Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, is a procedure that helps patients lose weight and maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.  Two weight loss operations are offered at the Martha Jefferson Bariatric Care Center. One is the Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass procedure. The other is the gastric banding procedure.  Our experienced surgeons can assist patients in determining which surgery is best depending upon the patient's preference, goals and overall health.

According to guidelines developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to be a candidate for Bariatric surgery a person must have a body mass index, or BMI, over 40 (or a BMI over 35 with serious co-morbidities). The NIH also identified other factors that indicate Bariatric surgery may be the best course of treatment. These factors include: The person's willingness to adhere to a lifelong modification in daily diet and exercise, psychological stability, and the presence of an effective social support system. Candidates for surgical treatment also must have previously attempted to lose weight by dietary and lifestyle modifications.

What is the Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass procedure?

The Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass procedure is a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure. Gastric bypass involves partitioning the stomach so that swallowed food quickly fills a very small stomach "pouch." This pouch is designed to initially hold less than an ounce. A segment of the small intestine is then connected to this small pouch through a very small opening in an arrangement that surgeons have termed "Roux-en-y". These surgical changes physically restrict food intake and limit the sensation of hunger. Food fills the small pouch quickly and stretches the walls. Stretch receptors in the walls send a signal to the brain to turn off the hunger sensation. The very small opening between the stomach pouch and the small intestine limits how fast the pouch can empty. Thus, you feel full after eating only a small amount of food or liquid and you stay full longer. Finally, the connection of the small intestine to the pouch can prevent the digestion of certain high-caloric (carbohydrate) foods.

What is the gastric banding procedure?

The gastric banding procedure is a restrictive procedure meaning it reduces the stomach's capacity and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. A band is placed at the top of the stomach and tightened to create a small pouch. A small tube connects the band to a port placed under the skin of the abdomen. Adjustments can be made by injecting saline solution into the band through the port. These adjustments can increase or decrease the size of the stomach outlet.

Health Benefits:

Bariatric Surgery at Martha Jefferson is not a cosmetic procedure.  The goal of the procedure is to reduce health problems in patients and allow people to live an active, healthy life.  Although each case is different, the following national statistics reflect results of the Gastric Bypass Surgery.    

  • Type 2 Diabetes - Resolved in 83.6% of patients
  • High Blood Pressure -  Resolved in 67.5% of patients
  • High Cholesterol - Improved in 94.9% of patients
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea  - Resolved in 80.4% of patients
  • Acid Reflux/GERD - Resolved in 98% of patients
  • Depression  - Improved in 47% of patients
  • Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain  - Resolved in 41% of patients
  • Stress Urinary Incontinence - Resolved in 44% of patients
  • Ovulation and Fertility Restored - Restored in 100% of patients

*Information from