Successful and sustained weight loss can be extremely difficult, but bariatric surgery should not be one of your initial approaches. Learn more about obesity including proven lifestyle changes and treatments.
How does bariatric surgery work?
Bariatric surgery causes weight loss by either reducing the amount of food the stomach can hold (with restrictive surgical procedures) and/or reducing calories absorbed (with malabsorbative surgical procedures).
Bariatric surgery has also been shown to improve and often resolve health problems associated with obesity, such as:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnea (when breathing stops for short periods during sleep)
Beyond its health benefits, the weight loss that results from bariatric surgery enhances energy, mobility, mood, self-esteem and increases the desire and ability to engage in a variety of activities.
Types of bariatric surgery
Our Optum bariatric surgeons perform several types of bariatric surgery procedures, which differ depending on the patient’s condition and specific needs. These procedures include:
- Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
- Laparoscopic Lap Band (gastric banding)
- Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve)
- Laparoscopic biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch
Each surgery uses a minimally-invasive approach that involves a specialized camera called a laparoscope. These procedures generally have fast recovery times, and some can be done same-day.
Is bariatric surgery right for you?
Bariatric surgery can be the first step to a healthier and happier quality of life; however, it is not for everyone. Undergoing bariatric surgery also means committing to a lifetime of healthy eating and regular exercise in order to maintain weight loss after surgery.
One of the first ways to find out if bariatric surgery is an option is by determining your body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of height in relation to weight.
You are a candidate for bariatric surgery if you have a:
- BMI of 40 or greater; or a
- BMI of 35 or greater with a serious comorbidity (health problem) such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, cancer or sleep apnea.
Additionally, candidates for bariatric surgery have made multiple attempts to lose weight without long-term success and are willing to make lasting changes to their diet, exercise and lifestyle patterns.
Medical care and help
To help ensure long-term success, we approach bariatric surgery with a holistic approach. Our bariatric surgeons will:
- Provide a full medical evaluation
- Discuss your challenges to weight loss
- Help you decide which bariatric surgery procedure is right for you
- Work with you to develop strategies to help you adapt to new eating and lifestyle habits
- Connect you with support and resources to help you achieve your weight loss goals
Partnership with Northern Westchester Hospital’s Surgical Weight Loss Program
Our bariatric surgeons work closely with medical experts at Northern Westchester Hospital’s Surgical Weight Loss Program, a hospital-based program that provides complete surgical care including:
- Trained anesthesiologists specifically assigned to bariatric surgery
- A recovery team who encourages you to get up and move after surgery to speed healing and go home faster
- Nutritionists who meet with you before and after surgery to help you adapt to your surgery and learn healthy ways of eating.
To find a bariatric surgeon near you, visit our Providers page.
Contact us if you have any questions.