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Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is the field of surgery dedicated to help patients lose and maintain weight loss. Bariatric surgery promotes weight loss by restricting food intake.
Obesity is a progressive and life threatening condition marked by excess body fat, which can significantly reduce life expectancy. When weight increases to an exteme level it is called morbid obesity. Health problems associated with obesity include but not limited to, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Determining whether bariatric surgery is right for you can be a lengthy, multi-step process that requires commitment. Your surgeon’s office will work with you and explain the process, its requirements and also assist you with any insurance authorizations. There maybe additional criteria needed by your insurance company before approval for surgery is granted.
At University Surgical Associates we have experienced bariatric surgeons who perform gastric bypass, gastric banding, gastric sleeve resection and biliopancreatic diversion surgery. University Surgical Associates offers a multi-disciplinary team approach to weight loss. We will assist you in committing to the lifestyle changes that will assure optimal success.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
Gastric banding, usually done laparoscopically, is less invasive and the only adjustable reversible obesity surgery available. During this procedure, surgeons place an inflatable silicone band around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny that limits the amount of food that can be consumed and slows the progression into the stomach and intestines. The patient feels full sooner and satisfied with smaller amounts of food, ultimately losing up to 40-60 percent of his of her weight over three years.
The band itself is adjustable by adding or removing fluid from the band’s interior through a small port that is placed beneath the patient’s skin. The surgeon can adjust the band via the port with minimal discomfort to the patient. If the band needs to be removed, the stomach will return to its original form and function.
Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass)
If greater weight loss is required than banding techniques can produce, a gastric bypass operation is considered. Gastric bypass procedures reduce food absorption, in addition to restricting food intake. Patients who have gastric bypass procedures generally lose 70 percent of their excess weight within
1 ½ years.
In Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RGB), the most common gastric bypass procedure, a small stomach pouch is created by stapling, which separates it from the rest of the stomach. Then a section of small intestine is attached to the new pouch to allow food to bypass the first portion of the small intestine to reduce calorie intake and nutrient absorption. The limited quantity of food, combine with reduced absorption of calories, results in a faster weight loss than is normally achieved by the banding procedure.
Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Resection
In some cases, a patient’s morbid obesity is so pronounced that the patient would benefit from a two-stage process in order to lose several hundred pounds. Gastric sleeve resection is usually performed as the first stage. In this surgery approximately 70 percent of the stomach is removed to limit the volume of food intake at one time. After a few months, of weight loss and improvement in various medical conditions, a second surgery is offered (gastric bypass or bilio-pancreatic duodenal switch) to reach the goal weight for that patient.
Bilio-Pancreatic Duodenal Switch Surgery
After the stomach is divided as described above, the gastric sleeve resection is usually carried out several months later as the second stage operation. During this surgery, the stomach and the first part of the small intestine are surgically separated and reattached to the last portion of the small intestine. In addition to the restriction of intake, food will be in contact with less surface area of intestine than would be the case with gastric bypass surgery, resulting in even fewer nutrients and calories being absorbed and a more significant weight loss. Bilio-pancreatic duodenal switch surgery is reserved for the most severely obese patients.
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