Surgery Options

At the Guthrie Weight Loss Center, our fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon offers three surgical weight loss options. Each option comes with its own benefits and side effects; our surgeon will work with you to decide on the best course of action, based on your medical conditions, overall health and desired weight loss.

Our goal is to help you achieve significant weight loss, maintain a healthier weight and improve overall health by decreasing any weight-related health issues.

Surgical options performed at Guthrie include:

LAP Band

An adjustable band buckles around the top of the stomach, narrowing the opening to the remainder of the stomach. In surgery, the band is placed at the top of the stomach, creating approximately a one ounce “pouch” where food enters the stomach. The band has a balloon on its inner surface, allowing the size of the opening to the lower part of the stomach to be adjusted. The adjustments are done by inserting a needle into the port underneath the skin of the abdomen; the port is connected by tubing to the balloon on the inner surface of the band. Injecting more fluid causes the balloon to inflate and narrows the channel for food. Removing fluid deflates the balloon and widens the channel for food to pass through. The concept is to create anatomy that “tricks” the body into thinking that “I’m full and satisfied” when only the small pouch above the band is full, providing a sensation of fullness after a very small meal.

Pros:

  • With the adjustable gastric band, no cutting, reconnecting or re-routing of the stomach or intestines occurs.
  • The procedure does not permanently alter the digestive organs, and the band can be removed if needed.

Cons:

  • Weight loss is often less than that of other weight loss surgery options. Estimated excess body weight loss at two years after surgery is about 40 to 50 percent.
  • Patients will need to be seen every six to eight weeks for the first year or so after surgery to achieve adequate device adjustment.
  • Patients are required to take life-long nutritional supplements to prevent any nutrient deficiencies.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy (also called sleeve gastrectomy) is a stapling procedure in which approximately 80 percent of the stomach is removed. This results in a tubular stomach, or “sleeve”, that will hold approximately 3 to 4 ounces of food or drink. The amount of stomach left behind is calibrated with a sizing tube, to ensure an evenly sized channel for food. Similar to other restrictive procedures, limiting the amount of food intake leads to an earlier feeling of fullness with meals.

Additionally, the portion of stomach that is removed contains many of the cells in the body that produce a hormone called ghrelin, which is associated with the sensation of hunger. It is not clear how much effect a decrease in ghrelin levels has on postoperative weight loss, but some patients do report feeling less hungry after this (and other) weight loss procedures.

Pros: 

  • This procedure results in weight loss totals approaching, but not quite as much as, gastric bypass. Estimated excess body weight loss at one year after surgery is 55 to 70 percent.

Cons:

  • Patients are required to take life-long nutritional supplements to prevent any nutrient deficiencies.
  • This procedure is not reversible. The removed portion of the stomach cannot reenter the body.

Gastric Bypass Procedure

The upper portion of the stomach where food first enters is stapled and separated from the remainder of the stomach. This stomach “pouch” holds about one to one-and-a-half ounces, limiting food intake by causing a feeling of restriction or fullness with a small amount of food. The small intestine is re-routed to accept food directly from this small stomach pouch. The remaining stomach, duodenum and the initial part of the jejunum stays in place and continues to make digestive juices, but are “bypassed”.  The new anatomy helps with a feeling of decreased hunger, improved fullness, and improved blood sugar regulation.  The re-routed intestine also helps some patients make better food choices, because high-calorie foods (such as cookies, cake, candy, sweets, soda, or high-fat foods) may cause a very unpleasant sensation after eating them.

Pros:

  • This procedure results in high weight loss totals. Estimated excess body weight loss at one year after surgery is 70 to 85 percent.

Cons:

  • Patients are required to take life-long nutritional supplements to prevent any nutrient deficiencies, and there may be additional supplement required, above the usual multivitamin and calcium (such as vitamin B12 supplements)
  • This procedure is not easily reversible.