Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, is a type of surgery performed on people who are severely obese or who are unable to lose enough weight by other means. Bariatric surgery can help reduce the health risks associated with obesity such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and osteoarthritis. For some obese patients with heart disease, bariatric surgery may be recommended along with coronary artery disease treatment. Bariatric surgery is also sometimes recommended for obese patients prior to hip replacement or knee replacement surgery to improve outcomes.
The basic types of bariatric surgery include:
Gastric band. This minimally invasive, reversible type of bariatric surgery restricts how much food a patient can eat by placing an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch. A narrow channel to the lower part of the stomach slows the passage of food.
Roux-En-Y gastric bypass. This type of procedure restricts food intake and also decreases the absorption of calories. A surgeon connects the upper part of the stomach directly to the lower portion of the small intestine, bypassing parts of both the stomach and small intestine.
Gastric sleeve. Usually performed as a minimally invasive procedure, this type of bariatric surgery restricts food intake by removing a large portion of the stomach to create a narrow sleeve connected to the intestines. A duodenal switch extension of this surgery also bypasses the upper portion of the small intestine to reduce calorie absorption.
Patients who are considering bariatric surgery can find comprehensive care at the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Learn more now about bariatric surgery and other weight loss services at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Comprehensive weight loss services, including bariatric surgery, at Brigham and Women's Hospital
The Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital has performed over 1,000 bariatric surgery procedures. Each patient is supported by a team of dietitians, physician assistants, and nurses who provide the appropriate dietary, behavioral, and medical support to reduce complications and maximize good outcomes.
Our surgeons use minimally invasive or laparoscopic techniques to perform virtually all bariatric surgery operations, resulting in less pain and reduced time to full recovery. Innovative robot-assisted techniques enable our specialists to offer minimally invasive surgery to certain severely obese patients who do not qualify for traditional laparoscopic gastric bypass. The Center has also developed a number of unique, minimally invasive endoscopic procedures used to make adjustments for a subset of patients who experience weight regain several years following gastric bypass surgery.
Research on treatment of cardiovascular, diabetes, and metabolic disorders
Specialists at Brigham and Women's Hospital are pioneering research on new minimally invasive techniques, including leading several trials of innovative endoluminal (through natural openings in the body) techniques in bariatric surgery. They are also collaborating with industry to refine medical instruments used in endoscopic surgery and development of novel weight loss therapy.
In addition, researchers in our Cardiovascular, Diabetes, and Metabolic Disorders Research Center at the Brigham and Women's Biomedical Research Institute (BRI) are studying obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease with the goal of advancing discoveries leading to improvements in treatment of these disorders, including artery disease treatment.