Bariatric Surgical Procedures

Millions of Americans turn to diet, fitness and medication to treat their obesity. However, these methods often fail to help them achieve long-term weight loss. Those who are morbidly obese face an even greater challenge. Surgery may be the best hope for these individuals to sustain weight loss and resolve health conditions.

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

The benefits of bariatric surgery are more than just skin-deep. It will not only help you look better, but more importantly, with proper post-surgical care you will feel better and be healthier. With bariatric surgery:

  • 90% of patients lose at least 50% of excess body weight.
  • Most people with hypertension and/or diabetes no longed need medication.
  • Young women with abnormal or absent menses may see a return of normal periods and an improvement in fertility.
  • Many males will experience improved sexual function.
  • There is a reduction in sleep apnea.
  • The disabling effects of arthritis are eliminated or slowed.
  • You will experience improved self-esteem and more energy.

How Bariatric Surgery Works

Bariatric surgery alters the digestive process. There are two basic types of bariatric surgery that are commonly performed: restrictive and combined. Restrictive are those that limit food intake by narrowing the passage from the upper part of the stomach to the lower part (Lap Band surgery, also known as Lap Banding, Lapband Surgery and Gastric Banding). Combined are those that use stomach restriction and a partial bypass of the small intestine (open Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass)*.

Restrictive operations limit food intake but do not interfere with normal digestion. A small pouch is created at the top of the stomach where food enters from the esophagus. Immediately following the operation, the pouch holds about 1 ounce of food and later may stretch to hold 2-3 ounces. The pouch outlets into the lower part of the stomach is about a half inch in diameter or smaller and delays the emptying of food from the pouch into the larger part of the stomach, causing a feeling of fullness.

Combined operations are the most common bariatric procedures. They restrict both food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.

* A fourth procedure, the Duodenal Switch is also available through Staten Island University Hospital.

Last Update

May 18, 2010
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