bariatric surgeryThe WVU Bariatric Surgery program offers a minimally invasive laparoscopic approach as well as an open alternative if needed.

Weight loss surgery is major surgery, yet safe and effective. It is not a cosmetic operation. You should consider it to be permanent.

The minimally invasive approach consists of a few small incisions. Not all patients are candidates for minimally invasive surgery. The surgeon will assess which approach suits you best during your first appointment.

Surgical options that WVU Medicine offers include:

  • Roux-en -Y Gastric Bypass According to the American Society of Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the current gold standard procedure for weight loss surgery. In this procedure, stapling creates a small (15-30cc) stomach pouch. The outlet from this newly formed pouch bypasses most of the stomach and several feet of the small intestine, preventing your body from absorbing all the calories and nutrients from the foods you eat. By combining the smaller stomach and the malabsorption feature, this surgery produces more weight loss than operations that only decrease the intake of food. The malabsorption of nutrients, especially calcium, iron, and Vitamin B12 can be managed through proper diet and vitamin supplements. An excess intake of sugar and fat may trigger a condition known as “dumping syndrome.” The results can be extremely unpleasant and can include nausea, weakness, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.
  • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding This procedure restricts and decreases food intake as an adjustable band is placed around the top part of the stomach to create a small pouch. The size of the band is adjusted using a port placed under the skin. Adjusting the band changes how quickly food leaves the new pouch. It is one of the least invasive approaches to obesity surgery, because no permanent changes are made to the body’s physiology. The stomach stays intact and the digestive process remains the same.
  • Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy This procedure restricts and decreases food intake through surgical removal of approximately 2/3 of the stomach. Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as vertical gastrectomy, can be used as a stand-alone procedure for weight loss or as a preliminary procedure in patients with very high BMI to render them fit for a more definitive second stage operation (gastric bypass).