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Bariatric Surgery

Types of bariatric surgery: Which is right for me?

Effective weight loss surgeries: gastric bypass, lap band and sleeve gastrectomy

The Bariatric Center of the Rockies offers gastric bypass, the industry gold standard for weight loss surgery as well as the Lap-Band and vertical sleeve gastrectomy. The sleeve gastrectomy is a new offering in our program and we're one of few programs to offer this procedure. If you have questions about any of these procedures, please contact our bariatric patient navigator. To request information via email, please complete this form.

Gastric Bypass

  • "Gold standard" in weight loss; longest experience in the United States
  • 70 to 80 percent excess weight loss
  • More rapid weight loss (especially during first year)
  • Portion of digestive tract is bypassed, resulting in nutritional deficiencies
  • No need for adjustments, so there's less follow up (follow-up appointments every three months)
  • Two-night hospital stay (in most cases)
  • Dumping syndrome* can occur
  • Dumping syndrome can give patients extra motivation to avoid triggering foods,
    further escalating weight-loss efforts
  • More operative complications (higher mortality rate) 

  Lap Band

  • Received FDA approval in the United States in 2001 (it's been performed in the rest of the world since 1993)
  • Up to 50 percent excess weight loss
  • Slower initial weight loss (nationally, eventual weight loss, after four years, is approximately the same) 
  • Low malnutrition risk
  • Regular monthly follow up is critical for optimal results (LAP-BAND requires frequent initial adjustments
  • Overnight hospital stay (in most cases)
  • No dumping syndrome*
  • Must be motivated and compliant to adhere to diet and follow-up appointments
  • Lowest operative complication rate (no leaks)

Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • Performed in Australia in the early 1990s. Brought to U.S. in 2001
  • The greater curvature of the stomach is removed, reducing it from the size of a cantaloupe to the size of a slim banana.
  • The portion of the removed stomach secretes a hormone called Ghrelin which stimulates
    hunger. With this hormone no longer present, appetite and food cravings are controlled.
  • Patients also eat less because the stomach is smaller which delivers a higher sense of satiety.
  • Patients lose approximately 60% of excess weight with in 1-2 years.
    (Limited data is available for excess weight loss at 5 years.)

As noted above, each bariatric surgery procedure has advantages and disadvantages. The key is for patients to be honest with themselves about what they will and won't commit to. Regardless of which bariatric surgery procedure is chosen, patients have to drastically change the way they eat and make a commitment to physical activity - for life - to be successful. 

The surgeons at Northern Colorado Surgical Associates will help each patient select the weight-loss surgery that is best for them.

*Dumping syndrome (rapid gastric emptying) is a condition that happens when undigested food empties into the small intestine too quickly. Symptoms can include nausea, cramping, diarrhea and/or vomiting. To learn more, visit the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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