What surgery options are available?
Bariatric surgery is a procedure which alters the process of digestion by shortening the length of the stomach (limiting the amount of food intake), intestine (limiting the absorption of foods in the intestinal tract), or both.
Bariatric surgery is an aid to lose weight – it alone is not a cure. Patients will be required to take nutritional supplements, exercise, and follow up with periodic lab testing to ensure post-operative health.
There are several possible procedures for bariatric surgery. Medical professionals at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery will work with you to decide which procedure is best for you.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery offers the following surgical options for weight loss:
- Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass – This procedure is a combination of two surgeries – gastric stapling and intestinal bypass. First, the surgeon will reduce the holding capacity of the stomach. Then, the newly created gastric pouch is connected to a piece of the small intestine – a connection known as a Roux-en-Y limb. Following the procedure, food traveling down the esophagus will bypass nearly all of the stomach and the first two feet of the small intestine; as a result, nutrients are not completely absorbed. This procedure discourages patients from eating high-calorie sweets, which will produce nausea, diarrhea and other symptoms (known as “dumping syndrome”).
- Sleeve Gastrectomy – This minimally-invasive procedure removes most of the stomach, creating a long vertical tube or banana-shaped stomach. Patients are left will considerably less room for food, resulting in a “full” feeling much more quickly. Sleeve gastrectromy, unlike Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, preserves the pylorus (the region of the stomach connecting to the duodenum), so patients should not experience dumping syndrome.
- Adjustable Gastric Banding System – In this procedure, the doctor will laparoscopically place an adjustable gastric band around the upper portion of the stomach (creating a small pouch above the band, leaving a large part of the stomach below). As a result, patients feel full sooner and effectively eat less food. The doctor can widen or narrow the silicone ring by inserting or removing saline using a simple, same-day procedure.