Weight Loss Surgery

· Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure that surgically makes the stomach smaller and causes food to bypass part of the small intestine.
· Vertical sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding restrict the amount of food that patients are able to eat.
· Patients who have these surgeries typically can only eat small amounts of food at one time, because they feel full more quickly.
· These types of procedures are typically considered as an option for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 – 40 with serious weight-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, obstructive sleep apnea, or osteoarthritis. Also, most candidates have been obese for at least 5 years and have not been successful with other weight loss treatments or options.
· The American Society for Bariatric Surgery estimates 220,000 people in the U.S. have bariatric surgery each year.

Types of Bariatric Surgeries Performed at U of U Hospital
· Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass – the stomach is made smaller by dividing it and creating a small pouch towards the top of the stomach using a stapler. The gastric pouch is then connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. The surgery is minimally invasive, using only a few small incisions. It decreases the absorption of nutrients and calories by bypassing the intestines. This is considered the “gold standard” weight loss operation to which all other bariatric procedures are compared.
· Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding- gastric banding is an alternative to gastric bypass. It is purely a restrictive procedure. An adjustable band is placed around the upper stomach to restrict food intake. This also creates a small pouch and narrow passage to the lower stomach. The band can be tightened or loosened over time to change the size of the passage. Like gastric bypass, the surgery only requires a few small incisions.
· Sleeve Gastrectomy- this is a newer procedure where the stomach is divided and turned into a long, narrow tube using a stapler. This is a purely restrictive procedure. Unlike other surgeries, sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible. Weight loss is faster than with an adjustable gastric banding, and the amount of weight loss with this operation falls between gastric bypass and gastric banding. Like the other procedures offered at the University of Utah, sleeve gastrectomy is performed using minimally invasive techniques.

Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery
· With successful bariatric surgery, the average excess body weight loss (loss of weight above and individual’s ideal body weight) is 60-80% for gastric bypass, 50-70% for sleeve gastrectomy, and 30-60% for adjustable gastric banding.
· Weight loss can lead to other health benefits such as improvement or reversal of type II diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and acid reflux.
· Weight loss may also improve a patient’s quality of life and ability to move around more and exercise.

In addition to normal risks of surgery, risks of bariatric surgery include the following:
· Leaks from the stomach into the abdominal cavity
· Gallstones
· Vitamin and mineral deficiency
· Nausea and vomiting
· Stomach ulcers and strictures


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