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Bariatric surgery (Surgical weight loss)

Bariatric surgery for weight management and weight loss can make a very positive impact on your life by improving or resolving obesity-related illnesses, decreasing mortality risk, and reducing health-related costs. Patients should also be aware that bariatric surgery requires a strong commitment to a lifestyle change and regular follow-up appointments to maintain weight loss and ensure continued success.

To be a candidate for bariatric surgery, patients will be expected to meet the following criteria:

• Have a BMI of 35-40 with comorbidities (other chronic conditions along with obesity, such as diabetes or hypertension), or greater than 40 without comorbidities
• Healthy enough to undergo a major operation
• Failed attempts at medical weight loss
• Absence of drug and alcohol problems
• No uncontrolled psychological conditions
• Consensus approval by multidisciplinary medical team
• Understanding of surgery and risks
• Dedication to a permanent change in lifestyle and regular physician visits

Bariatric procedures

Cass Regional offers two options for bariatric surgery to assist patients with weight management and weight loss:

Gastric bypass

The patient’s stomach is condensed to a small “pouch,” reducing the amount of food that can be consumed. The surgeon will then connect the pouch to the small intestine. By doing so, the amount of fat and calories absorbed from foods is reduced. This allows for further weight loss.

Key features of the gastric bypass procedure include:

• Laparoscopic
• Most frequently performed bariatric procedure
• Average excess weight loss at one year of 67 percent
• No implanted medical device
• Low rate of complications

Some patients are able to return to work within a few weeks and see weight loss fairly soon after a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. For others, a couple of months may pass before they experience noticeable weight loss.

Other things to expect after gastric bypass:

• Time and patience for recovery
• A strict diet
• Possible discomfort and pain as your body heals
• Depending on the patient, a varied length of time before returning to work and normal activities

One study found that laparoscopic gastric bypass patients (median time):

• Started on an oral diet in 1-2 days
• Left the hospital on the second day
• Returned to work at 21 days

Gastric sleeve

About 75 percent of the patient’s stomach is removed and a “sleeve” shape remains. By reducing the size of the stomach, the patient feels full more quickly after eating and will continue feeling full for several hours. This procedure may also decrease the appetite, which can assist with weight loss.

Key features of gastric sleeve include:

• Laparoscopic
• May be an option for carefully selected patients, including high-risk or super-obese patients
• Average excess weight loss at one year of 59 percent
• No implanted medical device

What to expect after gastric sleeve:

• Time and patience for recovery
• A strict diet
• A change to the capacity of the stomach
• Possible discomfort and pain as your body heals
• Depending on the patient, a varied length of time before returning to work and normal activities

Meet Our Surgical Weight Loss Specialists

Walter Costner, MD, FACS, Surgeon
Jack Hudkins, MD, FACS, Surgeon

Interested in learning more? Call (816) 380-2446 to speak with one of our friendly staff and request your free informational packet.