Surgical Options for Severe Obesity
The University of Chicago Medicine offers the following procedures:
- Roux-en Y gastric bypass (RYGB)
- Adjustable gastric banding (Lap-Band®)
- Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (DS)
- Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG)
One of the most frequently performed weight loss surgeries in the country, Roux-en Y gastric bypass is when the upper portion of the stomach is stapled and the upper intestine is connected to the stomach. Food is rerouted so it does not come into contact with the main stomach area. Stomach size is reduced to the size of a golf ball -- making the patient feel fuller between meals. In addition, patients may find that they no longer crave -- or even like -- sweet foods.
In this procedure, a band is placed around the upper portion of the patient's stomach. The band severely restricts the amount of food he or she can eat. Because the stomach is not altered, the patient can digest food normally. One of the benefits of this procedure is that your doctor or nurse can adjust the band depending on your specific needs. Because the band is connected by tubing to an access port implanted under the skin, it can be adjusted during a clinic visit.
The patient's stomach is left larger with this procedure than with the other options. The small intestine is re-routed so that nutrients and calories can only be absorbed in the final 3 feet. After this surgery, patients can maintain a more normal eating pattern.
VSG has been performed at the University of Chicago Medicine for several years and is also available as a stand-alone procedure. The stomach is permanently reduced to about 15 percent of its original size, leaving a sleeve-shaped portion of the stomach that can hold less food and is resistant to stretching. Depending on the individual needs of each patient, the surgery can be performed as a single, primary procedure or as the second part of a two-stage procedure to help patients lose weight before undergoing another weight loss surgery such as duodenal switch or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
At the University of Chicago Medicine, we are dedicated to long-term, follow-up care. When you have surgery here, we offer continued care -- for the rest of your life. Our patients have access to our dieticians, nurses, and physicians for as long as needed.
We understand that bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure. We offer a monthly support group for patients facilitated by a clinical psychologist -- with the participation of surgeons, nurses, and dieticians.