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Surgical Weight Loss Options

The minimally invasive surgical approach is the optimal technique for bariatric procedures. This approach benefits patients in a number of ways, including reduced risk of infection, quicker recovery time and decreased post-operative pain.

Bariatric surgical procedures cause weight loss by way of restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold, reducing the absorption of nutrients, and altering your metabolic hormones. Below is a description of surgeries that are offered at The Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure.

The types of bariatric procedures that we perform include:

Gastric Bypass
Sleeve Gastrectomy
Gastric Balloon Procedures
Revisional Surgery
Gastric Endoluminal Surgery

Gastric Bypass

The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass – often called gastric bypass – is considered the ‘gold standard’ of weight loss surgery.

The Procedure

There are two components to the procedure. First, a small stomach pouch, approximately one ounce or 30 milliliters in volume, is created by stapling off a section of the larger body of the stomach.  Next, the small intestine is divided.  The bottom end of the divided small intestine is attached to the newly created small stomach pouch. The procedure is completed by connecting the top portion of the divided small intestine to the small intestine further down so that the stomach acids and digestive enzymes from the bypassed stomach and first portion of small intestine will eventually mix with the food.

Gastric bypass works by several mechanisms. First, similar to most bariatric procedures, the newly created stomach pouch is considerably smaller and facilitates small meal volumes, which translates into fewer calories consumed. Since the first portion of the small intestine is bypassed, fewer calories and nutrients are absorbed.  Most importantly, the rerouting of the food stream produces changes in gut hormones that promote satiety, suppress hunger, and improves blood sugar control for those with Type 2 Diabetes.

Advantages

  • Produces significant long-term weight loss (60 to 80 percent excess weight loss)
  • Restricts the amount of food that can be consumed
  • May lead to conditions that increase energy expenditure
  • Produces favorable changes in gut hormones that reduce appetite and enhance satiety
  • Typical maintenance of >50% excess weight loss

Disadvantages

  • Is technically a more complex operation than the LAGB or LSG, potentially resulting in greater complication rates
  • Can lead to long-term vitamin/mineral deficiencies particularly deficits in Vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and folate
  • Requires adherence to dietary recommendations, life-long vitamin/mineral supplementation, and follow-up compliance

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy – often called the sleeve – is performed by removing approximately 80 percent of the stomach.

The Procedure

The stomach is stapled from the bottom up to create a long tubular pouch that resembles a skinny banana.  The remaining portion of the stomach (known as the fundus) is removed from the body. The fundus contains a hormone called ghrelin, which controls hunger. 

This procedure works by several mechanisms. First, the new stomach pouch holds a considerably smaller volume than a normal stomach and helps to significantly reduce the amount of food (and thus calories) that can be consumed. The greater impact, however, seems to be the effect the surgery has on gut hormones that impact a number of factors including hunger, satiety, and blood sugar control. Studies show that the sleeve is as effective as the LRYGB in terms of weight loss and improvement or remission of diabetes. There is also evidence that suggest the sleeve, similar to the gastric bypass, is effective in improving type 2 diabetes, independent of the weight loss. The complication rates of the sleeve fall between those of the LAGB and LRYGB.

Advantages

  • Restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold
  • Induces rapid and significant weight loss that comparative studies find similar to that of the LRYGB.
  • Weight loss of >50% for 3-5+ year data, and weight loss comparable to that of the bypass with maintenance of >50%
  • Requires no foreign objects (like the LAGB), and no bypass or re-routing of the food stream (like the LRYGB)
  • Involves a relatively short hospital stay of approximately 2 days
  • Causes favorable changes in gut hormones that suppress hunger, reduce appetite and improve satiety

Disadvantages

  • Is a non-reversible procedure
  • Has the potential for long-term vitamin deficiencies.

Gastric Balloon Procedures

ORBERA Gastric Balloon - How it Works

Learn More About The ORBERA Gastric Balloon

 

Revisional Surgery

Some patients who have undergone a previous surgical procedure for obesity may desire to have their surgery revised or ‘fixed.' Reasons may include the following:

  • weight regain
  • inadequate weight loss
  • poor tolerance of solid food
  • persistent vomiting
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, or other problems
  • chronic leaks
 

Revisional bariatric surgery is complicated and should only be undertaken after evaluating the risks and benefits. Not every patient with poor weight loss after bariatric surgery is a candidate for revisional surgery.

Revisional surgeries done at our Institute include band to sleeve, band to bypass, sleeve to bypass, and VBG to bypass.

Gastric Endoluminal Surgery

Endoluminal surgery is performed when an endoscope is placed into the hollow organs of gastrointestinal tract such as the esophagus, stomach and small bowel through the mouth. The types of surgical procedures that can be completed include dissection, suturing, stapling and stenting. Compared to traditional open and laparoscopic, these advanced techniques reduce the invasiveness of surgery, reduce surgical risks and have quicker recover with minimal pain. Gastric endoluminal surgery has benefited patients with severe GERD and ulcers, non-healing leaks from previous stapling procedures, and gastro-gastric fistulas from staple line breakdown. Endoluminal surgery may also benefit patients with weight regain after prior bariatric surgeries.  Endoluminal procedures are not always covered by medical insurance unless medical necessity is determined.