Obesity is a chronic disorder that can lead to other health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obstructive sleep apnea. Because obesity can affect many organs, it may be difficult to treat. When other medically supervised methods of weight loss have failed, weight-loss surgery can be an effective way to lose weight and maintain that weight loss.
To be considered for weight-loss surgery, you must meet the following qualifications:
The UCSF Bariatric Surgery Center has been performing surgical weight-loss procedures since 1996. There are three weight-loss procedures offered at UCSF and each is considered "restrictive," which means the procedure limits the amount of food you can consume at one time.
During your initial visit to the Bariatric Surgery Center, one of our bariatric surgeons will discuss in detail the different operations, explain the risks and benefits of each, and determine the procedure that's best for you.
When considering weight-loss surgery, it is important to understand that success in maintaining weight loss is dependent on your commitment to making major diet and lifestyle changes. Surgery is a powerful tool meant to assist in weight loss. Your participation at home and through our bariatric program is important in achieving your weight loss goals, and in maintaining weight loss so you can be successful many years after surgery.
Gastric bypass is the current "gold standard" procedure for weight-loss surgery, according to the American Society for Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This procedure bypasses most of the stomach and the first part of the samll intestine.
A small stomach pouch is created using a surgical stapler. The remainder of the stomach is not removed, but is stapled shut. The pouch restricts food intake so you're only able to eat small amounts of food at one time. The small intestine is divided and one end is raised and attached to the stomach pouch in a procedure called a gastrojejunostomy. The other end of the small intestine, still connected to the stomach remnant, is reconnected to another portion of the intestinal tract in a procedure called a jejunojejunostomy.
In this procedure, a band is placed around the upper part of your stomach, creating a small pouch that restricts food intake and creates a sense of being full after very small meals. The band can be adjusted to make the pouch outlet smaller or larger by injecting fluid into the band. A small "port" is implanted beneath the skin, and is connected to a catheter for the flow of fluid that adjusts the band.
This operation involves only your stomach. A small sleeve, or narrow pouch, is created using a surgical stapler to separate the stomach. After the sleeve is created, the rest of the stomach — about two-thirds of the stomach — is removed. The sleeve creates a feeling of being full faster and decreases appetite. Only small amounts of food can pass through the sleeve at one time.
Laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgery is a technique that involves a small video camera inserted into the abdomen. through several small incisions. The surgeon views images generated by the camera in the abdomen on a video monitor in the operating room.
The American Society for Bariatric Surgery recommends that laparoscopic weight-loss surgery is performed only by surgeons experienced in both laparoscopic and open bariatric procedures. At the UCSF Bariatric Surgery Center, our experts are trained in the advanced techniques required to perform laparoscopic procedures.
Laparoscopic surgery is considered minimally invasive because it replaces the need for one long incision to open the abdomen. Studies show that patients who undergp laparoscopic weight-loss surgery experience less pain after surgery, resulting in easier breathing and lung function.
Other benefits of laparoscopy are fewer wound complications, such as infection or hernia. In addition, patients typically return more quickly to their normal activities after surgery.
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Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.
Bariatric Surgery Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Sixth Floor, Room A-655
San Francisco, CA 94143-0338
Phone: (415) 353-2804
Fax: (415) 353-2505