Laparoscopic gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and other weight-loss surgeries—known collectively as bariatric surgery—involve making changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight. At Southern New Hampshire Health, our experts are skilled in performing both laparoscopic gastric bypass and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy to help patients lose weight and regain their quality of life.
 
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure to bypass part of the stomach, making it smaller so the patient feels fuller with less food. The surgeon creates a small stomach pouch, reducing the amount of food a patient can eat. This small  pouch is then surgically attached to the middle of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. These changes allow patients to eat smaller meals without feeling hungry and produce other hormonal changes which result in dramatic weight loss.
 
Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy involves removing a majority of the patient’s stomach, creating a narrow “sleeve” of the stomach. As a result, the stomach will hold less food and produces fewer hunger  causing hormones. By reducing stomach capacity and appetite, the procedure assists with weight-loss and improves health.
 
Both procedures are done laparoscopically, using minimal incisions.  The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is typically a one-hour inpatient surgery, and most patients go home the following day. The gastric bypass procedure is a two hour procedure, and most patients are discharged home within 48 hours of surgery.  Typically, patients are able to return to work in two weeks and have fully recovered by 6 weeks. Both procedures substantially improve or resolve co-morbid conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea.
 
What Can I Expect on My Weight-Loss Journey?
Before you begin your weight-loss journey, your doctor will evaluate your health and discuss with you all your treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical. If surgery is the best option, your full journey to bariatric surgery will include:
 
  • Pre-surgery consultation
  • Pre-surgery testing and medical examination
  • Lifestyle and health counseling
  • Psychiatric counseling
  • Dietary consultation
  • Weight-loss surgery procedures
  • Postoperative follow-up care
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Ongoing dietary counseling
  • Annual check-ups
 
What Services Are Available to Help Me on My Weight-Loss Journey?
  • Care from multidisciplinary team members such as physicians, advanced practice practitioners, surgeons, dietitians, and psychologists.
  • Education and tools to help you lose weight safely, reduce the incidence or risk of weight-related diseases, and improve your quality of life.
  • Support groups to provide continuing education and peer to peer support.
  • Options for long-term weight management.
 
Choosing the weight-loss procedure that is right for you takes careful consideration. If you are a candidate for one of these procedures, you will work closely with your multi-disciplinary team. You and the team will work collaboratively throughout the pre-surgical process, which usually takes approximately three to six months.
 
Referrals
If you are concerned about your weight and feel that durable weight loss would improve the quality of your life, you should schedule a visit with one of our weight loss providers to discuss your options.  There are nationally recognized guidelines that determine what types of weight loss treatment is recommended. In New Hampshire, most insurance plans include coverage for bariatric surgery or other weight loss treatments. If you are unsure if your health insurance carrier will cover your surgery, consult your surgeon and your insurance provider. You can start now by exploring your insurance coverage eligibility by contacting your health insurance company.
 
Adjustable Gastric Banding
The placement of laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands is no longer common in the US, however there are still millions of patients who have these devices in placed.  Our bariatric team is able to provide ongoing care for band patients, including adjustments and, when necessary, removal.
 
Recovery After Surgery
Using minimally invasive techniques and the latest processes to enhance recovery, most patients are home 1-2 days after surgery.  The most common complaint in the first week after surgery is fatigue, but patients will be able to get around their homes and climb stairs within a few days of surgery.  Most patients (excepting those with very strenuous jobs) are able to return to work within 2 weeks of surgery.  You will have several office visits in the first month after surgery where you will get instructions on advancing your diet and activity level.  Patients usually feel fully recovered within 4-6 weeks of their procedure.
 
Risks of Bariatric Surgery
Laparoscopic bariatric surgery has evolved into one of the safest surgical procedures currently performed.  The risk of major complications from surgery is between 1-2%.  Risks include bleeding, infections, blood clots, and leaking from the newly created stomach and small intestine incisions.  The risk of mortality from bariatric surgery is extremely low, around 0.1%.