Bariatric Surgery

There are several types of bariatric surgical procedures performed at Saint Francis Hospital including:

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery: This type of gastric bypass surgery is a major procedure restricting the size of the stomach (roughly to the size of an egg) and reducing the functional length of the small bowel. A small pouch is created at the upper part of the stomach allowing approximately 40 to 50 cc of food during meals. The small pouch is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine (jejunum), bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). In normal digestion, food passes through the stomach and enters the small intestine, where most of the nutrients and calories are absorbed. It then passes into the large intestine (colon), and the remaining waste is eventually excreted. In a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, solid food stays in the gastric pouch for a long time giving a feeling of fullness with a small amount of food. Eating less food thus reduces caloric intake and causes weight loss.

  • Sleeve gastrectomy: The vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, is a restrictive form of weight-loss surgery in which approximately 85 percent of the stomach is removed. This process leaves a cylindrical- or sleeve-shaped stomach. Because the new stomach continues to function normally, there are far fewer restrictions on the foods which patients can consume after surgery, although the quantity of food eaten will be considerably reduced. During this surgery, which is typically performed laparoscopically, the left side of the stomach, or “greater curvature,” is removed. The stomach that results from this procedure is often compared to the size and shape of a typical banana.

  • Adjustable gastric band: This procedure, also known as the lap-band, is actually a band that is surgically inserted around the top part of the stomach to create a small pouch in the upper stomach. This procedure decreases the stomach’s capacity to take in food, and also reduces the patient’s desire for food. Adjustable gastric band surgery is an example of bariatric surgery designed for obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater—or between 35 and 40 in cases of patients with certain comorbidities that are known to improve with weight loss, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, osteoarthritis, GERD (a condition in which food or liquid in the stomach leaks backwards from the stomach into the esophagus), hypertension (high blood pressure) or metabolic syndrome, among others.

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