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Bariatric Surgery

There are many surgical treatment options for people living with excess weight – whether morbidly obese or high Body Mass Index (BMI).  Bariatric Surgery—the clinical term for these procedures—has helped change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have not been successful with other means of weight loss.  At St. Anthony's Hospital Houston, we perform the following bariatric surgeries:  Gastric Bypass, Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAP–BAND® or the REALIZE® band), and Sleeve Gastrectomy.


About the procedure:

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure is generally considered to be one of the most popular surgical procedure for patients with a very high BMI. With this procedure, 75% of patients are expected to lose 75 - 80% of their excess body weight. As weight decreases and lifestyle habits improve, most patients realize drastic improvement in other areas of their health as well, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and more.

The surgeon sections off a portion of the stomach to create a small pouch about the size of a golf ball and creates a stoma, which is a small opening between the stomach and intestine. The small size of the stomach allows the patient to feel full after eating only a small amount of food. The stoma delays the emptying of the stomach, allowing the patient to feel fuller longer.

A portion of the small intestine is divided and attached to the newly created stomach pouch, creating the Roux limb. This Roux limb "bypasses" the original stomach and longer portion of the small intestine. Since calories are absorbed in the small intestine, bypassing a lengthy portion of it means the patient's body absorbs fewer calories.


About the procedure:

LAP-BAND® Surgery is the process of placing a prosthesis known as the LAP-BAND around the upper stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch that in turn limits the amount of food an individual can fit into their stomach. LAP-BAND surgery (a bariatric surgery procedure) was approved by the FDA in 2001 and gained increasing popularity in the weight loss world from that point forward.

The procedure itself is minimally invasive as lap band surgeons enter the stomach region via small incisions and use surgical instruments to insert the LAP-BAND. The main reason for having the surgery performed is so that the individual having it done will not only lose weight but keep the weight off as well. This is a new method that is recommended for those individuals who experience morbid obesity and have tried to lose the weight but have failed in their attempts to lose the weight and keep it off.

The LAP-BAND works by decreasing the size of the stomach pouch. By doing so, individuals will be able to eat to a certain point and then they will be full. Individuals feel full much more quickly as their stomach is a smaller size than what it was prior to the surgery. After lap band surgery, eating habits will change and individuals will follow lap band diet guidelines. In addition, the LAP-BAND creates a small stomach outlet which significantly slows down the emptying process from the stomach into the intestines. Both of these factors act together in order to aid the individual in their weight loss goals.


About the procedure:

Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive procedure that permanently reduces the size of the stomach by about 85 percent. This procedure can be safer and more effective for patients who are extremely overweight or have health conditions such as very high BMI, anemia, Chrohn's disease, osteoporosis, extensive prior surgeries or other complex medical conditions that may put them at higher risk with other weight loss surgeries.

During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the larger, rounded part of the stomach that produces grehlin, a hormone that stimulates hunger. The remaining stomach looks like a sleeve (or tube) and holds about 15 percent as much food as the original stomach. Unlike gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy leaves stomach openings intact so that digestion occurs normally. Unlike the LAP-BAND® procedure, the body is also free of foreign objects. However, patients may need additional malabsorptive surgery (intestinal bypass or duodenal switch) in order to lose all desired weight. The procedure is not reversible.

Patients may stay in the hospital for one to three days and can expect to resume a full recovery within two to four weeks. On the first day following surgery, they will undergo an upper GI to confirm that there are no complications. After this test, they will begin drinking liquids and be discharged the following day. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled within one week.




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