Weight Loss Surgery Procedures
All surgeries are performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques, which generally result in smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays, fewer complications, and faster recovery times. St. John’s offers various weight loss surgery procedures:
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most common bariatric surgeries performed. At St. John's, our surgeons use minimally invasive techniques for gastric bypass. During a laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure, a portion of the intestine is bypassed, reducing the size of the stomach to a small pouch, roughly the size of an egg. The gastric bypass procedure reduces the amount that can be consumed, resulting in weight loss.
Sleeve Gastrectomy: Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive procedure that removes 85 percent of the stomach, leaving a sleeve or banana-shaped stomach. Although this surgery drastically reduces the size of the stomach, it will still function normally afterward. Because sleeve gastrectomy does not involve any bypass of the intestinal tract, it can be performed using a minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgical technique. This specific procedure is not reversible. Initial weight loss is slower than with gastric bypass, and patients typically continue to lose weight up to two to three years after the procedure.
Gastric banding (also known as lap-band): Lap-Band surgery is the least invasive surgical weight loss procedure and is performed using a minimally invasive/laparoscopic technique. There is no cutting or stapling of the stomach or bypassing of the intestines. Lap-Band surgery is a restrictive procedure that works by placing a silicone ring around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch over time. A small tube with a port is attached to the ring and stays inside the body.
About eight weeks after Lap-Band surgery, a bariatric surgeon will use a needle to inject a small amount of fluid into the port, which slightly tightens the band around the stomach. Patients can expect to receive an injection every month until they feel the ideal amount of restriction when eating small amounts of food. We never recommend a band be removed once adequate weight loss has been achieved, but if the band has to be removed due to a complication, the stomach generally returns to its original form. Gastric banding is also a reversible procedure.
Duodenal switch or "DS" (also known as the biliopancreatic diversion): In the DS procedure, the first portion of the small intestine is divided and connected to the last part of the small intestine to create a stomach so that when the patient eats, the food goes through a newly created tubular stomach pouch and empties directly into the last segment of the small intestine. This is the most complicated type of weight loss surgery. The procedure reduces the body's ability to absorb fat and reduces appetite. The combination of reduced caloric intake and the significant malabsorption that ensues leads to a high rate of sustained weight loss.
Revision Surgery: Revision weight loss surgery modifies or changes a previous bariatric surgery. Your surgeon may recommend revision bariatric surgery for inadequate weight loss or problems inherent to the original surgery that did not manifest early on. This procedure might be appropriate for you if you had weight regain or experienced complications from your prior procedure.
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To learn more about our bariatric program, please call our program coordinator, Brenna Calabrese, MSN, at (805) 940-2765. To find a Dignity Health weight loss specialist that’s right for you, please use our online search tool: