Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, comprises a number of procedures to allow patients who suffer from obesity to achieve long-term weight loss and improvement/resolution of their comorbidities through alterations to the digestive system. These changes limit how much one can consume and/or reduces the absorption of nutrients.
Bariatric surgical procedures are typically recommended when other weight loss measures have failed including diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes, and when serious health concerns are present due to being overweight or obese.
Bariatric surgery has also been shown to improve or resolve other serious diseases linked to obesity such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
The different types of bariatric procedures that Dr. Patel performs include:
- Robotic or Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass
- Robotic or Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve
Dr. Patel’s specialty training has allowed him to perform these operations with excellent outcomes and low risks of complications. He performs these operations minimally-invasively utilizing laparoscopic surgery or robotic surgery with only 4 to 6 small incisions (cuts) on the abdomen (belly). This allows patients a very fast recovery allowing patients to be discharged home in 1-2 days.
Most importantly, Dr. Patel understands that weight-loss surgery is only one component of the equation required for successful outcomes. Obesity is a surgical disease; however, a multidisciplinary approach with pre/post surgical lifestyle changes including consultations with a nutritionist/dietician, physical therapist, and others are required to achieve the best outcomes.
Gastric bypass surgery, coined Roux-en-Y surgery, is known as the gold standard of weight loss procedures and consists of two segments. In the first phase, a surgeon staples the stomach to decrease its size and create a small pouch. This allows patients to consume less food and drink while feeling full. Afterward, the surgeon attaches the lower end of the small intestine to the stomach pouch, allowing food to bypass most of a patient’s digestive system and limiting their calorie absorption.
The bypassed portion remains attached to the rest of the stomach, enabling digestive enzymes to flow from the stomach and the upper small intestine into the lower part of the small intestine. The bypass also affects gut hormones, bacteria, and other factors influencing appetite and metabolism. Although it presents a significant challenge, gastric bypass can be reversed by a surgeon if deemed medically necessary.
A more recent weight-loss procedure, gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is where a surgeon removes roughly 80% of a patient’s stomach, leaving only a tube-shaped portion that is sealed with staples. The procedure reduces the size of the stomach, allowing patients to feel full faster.
Its most significant impact may be seen on gut hormones and bacteria that limit appetite, curb hunger, improve satiety, and enhance metabolism and blood sugar control. The surgery is permanent as the part of the stomach that was taken out cannot be restored.