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Weight Management

Weight Loss Surgery

Is bariatric surgery right for you?

Weight loss surgery patients must meet qualifications set by the National Institutes of Health. To qualify for weight loss surgery, a person must have a body mass index (BMI): 

  • Equal to or greater than 40.
  • Equal to or greater than 35 with medical complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and lung disease, among others.

UMMC also requires patients not use drugs or tobacco, be between the ages of 21 and 65, and have no history of previous bariatric procedures.

  • To find out if you qualify or to schedule an appointment, please call (601) 984-1285.
  • You can also attend one of our free, no-obligation information sessions to learn more about UMMC Weight Management.

UMMC offers three types of safe, proven bariatric surgery:

Adjustable Gastric Banding

Adjustable gastric band is a popular alternative to traditional gastric bypass surgery. In this procedure, the bariatric surgeon wraps an inflatable band around the stomach to separate it into two sections. A small opening between sections allows the food to be digested primarily in the upper section.

This procedure effectively reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold to promote weight loss. Gastric banding is a laparoscopic procedure, meaning it requires only small incisions and the use of camera equipment for physicians to see and work inside the body.

Benefits of Gastric Banding

One advantage of gastric banding is that the band can be adjusted or removed if necessary. After surgery, the band can be adjusted through a port implanted just beneath the skin, allowing the physician to fine-tune the procedure and help control side effects and optimize weight loss. These adjustments do not require additional surgery.

In addition, adjustable gastric banding is less invasive than gastric bypass surgery because it does not require reconfiguring the digestive tract. Therefore, patients typically recover more quickly and experience fewer complications.

Patients who choose gastric banding typically lose weight more gradually than gastric bypass patients but are less likely to regain the weight over time.

After Gastric Banding Surgery

Typically, patients are discharged from the hospital within a day or two and can return to most normal activities within a week. Patients will be on a liquid diet for the first several days, followed by a wider variety of pureed foods for the next few weeks. Certain solid foods will be reintroduced into the diet about six weeks after surgery.

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Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is the most popular weight loss surgery in the United States. When paired with appropriate nutrition and exercise, many patients benefit from long-term success. 

During the procedure, our bariatric surgeon reconfigures the digestive tract and reduces the size of the stomach. The stomach is stapled horizontally, separating it into two parts. The larger portion, along with the upper section of the small intestine, is disconnected from the digestive tract. The remaining stomach pouch is then reconnected to the small intestine, creating the bypass. This new configuration limits the amount of food that can be consumed and the number of calories absorbed from that food.

UMMC’s bariatric surgeon performs both laparoscopic (small incision) and traditional open gastric bypass surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is performed through a series of small incisions with the aid of a flexible camera. This procedure has a quicker recovery time and fewer incision-related complications. However, laparoscopic surgery may not be an option for every patient.

Whether the gastric bypass surgery is open or laparoscopic, it is performed under general anesthesia. The surgery lasts several hours and requires a hospital stay of two to three days.

Benefits of Gastric Bypass

The most important benefit of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is that it promotes the quickest weight loss of the procedures we perform. It’s normal for patients to lose at least half of their excess weight within two years of surgery. By sticking to the right diet and exercise plan, patients typically enjoy long-term weight loss.

After Gastric Bypass

Patients are placed on a restricted dietary plan while the stomach heals. They start with an all-liquid diet; then a wider range of foods is slowly reintroduced as the body grows accustomed to the new digestive tract.

Because the size of the stomach has been reduced, gastric bypass patients need to eat very small meals several times a day. All gastric bypass surgery patients work with our dietitians before and after surgery to plan a diet that meets their individual needs for weight loss and nutrition.

As the body adjusts to rapid weight loss and a new diet, it is not uncommon for patients to feel tired, achy, sick, or even depressed. This adjustment period is generally the most challenging part of the weight loss process, and our staff is specially trained to help deal with these challenges.

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Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

With a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the stomach is divided vertically, reducing its capacity by approximately 70 percent. The remaining portion of the stomach is about the size and shape of a banana.

Although this procedure reduces the size of the stomach, it allows the digestive system to function naturally, which lowers the risk of complications. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is commonly performed laparoscopically, through a series of small incisions with the aid of a flexible camera. This procedure has a quicker recovery time and fewer incision-related complications than open surgery.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy reduces the volume of the stomach, allowing patients to feel full faster with less food intake. Strong research evidence also indicates a disruption of one of the hunger hormones known as ghrelin. This hormone, which regulates appetite, is housed in the greater curvature of the stomach. Removing the greater curve of the stomach takes away one of the main sources of ghrelin, thus reducing feelings of hunger.

Benefits of Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

One of the most important benefits of sleeve gastrectomy surgery is that it promotes quick weight loss. Patients typically lose at least half of their excess weight within two years of surgery, and patients who stick to the right diet and exercise plan often keep most of that weight off long-term.

Sleeve gastrectomy also tends to improve or resolve obesity-related health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). By resolving such conditions, gastric sleeve indirectly reduces the risk of heart attack, heart disease, and cancer—improving life expectancy and quality of life.

After Gastrectomy Surgery

After surgery, patients maintain a restricted dietary plan while the stomach heals. They begin with an all-liquid diet, and a wider range of foods is gradually reintroduced as the body grows accustomed to the new digestive tract. Because the size of the stomach has been reduced, gastric sleeve patients need to eat very small meals several times a day. Our dietitians work with patients before and after surgery to plan a diet for optimal weight loss and nutrition.

As the body adjusts to rapid weight loss and a new diet, patients can feel tired, achy, sick, even depressed. This phase is generally the most challenging part of the weight loss process, and our staff is specially trained to help deal with these challenges.

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