Losing weight and keeping it off is no easy task, and diet programs are not always reliable. More than 35 percent of adults in the United States are obese. Statistics show that obesity often contributes to other health problems. Excess weight and obesity have been linked to health issues such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Excess weight strains almost every organ in the body, and is no surprise that it can affect arthritic joints as well. When weight issues become a health hazard, bariatric surgery is a realistic option for helping lose and control your weight for a healthier lifestyle.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Commonly referred to as weight loss surgery, bariatric surgery is one of the few weight loss treatments that has a history of proven results. The term bariatric surgery refers to any surgical procedure on the stomach or intestines to induce weight loss. At St. John Providence Weight Loss Center, there are a variety of bariatric surgeries we perform, including:
Most bariatric surgery procedures are done using minimally-invasive surgery. The gastric balloon procedure (endoscopic intragastrical balloon) leaves an inflated silicon balloon in the stomach for 6 months, making less room for food. As a result, patients:
- feel full sooner while eating and therefore makes you eat less, allowing you to lose weight faster.
- lose about 30 percent of their excess weight in six months.
- experience health improvements, lowering the risk of diabetes, joint/bone disease, and heart-related issues.
This operation involves making five to six small incisions in the abdomen through which a small scope connected to a video camera and surgical tools are inserted. This procedure restricts food intake and deceases the absorption of how much food goes into the stomach. During surgery, food intake is limited by a small pouch that is similar in size to the adjustable gastric band. In other words, this bypass reduces the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.
The surgeon staples the top portion of the stomach, so it is separated from the bottom to create a small stomach pouch. This small pouch restricts food intake. A section of the small intestine called the jejunum is then attached to the small stomach pouch permitting food to bypass the lower stomach, the duodenum.
The majority of sleeve gastrectomies performed today are completed laparoscopically. This minimally invasive procedure involves making five or six small incisions in the abdomen and performing the procedure using a video camera (laparoscope). During this procedure, about 75 percent of your stomach is removed, and leaves behind what is called a gastric sleeve. This is called a restrictive procedure, which greatly reduces the size of the stomach and limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time, thus, making you feel full quicker.
Sometimes weight can be regained after weight loss surgery, and the stomach can stretch out. It is possible to reduce the size of the stomach again, using a procedure call a “pouch reduction.” This can restore the feeling of fullness, and encourage patients to eat smaller meals again. The surgeon will go into the stomach endoscopically, tightening the stomach with sutures.
Those who have excess fat or sagging skin in the abdominal area due to weight loss, and other reasons, are candidates for a lipectomy. This procedure gets rid of adipose tissue (stored energy in the form of fat), and excess fat, to make the abdominal wall firm, and less flabby. This procedure may be combined with plastic surgery afterwards.
Panniculectomy is a body contouring surgical procedure that removes hanging fat and skin, called the pannus. This procedure is typically done to someone after massive weight loss. It may be performed as a standalone procedure or combined with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).
An arm lift, or Brachioplasty, lifts and reshapes sagging skin under the arm. This procedure aims to tighten and smooth the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm. It also reduces localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region.
Remember that even with surgery, your most successful outcome will often depend on if you are willing to change your diet and/or exercise habits. To learn more about bariatric surgery, call (866)-823-4458 to request an appointment, or use our secure online appointment request form.