Obesity and Bariatric Surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is a “restrictive only” procedure in the same fashion as adjustable gastric banding. Using a skinny tube, about 1 cm in diameter, a series of surgical staples are applied against the stomach to create a new longer and skinnier stomach that holds only 2 ounces at any given time. The residual larger portion of the stomach is removed because it can no longer drain its secretions. With the residual stomach removed from the body, the new stomach tube fills and empties with the normal anatomic connections and no “bypass” is needed.

Weight loss is achieved by “restriction” that occurs when eating and moving food through the long, narrow tube of the new stomach. This new stomach doesn’t stretch, so patients feel full with only a few bites. Also, because the new stomatch is long and skinny, it takes longer for food to move through the stomach into the small intestines so patients feel fuller, longer.

Risks of Gastric Surgery

All surgery comes with risks and while extremely safe, sleeve gastrectomy comes with its own unique set:

  • Bleeding from the stomach staple line
  • Leaking or disruption of the staple line
  • Unrecognized injury to the other abdominal contents during surgery
  • Bleeding from surgery requiring transfusion or re-operation
  • Stricture or narrowing of the new stomach tube
  • Failure to lose all the excess weight required

Advantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  • Faster and greater weight loss than gastric banding
  • No foreign body or band adjustment required
  • No re-routing of intestinal anatomy required

Disadvantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  • No long-term data (more than five years) on weight loss and complications
  • May make reflux symptoms worse initially
  • Is not reversible because the residual stomach is removed
  • May not be paid for by your insurance

Gastric Bypass Surgery

During the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery the stomach is divided into two sections. One of the two sections is a new, smaller pouch that will act as the new stomach. The new stomach has a capacity of roughly two ounces, as opposed to its former size of about two quarts. This drastic reduction limits your stomach’s ability to hold food, making you feel full after eating only a small amount, requiring you to eat substantially less. This is the basis of the results you will see during the aftercare and beyond.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery takes approximately two hours and is performed under general anesthesia. In addition, Pacific Bariatric surgeons are assisted by a well trained surgical staff and supporting specialists. We have operated on over 17,000 adult and adolescent patients since our inception in 1993.

In other words, you are in very good hands. If you decide to move forward with the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, we are more than qualified and equipped to help you.

Obesity Statistics:

  • About 12 million (16.3%) of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 are obese.
  • Nearly one in three (31.9%) U.S. children (23,500,000) ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese.
  • Nearly one-third (32.9%) of U.S. adults are obese (nearly 72 million adults)

*Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, conducted by National Center for Health Statistics (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

You may be a candidate for surgery if you are an adult with:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women)
  • A BMI between 35 and 39.9 and a serious obesity-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or severe sleep apnea (when breathing stops for short periods during sleep).
  • Acceptable operative risks.
  • An ability to participate in treatment and long-term follow-up.
  • An understanding of the operation and the lifestyle changes you will need to make.

More Statistics:



Bariatric surgery produces weight loss by restricting food intake and, in some cases, interfering with nutrition through malabsorption. Patients who undergo bariatric surgery must also commit to a lifetime of healthy eating and regular physical activity. These healthy habits help ensure that the weight loss from surgery is successfully maintained.There are four types of operations that are commonly offered in the United States: adjustable gastric band (AGB), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch (BPD-DS), and vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG).

Each has its own benefits and risks. To select the option that is best for you, you should meet with your physician and discuss each operation’s benefits and risks along with many other factors, including BMI, eating behaviors, obesity-related health conditions, and previous operations. Exercise and eating right are the best ways to lose weight, but many people have tried those methods for years and still can’t lose excess weight . For people in this frustrating situation, weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) may be an option.