Bariatrics/Weight-Loss Surgery Program
The Memorial Weight-Loss Surgery Program involves more than changing the shape of your body. It offers a structured plan to shape your approach to your health. If you've struggled with diets, exercise, and other methods, weight-loss surgery – also called bariatric surgery – can be an important, effective tool in your journey to lose weight and keep it off, while embracing a healthier lifestyle.
How it works
Bariatric surgeries can promote weight loss in three ways:
- Limiting the amount of food you can eat at one time, by reducing the functional size of the stomach
- Reducing the amount of calories the small intestine can absorb
- Controlling a patient's hunger for food, by diminishing the hormonal drive to eat
Successfully maintaining weight loss from surgery depends on the patient's commitment to eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Many patients also experience additional benefits from weight-loss surgery, including improvements, and at times resolution, in cases of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Sleep apnea
- Ability to perform daily activities
Surgical Options to Weight Loss
Surgeons at Memorial Weight-Loss Surgery Program offer the following options:
- Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap Band® System)
This is typically an outpatient surgery that reduces the functional size of the stomach. A small, ring-like band is placed around the upper part of the stomach to make a new, egg-sized stomach pouch that can only hold less than half a cup of food at a time. Once in place, the band can be adjusted. This surgery doesn't involve cutting or stapling the stomach or intestines, and it is fully reversible. Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band surgery can result in a significant loss of excess weight within a two- to three-year period.
- Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
During gastric bypass, a small pouch is cut out of the stomach, and the small intestine is rerouted to this pouch. This tends to be a quicker, more aggressive weight-loss option. Unlike the Lap Band, it is neither adjustable, nor reversible. This type of surgery typically involves a about a two-night hospital stay. Although most of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine no longer have food traveling through them, they still produce important digestive juices that are emptied into the small intestine and help with digestion. Most people who have gastric bypass experience a significant reduction in excess weight within the first 18 months after surgery.
- Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
The sleeve gastrectomy is a weight-loss procedure that is particularly well suited to patients who have high surgical risk because of extreme obesity or associated medical conditions. It typically requires about a one-night hospital stay. The procedure involves removing about 75 percent of the stomach, leaving behind a "banana shaped" sleeve of stomach. This remaining portion of stomach restricts the amount of food that a patient can eat and leads to significant weight loss. There is no cutting or rerouting of the small intestines. The part of the stomach that is removed normally secretes a hormone that is responsible for appetite and hunger. Without it, people don't feel the need to eat as often as they did before, which contributes to their weight loss.
- Banded Gastric Plication
This type of laparoscopic weight-loss surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that combines two techniques: gastric banding and stomach plication. "Plication" of the stomach involves folding, not cutting. Dr. Brett Cohen, at Memorial Weight-Loss Surgery Program, is one of the only formally trained bariatric surgeons in Florida offering this technique.
When performed together, these procedures create one small stomach pouch at the top of the stomach and a narrow, sleeve-shaped lower stomach that cannot expand. The goal is for people to eat smaller portions of food and feel satisfied between meals. Banded gastric plication allows some patients to experience more significant results with less risk than other procedures.