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About Surgical Weight Loss

Surgery for treatment of obesity, known as bariatric surgery, alters the digestive process in order to achieve rapid weight loss.

Today, the gastic bypass procedure (Roux-en-Y) surgery is considered the gold standard for patients whose health requires them to lose weight rapidly. It surgically alters the size of their stomach to restrict food intake. It also combines some malabsorbtive qualities.

During the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device. The sleeve is about the size of a banana. The rest of the stomach is removed. By creating a smaller stomach pouch, a sleeve gastrectomy limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time, so you feel full sooner and stay full longer. As you eat less food, your body will stop storing excess calories and start using its fat supply for energy.

Gastric Lap Banding is also a proven surgical method for weight loss. With banding, a band that can be loosened or tightened restricts the amount of food that can be eaten. Unlike Roux-en-Y, it does not restrict the high calorie foods.

These two surgeries, proven most safe for the surgical treatment of obesity through thousands of procedures, are the methods embraced by the surgeons of Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center.

First performed in the 1950’s, early weight loss surgeries created an intestinal bypass. This type of surgery, referred to today as a malabsorptive procedure, is no longer done. Intestinal bypass patients reported serious side effects including nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, diarrhea and electrolytes problems.

Gastric bypass was developed in 1966. Dr. Edward E. Mason of the University of Iowa performed a surgery that closed off part of the upper stomach with surgical staples, reducing its size and giving patients a feeling of fullness after they had eaten small amounts of food. Patients lost weight, and when they followed doctor’s orders, they had many fewer complications than those of intestinal bypass procedures. Now surgical weight loss and its positive effects is hailed as a medical miracle. Dr. Mehmet Oz, the famous cardiac surgeon, author and television show host,  advocates weight loss surgery as an underutilized tool in the fight against obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Many different types of bariatric surgeries were developed later. Currently, there are eight different types of bariatric surgery performed in the most current Surgical Weight Loss programs at United States hospitals.

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