Bariatric surgery options

Aurora Health Care offers three different bariatric surgical treatments. In many cases, these procedures can be performed through laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive technique that is relatively gentle on the body and allows for a faster recovery.

Learn more about how surgery reduces weight.

Benefits of laparoscopic surgery

Laparoscopic surgery offers individuals a safe and effective alternative to traditional surgery. During a laparoscopic procedure, physicians use tiny incisions and small, precision-crafted surgical instruments. Since it is minimally invasive and relatively gentle on the body, patients often return to their regular routine within 1-2 weeks. Other benefits include:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less scarring
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Fewer wound complications
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Lower cost
  • Quicker recovery

Laparoscopic surgery is not appropriate for all patients. If you decide to pursue bariatric surgery, you and your physician can discuss the options and decide on the best procedure for you.

Types of bariatric surgery:

No bariatric procedure works entirely by itself. Individuals must make lifestyle changes as well. Proper diet, physical activity and health care practices are necessary for any surgical weight loss system to work.

If you qualify for bariatric surgery, our experts will work with you to determine the right type of surgery.

Adjustable Band

The Adjustable Band provides continuous, long-term treatment for severe obesity. An adjustable silicone elastic band is placed around the upper part of the stomach creating a small pouch and restricting the passage of food.

The upper, smaller stomach pouch serves many purposes:

  • It creates a feeling of fullness
  • It limits the amount of food the stomach can hold
  • It slows down the passage of food

lapAfter it is in place, the band is inflated non-surgically through a port under the skin to further restrict the amount of food the stomach can hold. There is no permanent change to a person's anatomy and food digestion occurs through the normal process, allowing nutrients and vitamins from food to be fully absorbed into the body.

The band can be placed in as little as 45 minutes and patients are typically hospitalized for less than 24 hours following surgery. Patients usually lose 40-70 percent of excess weight within 1-3 years.

After the Adjustable Band is in place, patients are monitored closely. If they are not losing weight, the band can be tightened. Conversely, it can be loosened to allow more food, if necessary. This is a great benefit for women who become pregnant, as it allows more food to be eaten during pregnancy. The band can then be tightened again after pregnancy to continue weight loss.

In most cases, this procedure is performed through laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive technique that is relatively gentle on the body and allows for a faster recovery.

The Adjustable Band procedure is performed at the Aurora Sinai Medical Center Bariatric Surgery Program and Aurora Medical Center in Summit.

Gastric Sleeve

Gastric SleeveGastric Sleeve is a newer procedure that has been evaluated as a primary treatment in bariatric surgery since 2004. The Gastric Sleeve involves permanently removing 85% of the stomach's volume. The resulting tubular stomach offers restriction in portion size. Removing a portion of the stomach reduces your appetite.

The operation under the general anesthesia lasts about two hours, and usually patients are able to go home on the second post-op day. Return to work is generally 1 to 2 weeks post op. As the stomach heals, there is a diet progression from liquids, to pureed, to soft and then to regular food. Pills need to be chewable or in liquid form for 2 weeks post-op.

The studies available are limited, but the average weight loss is 55% to 60% of the excess body weight at five years post-op. With this operation, patients only need to avoid anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or steroids, for one month. The procedure is less invasive than the Gastric Bypass, but more so than the Gastric Band.

The possible risks of Gastric Sleeve surgery may include reflux, nausea, stable line leak, stricture (a narrowed area in the stomach) and bleeding. Interventions are used to decrease the likelihood of complications. The rish for fatal outcome is low, but long-term data is not yet available.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is the most frequently performed weight loss procedure in the United States. During this surgery, the upper stomach is stapled creating a small pouch that is completely divided from the remainder of the stomach. Part of the intestines is then attached to the small pouch.

rouxThis procedure creates a faster feeling of fullness and allows for less absorption of calories from food. It does restrict the absorption of nutrients, such as iron, calcium and vitamin B12, so vitamin supplements are essential. Dumping syndrome is also frequently experienced following Roux-en-Y procedures.

A person may experience multiple symptoms, including nausea, weakness, sweating, lightheadedness and diarrhea after eating sweets or large amounts of food. This reinforces adherence to healthy eating practices.

Gastric bypass is one of the more invasive types of bariatric surgery and has a higher risk of complications and side effects. In some cases, gastric bypass can be performed laparoscopically, but for patients who are super obese, laparoscopy may not be an option. The procedure usually takes about 2 hours to perform and patients are hospitalized 2-3 days and back to normal activities in 1-3 weeks. Patients usually lose between 60-80% of excess body weight.

In some cases, this procedure is performed through laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive technique that is relatively gentle on the body and allows for a faster recovery.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is performed at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, Aurora Sinai Medical Center Bariatric Surgery Program and Aurora Medical Center in Summit.

No bariatric procedure works entirely by itself. Individuals must make lifestyle changes as well. Proper diet, physical activity and health care practices are necessary for any surgical weight loss system to work.