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South: Weight loss surgery options

There are three surgical weight loss procedures recognized by leading surgeons today: adjustable gastric banding systems, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the gastric sleeve procedure. Which method is best for you is determined by your personal weight loss goals and other factors. Our surgeons will help you research and understand the differences. During your initial consultation, we will evaluate your eating habits and other personal factors and advise you on which surgery is right for you. All patients that undergo weight loss surgery also receive ongoing patient education and support from our friendly weight loss specialists and resources.

Dr. Steven M. Clark performs the following weight loss surgeries:

Adjustable gastric banding system

With adjustable gastric banding, a silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, forming a small gastric pouch to limit and control the amount of food a patient eats. This helps the patient eat less by feeling full with much smaller portions. The band also slows down the emptying process from the stomach to the intestines. This band is then adjusted based on patient progress. With this surgery, which is performed using a laparoscopic procedure, patients achieve weight loss by reducing the number of calories they can consume. This procedure takes only about 45 minutes and has a reduced risk of infection, since there is no incision into the stomach itself.

The two most common adjustable band systems include LAP-BAND® System (www.lapband.com) and Realize™ Adjustable Gastric Band (www.realize.com).

Dr. Steven M. Clark is a certified LAP-BAND® System surgeon.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is typically performed laparoscopically. This procedure restricts the amount of food a patient can take in by creating a small stomach pouch that simply won’t hold as much. The surgeon attaches a section of the small intestine to the newly formed stomach pouch. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery makes food pass by parts of the stomach and small intestine without being absorbed. This means that in addition to holding less food, patients also absorb fewer calories, which can lead to even more weight loss. On rare occasion, the physician may determine that an open procedure may be more appropriate.

Gastric sleeve procedure

Dramatic and rapid weight loss is the goal of the gastric sleeve procedure. After sleeve gastrectomy, the patient is able to fill his or her smaller stomach with a dramatically reduced amount of food (only a few ounces), yet still feel satisfied. This allows patients to lose weight much more quickly than they could before the surgery.

By performing a laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery (through very small incisions), our physician can minimize scarring and dramatically reduce patient recovery time. This allows patients to begin their new diet and exercise routines as soon as possible.

For morbidly obese patients, dramatic weight loss can result in improved circulation, resolution of diabetes, reduced blood pressure and cholesterol, and even sleep apnea revision. In cases where a patient has a very high BMI, sleeve gastrectomy may occasionally be followed by more intensive gastric bypass surgery.

Because our physician performs the gastric sleeve procedure laparoscopically, patients typically have a reduced risk of infection or complications when compared to an open surgery procedure. However, complications such as stomach leakage and gastrointestinal problems are associated with all restrictive weight loss surgery procedures.

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