When diet and exercise
Choosing to undergo bariatric surgery is a big decision. If you’re thinking about weight-loss surgery, you probably have questions about the different types of procedures, recovery time or if the surgery is covered by your insurance policy. Let us be your guide. Novant Health’s weight-loss team helps you through every step of your journey. Our team of bariatric surgeons, nurse navigators and registered dietitians can help you choose the best path for weight-loss success and can answer your questions along the way.
- Nationally-recognized bariatric surgeons – Our bariatric surgeons are board-certified and among the best in their field.
- Skilled, caring nurses – Our bariatric navigators are specially-trained nurses who care for you before, during and after your surgery.
- Comprehensive weight loss solutions – Novant Health offers a full range of services including wellness programs, seminars and support groups to make your weight loss a success.
Restrictive procedures get their name from the way they help you lose weight – by restricting the amount of food and drink your stomach can hold. During a restrictive procedure, your bariatric surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen to create a small stomach “pouch.” This pouch is small so less food will enter the stomach at one time; you feel full more quickly, which means you eat less. Novant Health’s bariatric surgeons perform three restrictive procedures:
Lap adjustable gastric banding – Commonly called “lap band surgery” – is a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery in which the surgeon places a band around the top of the stomach to create a smaller stomach “pouch.” This pouch only allows a small amount of food into the stomach so you feel full more quickly and keep from overeating. The band can be adjusted using an inflatable balloon to let more food into the pouch as you lose weight.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy – During a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the bariatric surgeon removes part of the stomach making it permanently smaller. The remaining stomach, or “sleeve,” will initially hold about one-fourth cup of liquid but will eventually hold one cup of food. A vertical sleeve gastrectomy is often done along with malabosorption surgery to give you the best weight-loss results possible.
Vertical Banded Gastroplasty – Commonly known as “stomach stapling”, during this surgery, both a band and staples are used to create a small stomach “pouch.” The small pouch holds less food than the original stomach, which causes you to feel full more quickly and prevents you from overeating. A small hole – about 1 centimeter – at the bottom of the pouch allows contents to flow into the remainder of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.
Malabsorption procedures change the way your body digests food. These procedures are often used along with restrictive weight loss surgery to give you the best weight-loss results possible. In a malabsorption procedure, your bariatric surgeon may create a “bypass” around part of the small intestine to help your body absorb fewer calories and lose weight. This type of surgery has the highest success rate because you are able to eat more during a meal while still losing weight. Novant Health’s bariatric surgeons perform two malabsorption procedures:
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass – Roux-en-Y is the most common type of gastric bypass surgery. This surgery helps make the stomach smaller so that you feel full more quickly and eat less. During the procedure, your bariatric surgeon will create a small “pouch” at the top of the stomach.
This will allow only a small amount of food into the stomach at one time and prevents overeating. Your bariatric surgeon will also create a “bypass” around part of the small intestine so that fewer calories are absorbed during digestion.
Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch – The biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch usually consists of two parts – intestinal bypass and restriction – to help the body absorb fewer calories. During biliopancreatic diversion, your bariatric surgeon will create a bypass around part of your small intestine so that fewer calories are absorbed during that part of the digestion process. During the duodenal switch, a part of your stomach will be removed to make it permanently smaller and help you eat less.
Minimally invasive surgery
Novant Health’s bariatric surgeons often perform weight-loss surgery laparoscopically using minimally invasive techniques. This means that your surgery is performed with smaller incisions and more precise tools.
Benefits of minimally invasive bariatric surgery include:
- Less pain
- Less bleeding
- Lower risk of complications
- Faster recovery times
What to expect after surgery - After having bariatric surgery, you will need to follow strict food guidelines. You will only be able to eat a small amount of food before you start to feel full. As you begin to lose weight, you will eventually be able to eat normally and your weight loss team will work with you on diet and exercise plans to help you keep the weight off.
Revisional weight-loss surgery - While many people achieve weight-loss success with one surgery, others may require additional – or revisional – weight-loss surgery. There are several reasons why you may consider revisional bariatric surgery including:
- Complications from another surgery
- A health problem that makes the original surgery less effective
- Weight gained back due to an unhealthy lifestyle
If you have already had weight-loss surgery and need another procedure, Novant Health’s skilled surgeons and experienced weight-loss team can help you make your next weight-loss surgery a success for years to come.
Before coming in for your surgery, talk with your surgeon and care team about the risks involved in a second procedure. These risks can include:
- Longer procedures
- Open incisions
- Greater blood loss
- Less weight loss than with the first surgery
Your surgeon and care team will talk with you about the risks of revisional weight-loss surgery to help you decide if another surgery is right for you. Whatever you decide, the weight-loss team at Novant Health is here to support you in your choice.