Check out each link for detailed images and info.
Lap-Band / Gastric Band - This involves putting a band around the upper portion of the stomach to restrict the amount of food you can eat. The band is inflatable and those who have it must receive saline solution fill-ups periodically. It's considered a minimally invasive procedure and is both adjustable and reversible.
Gastric By-pass - This both reduces stomach size and re-routes a segment of stomach and small intestine. The segment containing digestive juices is attached to the food-bearing intestine closer to the large intestine. There are several different kinds of bypasses.
More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastric_bypass_surgery
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) - In this surgery, the size of the stomach is drastically reduced to a sleeve and the remaining portion is removed.
More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeve_gastrectomy
Duoenal Switch (biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD-DS) - This surgery both reduces stomach size and re-routes a substantial portion of the small intestine, creating two separate pathways and one common channel.
More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duodenal_switch
Info from the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/bariatric-surgery/types.html
I have chosen to have the VSG procedure. For me, I feel that VSG is the best choice. I know a few people that have had this same surgery. I know two people who have had lap-bands and three who have had gastric by-passes. Each of my friends is happy with his/her decision and has had amazingly successful results!
There are benefits and complications to each surgery. It will take a long time to get used to eating with the new stomach size and temperament, but I think that no longer having the portion of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone Grehlin will be useful. I also believe that if I were to get the Lap-band, I would be able to "cheat" a bit by not going in regularly enough for saline fills. I have read about that happening. I have also read many accounts of the malabsorption that can sometimes be associated with gastric bypasses. In addition, many people who have the bypass procedure, have experienced what is called "Dumping Syndrome"
There are TONS of helpful websites and blogs out there about bariatric surgeries. One I've come to enjoy reading is the VSG Talk forum.
I've also found tons of YouTube videos helpful in seeing real people discuss and share the problems and the triumphs of each of the surgery types. I'm often struck by how much has rapidly developed during my lifetime. From typing a paper on a computer for the first time during my Masters degree to finding anything at any time on personal devices practically anywhere - this amazes me!
I believe that I should have this surgery. I'm quite ready to not have to deal with the weight struggle which has tormented me most of my life. I'll have a new struggle and new results!