Weight Loss Surgery/Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is the clinical term for surgical procedures used for the treatment of obesity and diseases associated with it. Here at Emerson we have three different surgical options to treat the disease of obesity.

Our goal is to help individuals with obesity achieve permanent weight loss. Your first step is to attend a free, two-hour information session where our surgeons and team provide a program overview and describe your weight loss surgery options. The next step in this comprehensive program is an individual evaluation by one of our clinician who will determine if weight loss surgery is right for you. If so, the staff will guide you through other necessary appointments and then help you throughout your journey to surgery and additionally assist you long after surgery. You will receive detailed literature and a confidential questionnaire to fill out prior to an initial consultation.

Emerson’s bariatric surgeons use a minimally invasive technique (laparoscopic), whereby several 1/4–1/2 inch incisions are created and long-handled instruments are used. This technique is associated with faster recovery, less pain and less scarring. Read our frequently asked questions.

Surgical Options

Gastric Banding

Gastric banding involves placement of a small, adjustable band at the upper end of the stomach, which creates a small pouch and does not interfere with the normal digestive process. Weight loss occurs by restricting the amount of food that can be consumed at a given time. You can expect to lose 40-45 percent of your excess weight in the two years after surgery.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy involves permanently removing approximately two-thirds of the stomach to limit food intake—helping you feel full sooner. This procedure is newly recognized as a primary procedure for weight loss. Early results show the weight loss to be midway between that of gastric banding and gastric bypass.

Gastric Bypass

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is considered the gold standard of weight loss surgery available today. The procedure creates a small stomach pouch—about the size of an egg—in addition to this some of the small intestine is bypassed, restricting food intake and limiting absorption of calories and nutrients. Additionally, it changes hormones secreted by the gastrointestinal track that can decrease hunger and are thought to have a specific effect on type 2 diabetes. You will typically lose 60-70 percent of your excess weight during the first year after the surgery.

Morbid Obesity

The disease of morbid obesity interferes with basic physical functions such as breathing or walking. Long-term implications of the disease include shorter life expectancy, serious health consequences in the form of weight-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and a lower quality of life with fewer economic and social opportunities.

Obesity is a serious disease with symptoms that build slowly over an extended period of time. The National Institutes of Health defines morbid obesity as:

Co-Morbid Conditions

The presence of obesity increases the risk of a number of medical conditions, including cancer. A co-morbid condition is a health condition related to a primary disease such as obesity. There are many health conditions related to morbid obesity, but some of the most common are:

These conditions occur more frequently in people with morbid obesity. Mortality rates from many of these conditions are also higher among people with morbid obesity.

Results of five-year follow-up

The below chart compares the long-term effectiveness of three different obesity treatments: diet and exercise, weight loss medications and bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery clearly has the best weight loss outcome compared to the other two treatments: 50–70% of people were able to lose at least 50% of the excess weight and keep it off for five years.*

After five years, only 2–5% of the people who dieted and exercised had maintained a weight loss of at least 10%. People who had taken weight loss medications were not able to maintain any weight loss.

Diet and Exercise** 2–5%
Medication*** 0%
Bariatric Surgery**** 50–70%