At Northwestern, weight loss surgery can be performed one of two ways:
- Conventional or traditional surgery—requires a large incision down the middle of the abdomen
- Minimally invasive surgery—allows the surgeon to perform the procedures through very small incisions, which often makes it preferable to doctors and patients
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery:
- Less pain
- Shorter recovery time
- Less scarring
- Fewer infections
- Fewer hernias
We use the following surgical procedures to treat obesity:
Sleeve gastrectomy is an effective stand-alone procedure for a patient desiring surgical weight loss. In this surgery, approximately 70 percent of the stomach is removed to limit the volume of food intake at one time.
In some cases, a patient's morbid obesity is so pronounced that the patient woudl benefit from a two-stage process in order to lose several hundred pounds. In this scenario, gastric sleeve resection is performed as the first stage.
After significant weight loss and improvements in various medical conditions (usually after one year), a second gastric bypass is performed to achieve additional weight loss for that patient.
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is a procedure in which a small stomach (gastric) pouch of 0.5- to 1-ounce (about the size of an egg) is made and connected to the rest of the gastrointestinal tract, thereby changing the pathway of the small intestine.
The gastric bypass procedure produces greater weight loss and is more successful at helping a person maintain the new weight over time than other procedures. Complications and follow-up surgeries may be less likely if gastric bypass is minimally invasive.
Adjustable Gastric Banding
Adjustable gastric banding (LAPBAND® and REALIZE™) is a procedure in which an adjustable band is placed around the upper stomach.
Once in place, the band is inflated with saline and either tightened or loosened to create a small pouch that limits food consumption and creates a feeling of fullness.
The band is adjustable and reversible, which means the operation is tailored to the individual patient's symptoms and weight loss needs. This surgery is performed with a very small incision.