Weight Loss Options
Bariatric surgeries can often be performed laparoscopically. When a laparoscopic procedure is performed, several small incisions are made in the abdominal wall instead of one, large incision as with traditional surgery.
The surgeon then inserts a miniature video camera into the abdomen to view the procedure on a video monitor. Most surgeons believe the camera provides better visualization for access to key anatomical structures.
There are many advantages to the laparoscopic approach. Because the procedure is less invasive, studies show that patients experience less pain after surgery resulting in easier breathing, better lung function, and higher oxygen levels. Other benefits include less risk of complications such as infection and hernia, and a faster recovery.
Not all patients are candidates for laparoscopic surgery; patients must be evaluated individually to see if this is an option for them. If it is not, the procedure may still be possible with the traditional “open” approach.
Stringfellow Memorial’s bariatric surgery program provides education and support that begins before surgery and extends through recovery to ensure individuals are set up for success. Our bariatric surgery program includes nutrition and fitness education to provide individuals with the tools they need to maintain long-term weight loss.
Surgical Weight Loss Procedures
The sleeve gastrectomy is an innovative surgical solution for people who are morbidly obese, defined as having a body mass index over 40. In this procedure, the stomach is permanently reduced to 10-15% of its original size by removing a section of the stomach leaving a tube shape, which is sealed closed with staples. Performed with minimally-invasive laparoscopy, the sleeve gastrectomy, also known as the vertical gastrectomy, is a permanent weight loss solution. It has several advantages over other bariatric weight loss options.
One of the major advantages of sleeve gastrectomy is that it removes the stomach cells that produce the hunger hormone, ghrelin. By drastically reducing ghrelin production, the patient’s appetite and sensation of hunger is dramatically reduced or eliminated. Other advantages include:
- No intestinal bypass or foreign body required
- No adjustments needed
- Weight loss equal to or better than bypass or band
- Safest for patients over 400 pounds
- Leaves intestinal tract intact
- Allows normal stomach function
After the gastric sleeve resection procedure patients who had previously suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol show great improvement even after a few months. (These improvements are comparable with those studies seen after other weight loss surgeries.)
Adjustable gastric band surgery involves placing a device around the upper part of the stomach to help you feel full sooner, and longer. It often allows patients to lose a significant amount of weight and enjoy long-term results. Surgeons can easily change the diameter of the band to meet weight loss needs, and the procedure is also reversible. This technique usually results in less pain and trauma than other weight loss surgeries, and offers a faster recovery.
In an adjustable gastric banding procedure, an inflatable silicone band is placed around the uppermost part of the stomach, dividing it into two parts: a small upper pouch and a lower stomach. The upper pouch can hold only about four ounces (1/2 cup) of food, limiting the amount of food you are able to eat at one time, and as a result, making you feel full sooner and satisfied longer. As you lose weight, the band can be adjusted by injecting more silicone into a port placed underneath the skin on your abdomen. This helps to maintain the band’s effectiveness.
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the current gold standard procedure for weight loss surgery. It is also one of the most frequently performed weight loss procedures in the United States. This procedure involves stapling an upper portion of the stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch. The surgeon then connects the pouch to a section of the lower intestine, bypassing the majority of the small intestine where calories and nutrients are absorbed. This surgery also causes changes in hormones that also work to promote a feeling of fullness.
For a variety of reasons, patients may experience the need for revisions, corrections or conversions of their original operation. We can evaluate your situation and recommend appropriate treatment. We are experienced in re-do weight loss surgeries as well as anti-reflux surgeries in conjunction with weight loss surgery, since reflux and obesity tend to go hand in hand.
- Gastric Bypass Revision – If you had gastric bypass surgery and initially experienced weight loss, but have now begun to regain weight, there are other options for you to consider. Our staff will review gastric bypass revision surgery with you.
- Conversion Surgery – If your laparoscopic adjustable gastric band needs to be removed, weight regain is highly likely. The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, after lap band removal, is a surgical option for many patients who experienced problems with a gastric band or who did not reach their weight loss goals.
What are the Risks Associated with Weight Loss Surgery?
All surgeries carry some risk. Your bariatric surgeon will review the potential complications and risks with you well before your surgery. Pneumonia, blood clots, infection, bleeding, leaking at staple lines, as well as ulcers, hernia and gallstones may occur but are infrequent. Generally, the risks associated with weight loss surgery are significantly less than the risk of remaining morbidly obese.
Patient results may vary. Consult your physician about the benefits and risks of any surgical procedure or treatment.
To register for a weight loss surgery seminar or to schedule a private consultation, please call (256) 235-8904.
Lose weight with experienced, comprehensive care.
For people who have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, 35-40 with a co-morbidity, or are at least 100 pounds overweight, laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery may be the ideal solution for a renewed, normal and healthy way of life. This gastric sleeve provides an avenue for long-term weight loss and a reduction of health risks for people who battle morbid obesity.