopic surgery, the cosmetic results are by far more superior.

Single Site Weight Loss Surgery

Not all patients are candidates for this type of minimally invasive bariatric surgery so you should consult with your surgeon or doctor. There are multiple approaches and options for a single site weight loss surgery such as:

  • Single Incision Sleeve Gastrectomy: The principles of the single incision Sleeve Gastrectomy are identical to the conventional laparoscopic approach. The stomach volume is reduced to 20-30% of its original size.
  • Single Incision Lap Band: The main limitation at present is making an incision through which the Lap-Band placement is feasible and can still be used to place the port under the skin at a stable, fixed point.
  • Single Incision Gallbladder Removal: Many patients fear the risk of gallstones after bariatric surgery. 

Robotic Weight Loss Surgery

Another common type of minimally invasive bariatric surgery is called robotic weight loss surgery. This approach uses a robot to control the instruments used for surgery. Although it’s interesting, the reality is that robots don’t outperform a skilled bariatric surgeon. Since it requires a greater duration of anesthesia and as a result may expose patients to greater risk, robotic bariatric surgery increases the costs in the present time. 

Robotic Weight Loss Surgery

Furthermore, it also requires larger incisions. It may become faster and cheaper and more effective in the future. However, as it stands today, highly skilled laparoscopic surgeons tend to offer the best approach.

Endoscopic Techniques (NOTES and EBT)

Endoscopic techniques such as NOTES (Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery) and EBT (Endoscopic Bariatric Therapies) are still emerging fields of bariatric surgery. A NOTES procedure uses an endoscope with small advanced instruments passed down the esophagus and into the stomach where a scarless weight-loss surgery on the stomach and small intestine can be done.

Endoscopic Techniques 

It differs from the laparoscopic bariatric surgical approach, which uses small incisions in the abdominal wall. While it’s possible to have little to no scarring remaining from these types of surgeries, there are still questions around the durability of their outcomes long-term. It may not be an excellent choice for your primary weight loss solution but might be a good option if any revision work is required.

Choosing the Right Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery for You

The new fields of minimally invasive bariatric surgeries are promising and attractive options, but it’s safe to say that laparoscopic surgery remains the safest and most effective choice. In the present time, the laparoscopic approach is the gold standard for bariatric surgery. It’s also the best approach cosmetically speaking when it comes to weight-loss surgery, for most patients. Single site surgery may offer only one incision; however, most people find that the cosmetic benefit is better with a few very small incisions versus one that is a little larger. Therefore, patients tend to prefer laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery. As for NOTES (endoscopic no incisions), bariatric procedure known as the ROSE (restorative obesity surgery endolumenal) should usually be a consideration for revision work on bariatric surgeries. It’s best to consult with your surgeon and figure out a plan together that works for you and that you can agree upon.


Many of these are new approaches to bariatric surgery, and for more patients, laparoscopic surgery usually remains the best option. However, patients such as yourself need to understand all of your choices and make a decision based on your needs and preferences. It’s wise to reach out and discuss your options with a professional team of experts before you commit to any of these types of minimally invasive weight loss surgeries. Some steps will be taken to evaluate and learn more about your situation to better determine what will be an ideal option for you and your circumstances. Please ask the surgeon if you would be a good candidate if you are interested in any of these types of minimally invasive weight-loss surgeries, or would like more information about them.

Related Post: Bariatric Surgery, is it for Me? 


Dr. Gabriela Rodriguez specializes in General and Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery. She brings to VIDA Wellness and Beauty a wealth of experience in bariatrics. Dr. Rodriguez is a founding associate of the Mexican College of General Surgeons. A world-class bariatric surgeon with double certification in the US and Mexico.