Weight Loss Procedures

Weight Loss Procedures

How We Help Our Patients Take Control of Their Lives

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every three Americans is obese. This trend has continued upward for the past few decades, and if it continues, 43% of Americans will be obese by 2018. Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas is performing Sacred Work by helping patients regain control of their health through better habits as well as medical procedures.

Even a weight reduction of just 10% can result in significant health benefits including better sleep, less chronic pain, and a reduced risk of heart disease. While there is a common misconception that those who undergo weight loss surgery usually regain their weight, studies show that more than 90% of weight loss surgery patients maintain a successful weight loss.

A patient must understand and commit to making lifelong changes to have the best success for weight loss and safety for healing after surgery. Some patients will lifelong need to take medications to reduce stomach acid for safety to minimize complications and also vitamins and minerals to support nutritional status.

If you are interested in learning more about bariatric surgery, you can view a video about the process here.

Types of Procedures

Baptist Hospitals in Southeast Texas can help with your journey for weight loss and most of our weight loss surgeries are performed using minimally invasive techniques.

Gastric Bypass

This procedure is intended for people who have a large amount of weight to loose, high BMI >50, managing multiple medical conditions, and/or on multiple medications for conditions. Changes made to the stomach size and small intestine result in your body being unable to handle as much food while also absorbing fewer calories. With intestinal area bypassed and the body experiencing changes in absorption of nutrients, this type of surgery minimizes the chance for weight regain. To experience the best success with outcomes patients must be very compliant with all diet instructions and medication recommendations.

Potential Complications:

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the operative morbidity (complications) associated with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in the hands of a certified skilled surgeon is less than 2- 5%.

General and Specific to Gastric Bypass

  • Bleeding*
  • Complications due to anesthesia and medications
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Dehiscence (separation of areas that are stitched or stapled together)
  • Infections
  • Leaks from staple lines
  • Marginal ulcers
  • Spleen injury*
  • Stenosis (narrowing of a passage, such as valve)
  • Internal hernias
  • Gallstones
  • Changes in body image
  • Death

Possible Side Effects

  • Need to avoid pregnancy temporarily
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Sensory changes (taste and smell)
  • A stretched pouch when chronic overeating occurs
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Triggered by eating too large amounts of food or choices high in sugar.
  • Nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, excessive sweating, increased gas and dizziness
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Potential poor absorption of calcium, B12, iron, causing bone pain, loss, or chronic anemia.
  • Changes in effectiveness of screenings such as x-ray or endoscopy, so be sure to document medical history.

* To control operative bleeding, removal of the spleen may be necessary, this is very rare.

You can see a video about this low-risk procedure here and read more information about the procedure here.

Gastric Sleeve

The sleeve gastrectomy removes part of the stomach to create a tube or “sleeve” to limit the amount of food intake to support weight loss. Changes in appetite occur due to the part of the stomach removed is the section that produces the “hunger hormone” ghrelin. The stomach that remains is the size of a small banana and holds about 3-5 ounces. Because experiencing a fullness sensation quicker it is important for the lifelong changes for health to include smaller portions and select healthier food choices to maintain weight loss during aging.

Potential Complications

General and Specific to Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pneumonia
  • Splenectomy
  • Gastric leak and fistula
  • Postoperative bleeding
  • Wound infection
  • Stricture
  • Death

Possible Side Effects

  • Vitamin deficiencies
    • May lead to hair loss or changes in skin
  • Esophageal spasms or pain
    • May cause heartburn or food intolerance
  • Changes in digestion
    • May be slower or have changes in bowel habits based on food & beverage intake
  • Weight regain

Overall, complications happen in less than 1% of patients who undergo the sleeve gastrectomy procedure.

Gastric Revisional Surgery or Lap Band Removal

Revisional surgery is typically considered in patients who have complications from prior bariatric/weight loss procedures. Most of the time, this surgery is needed due to severe nausea, difficulty swallowing, severe acid reflux, or if a previous condition of hernia repair was not completed at the initial surgery time. Because it is a re-operation, there are higher risk for complications (about 10%).

Lap band surgery implanted an inflatable band to create a smaller stomach pouch. This band can be adjusted as needed to better match the limits on food needed by the patient or at times it is removed to then convert to another gastric surgery for weight loss.

Overall, post-operative care is similar to other procedures, requiring diet changes, and strong recommendations to continue follow-up care for life with a certified bariatric surgeon to minimize risk and complications. This supports better health during life changes because having a history of gastric surgeries changes the specific needs of a patient.

* See above complications and side effects.