Surgical Weight Loss Options
Surgical weight loss, formally known as bariatric surgery, can be an effective option for patients who have struggled with losing weight in the past, and who may now have additional health problems associated with obesity.
Patients who qualify for bariatric surgery meet the following criteria:
- BMI greater than 35 with comorbidities (obesity-related diseases)
or greater than 40 without comorbidities
- Healthy enough to undergo a major operation
- Failed attempts at medical weight loss
- The absence of drug and alcohol problems
- No uncontrolled psychological conditions
- Consensus by a multi-disciplinary team of physicians
- Understands surgery and risks
Patients who undergo weight loss surgery must also be prepared to commit to the process. Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix. The surgery is simply a tool, and it takes lifelong commitment and dedication to be successful.
Types of Owensboro Health Surgical Weight Loss Procedures
- Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass
- Sleeve Gastrectomy
Both of these procedures are performed using a minimally invasive, laparoscopic approach. Minimally invasive techniques have a number of advantages, including less pain following surgery and an easier, shorter recovery. Talking with your surgeon and the care team can help you select the procedure that best suits your needs and goals.
Learn more about the two procedures below.
Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass (restricts amount eaten and how calories are absorbed)
Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass is a procedure where the size of the stomach is reduced and then food is rerouted to the small intestine. This greatly reduces the amount of food that can be eaten and also reduces the number of calories and nutrition that can be absorbed from food. This also has the benefit of changing how a person experiences hunger and fullness, and it can even change the foods that a person likes to eat. Gastric bypass also frequently can have major impacts on metabolic processes and can even cause diabetes to go into remission.
Sleeve Gastrectomy (restricts amount eaten)
During a Sleeve Gastrectomy, the size of the stomach is greatly reduced. While similar to Gastric Bypass, the Sleeve Gastrectomy does not reroute food to a lower point in the small intestines. This means that the amount of food that can be eaten is reduced, but the way food is processed remains unchanged. Like with Gastric Bypass, this procedure can change the way a person feels hunger, fullness and the foods they enjoy.
Are These Procedures Safe?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks to be considered. Some of these are related to the procedures themselves, or after the fact. Our surgical weight loss team will help explain these and will also help you work ahead of the surgery to manage or reduce any risks that may exist. We encourage our patients to discuss their concerns with their primary care physician or with our team.
One of the most important facts to know about surgical weight loss is just how far these procedures have come since they were first introduced. In fact, a nine-year study released in 2004 compared premature death rates between severely obese patients who underwent weight loss surgery and similar patients who did not undergo a surgical weight loss procedure. That study found that the risk of premature death within five years was reduced by almost 90% for the patients who had surgery. That means that for patients struggling with severe obesity, it’s far safer to undergo weight loss surgery than it is to do nothing.