Bariatric, or weight loss, surgery is an increasingly popular intervention for the management of morbid obesity. It is important to know that surgery is a “tool,” not a cure, and is to be used when other measures have been unsuccessful.
UF Health surgeons offer minimally invasive bariatric surgeries through the UF Health Weight Loss Surgery Center, which is recognized as an accredited center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. This means that we are committed to the highest bariatric surgical standards and continually aim for quality improvement in patient care. Our multidisciplinary center offers a comprehensive treatment approach, allowing the surgeon to consult with a team that includes psychiatrists, nutritionists, cardiologists and other health care providers. The center brings together a health care team to care for the whole patient, not just his or her surgical needs.
Some of our most commonly performed bariatric surgeries include the laparoscopic approaches to gastric bypasss surgery, laparoscopic gastric banding and vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
The most common operative procedure we perform for weight loss is the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. This is currently considered the “Gold Standard” of surgical weight-loss procedures. It results in weight loss by significantly reducing the size of your stomach, so you cannot eat as much, and by bypassing your small intestines so you absorb less fat from the foods you eat. This operation has been accepted by obesity surgeons throughout the country and major medical societies as being the most effective in weight reduction and maintenance of weight loss. We perform this surgery using laparoscopic techniques, avoiding a large incision in your abdomen. However, an abdominal incision is sometimes necessary based on your weight, body shape, and previous surgeries.
Laparoscopic Gastric Banding
This procedure involves placing an inflatable adjustable gastric band to create a small gastric pouch, without the need for any bowel anastomoses. The device consists of a band, connection tubing and a plastic access port. The band has a plastic ring lining the inside that can be filled with water to narrow the stomach opening, thus limiting the amount of food that can pass over time. The access port is used to add or remove water from the band. The amount of water in the access port is adjusted by placing a needle into it and adding or withdrawing fluid from the band. The UF Health Weight Loss Surgery Center currently only provides maintenance and removal of bands for patients who have already had this type of surgery.
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
This surgery is usually done using a tiny camera that is placed in your belly. This type of surgery is called laparoscopy. The camera is called a laparoscope. It allows our surgeon to see inside your belly to remove a large portion of your stomach. The new, smaller stomach is about the size of a banana. It limits the amount of food you can eat by making you feel full after eating small amounts of food.