Bariatric Surgical Procedures

Safe & Effective Weight Loss Surgeries in Wilmington

Depending on your specific weight condition and body type, there are a few different bariatric surgery options available to you. Below you will find an overview of the different weight loss procedures offered at Saint Francis Healthcare. Each of these procedures comes with risks and benefits, and not everyone will be a candidate for every type of surgery. It is important that you discuss these procedures with your doctor in order to make an informed decision that will be the most beneficial to you and your long-term health.

Adjustable Gastric Band

This procedure works by essentially making your stomach “smaller.” In an adjustable gastric band operation, the surgeon wraps a band around the stomach that creates a pouch in the upper part of the stomach. When this pouch fills, you will start to feel full, and this fullness feeling should last much longer than you’re normally used to. Banding of the stomach does not affect digestion or absorption. Food should still pass through your system as usual, except you will not feel hungry as often. Doctors can adjust the band as necessary over time.

Gastric banding is a highly effective weight loss surgery as it instills new dietary habits in the patient. In a standard case, gastric banding or band? Patients have lost as much as 41% of their excess weight in as little as 3 years.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

In as little as 5 years, gastric sleeve surgery (or sleeve gastrectomy) has become one of the most popular weight loss surgeries. Gastric sleeve surgery used to be the first part of a gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass surgery is a very involved bariatric surgery that can take up to 6 hours to complete. This was a high-risk operation for many obese patients, so in order to make it safer, the procedure was split into two operations spread one year apart.

In the first procedure, which is now a singular operation known as sleeve gastrectomy, a thin “sleeve” of stomach is created using a stapling device. The rest of the stomach is then removed, leaving the new, thinner alternative to function in its place. This sleeve makes it harder for you to eat quickly and creates a feeling of “fullness” faster. After it was discovered that patients could lose more than adequate weight with this procedure alone, many surgeons stopped recommending gastric bypasses and instead offered the sleeve gastrectomy as an effective weight loss solution. This operation has been shown to help patients lose an average of 66% of their excess weight.

Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass

There are two components to gastric bypass surgery: shrinking the stomach size and rerouting food so that it reaches the small intestine faster. First, a small pouch is created in the stomach that can only hold a small amount of food before you feel full. This pouch is then strategically placed so that food bypasses the rest of the stomach and delivers food to the small intestine faster. By bypassing the stomach and parts of the small intestine, your body absorbs less fat and fewer calories. Be aware, however, that this also means your body will absorb fewer nutrients as well.

Gastric bypass surgery is extremely effective but requires the patient to commit to some drastic lifestyle changes. It is only recommended for patients who are suffering from serious side effects of obesity.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS)

This is another form of gastric bypass. The first part of the procedure is a sleeve gastrectomy, where a small tube-like pouch is created in the stomach by removing the rest of the organ. Then the bypass procedure is performed, wherein the stomach reroutes food from the stomach down towards the end of the small intestine. The amount of small intestine bypassed in this procedure is significantly more than that in the Roux-En-Y gastric bypass. Skipping so much of the stomach changes the way food is digested by enzymes in the stomach, cutting back on your total calorie count.

This procedure can reduce the absorption rate of fat by 70% or more. While it is effective, it also cuts down on the nutrients your body can absorb. You will need to speak with your doctor about how to maintain good nutrition after the operation.

After Your Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a great way to get a head start on your new, healthier lifestyle, but remember that weight loss surgery alone is not enough to remedy the side effects of obesity. Your body undergoes numerous changes after bariatric surgery and you will need to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to accommodate those changes. Before undergoing any procedure be sure to talk with your doctor about what will be expected of you after weight loss surgery.