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Surgical Solutions

Various surgical procedures can help people lose weight, but all involve making the stomach smaller. These procedures limit the amount of food it can hold and enables one to feel full sooner. In some operations, the surgeon bypasses a portion of the small intestine, limiting the amount of food the body absorbs.

How does bariatric surgery work?

Bariatric surgery reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold to a few ounces, reducing it from football to golf ball size. Reducing the size of the stomach makes one feel full after only a few bites.

Most importantly, bariatric surgery often resolves or improves several obesity-related conditions almost simultaneously.

What are the risks and benefits?

With any surgery, there are risks associated with bariatric surgery.

  • About one percent of patients die from complications of the surgery,
  • 10 to 20% require follow-up operations to correct complications and
  • approximately 30% develop a blood clot in the artery, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal leaks, gallstones and nutritional deficiencies—which can be avoided by taking vitamins and minerals regularly after surgery.

While it does present risks, bariatric surgery has been shown to reduce the risk of death from obesity-related co-morbid conditions by 89% in morbidly obese people, according to a 2004 study in the Annals of Surgery.

A landmark study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that following bariatric surgery:
• Type 2 diabetes was resolved in more than 76% of patients.
• Hypertension was resolved in more than 61% of patients.
• Obstructive sleep apnea was resolved in more than 85% of patients.
• High cholesterol levels decreased in more than 70% of patients.
Bariatric surgery has been shown to be the most effective treatment for long-term weight loss for the morbidly obese, for whom conventional methods have not worked.

What bariatric surgery options are available at Erlanger?

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The Sleeve Gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically, using special instruments inserted through small abdominal incisions. With this procedure, a large portion of the stomach is removed so that the stomach takes the shape of a narrow sleeve. A smaller stomach means patients eat less. There is no re-routing of the intestines and no change in the ability to absorb nutrients and no limitations on the patient’s ability to take medications such as aspirin and motron. There is also another benefit. The hormones that drive appetite are created in the part of the stomach that is removed in this procedure so the patient has less appetite. This hormone is called Ghrelin.

The Sleeve Gastrectomy is a worthy and welcome addition to the list of weight loss procedures for two main reasons:

  1. Its profound decrease in biological hunger makes the Sleeve Gastrectomy much more successful than the Gastric Band.
  2. While the Sleeve Gastrectomy is almost as successful as the Gastric Bypass in achieving weight loss, its technical simplicity as a surgical procedure makes for fewer complications than in the bi-pass.

Gastric Bypass Roux-en-Y

Named after Swiss surgeon Cesar Roux, the Gastric Bypass Roux-en-Y procedure can be performed laparoscopically and allows food to bypass the lower stomach and much of the small intestine. A small stomach pouch is created to curb food intake by stapling a portion of the stomach. Then, a Y-shaped part of the small intestine is attached to the stomach pouch so that food can bypass the duodenum. The bypasses of the intestine are done to decrease the absorption of food nutrients. The laparoscopic bypass procedure uses multiple small incisions (instead of one long incision). With this procedure, the majority of weight loss is evident within one year and is usually completed by the end of the second year.

Think you may be a candidate? Please call (423)778-LINK(5465) to discuss your options.




Adjustable Gastric Banding

With this procedure, a hollow band is placed around the stomach near the top, creating a small pouch that holds about two ounces of food at a time.

Think you may be a candidate? Please call (423)778-LINK(5465) to discuss your options.


Erlanger Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Center
979 East 3rd St., Suite C-620
Chattanooga, TN 37403

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Mon –Thu 8am–4pm
Fri 8am–Noon

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