Understanding Weight Loss Surgery Options

Friday, February 12, 2010

As seen in the January 2010 Ozaukee News Graphic 'Ask the Doc' column.

What should be considered when choosing bariatric surgery?
By Joseph Regan, M.D. 

Deciding to undergo weight loss surgery is a life altering event. It’s important to research the different procedures and the lifestyle changes that occur after surgery. Two of the most common procedures for weight loss surgery are Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and the Lap-Band procedure.

In Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, a small stomach pouch is created and then connected to a shorter length of the small intestine. The procedure reduces the stomach from the size of a melon to the size of an egg. Weight loss occurs because smaller amounts of food are eaten and fewer calories are absorbed. Most people who have Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery lose 60 to 80 percent of their excess weight – and they keep it off. It is not uncommon for people to lose 100 or more pounds over one year. Follow-up studies show that people have maintained that loss for 10 years. At Columbia St. Mary’s, Roux-en-Y is performed through minimally invasive surgery to reduce scarring, risk of infection and provide for a quicker recovery.

Another option for weight loss surgery is the Lap-Band procedure which involves the placement of an inflatable ring around the upper stomach to restrict what you can eat and control hunger. The ring is inflatable and connected to a port that is placed under the skin. The port is filled with saline to adjust the tightness of the ring around the stomach. With the Lap-Band procedure, people lose roughly 50 to 60 percent of their excess weight and often reach their weight loss goal after two years.

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, it’s essential to understand your options, the long-term results with weight loss, the potential complications and the necessary follow-up. For more information visit our Bariatric Center website by clicking here.

Joseph Regan, M.D., General/Bariatric Surgeon, is the Medical Director of Columbia St. Mary's Bariatric Center. He serves on the Medical Staff at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee.  


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