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Weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is performed on patients with obesity. There are several types of bariatric procedures, but all focus on making modifications to the digestive system with the goal of significant weight loss.

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Bariatric surgery in Virginia

Weight loss surgery is not a cosmetic procedure. It's an educated surgical decision to improve your health and lifespan.

HCA Virginia offers weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, as a treatment for obese patients who are dedicated to getting healthier, but need an alternative to medication and lifestyle changes to improve their overall health. Here, our patients see their lives transformed, with marked improvements in their health and quality of life.

Are you a candidate for bariatric surgery?

Our free, online tool can help you understand how your weight is impacting your overall health and wellbeing and whether or not bariatric surgery could be right for you.

Our free, online tool can help you understand how your weight is impacting your overall health and wellbeing and whether or not bariatric surgery could be right for you.

Our weight loss surgery services

We're proud to have a team of bariatric surgeons and skilled professionals. They provide you comprehensive weight loss support, from medical weight loss programs to nutrition coaching to surgical follow-up.

What is bariatric surgery?

Weight loss surgery is the general term for surgical procedures designed to help you lose weight. These procedures are tools — not cures — to help you treat weight-related health problems. They should be combined with our medical weight loss programs that focus on diet and exercise.

Our comprehensive programs include nutritional counseling, exercise plans and a follow-up care so you are positioned for successful weight loss after surgery. But it's important to realize this transformative journey requires a lifetime of work and commitment from you.


Candidates for bariatric surgery

You may qualify for one of our bariatric surgery programs if you:

  • Are 18 years old or older
  • Have a BMI greater than 40 (known as "morbid obesity")
  • Have a BMI greater than 35 and have one or more serious health conditions related to morbid obesity
  • Are unable to achieve a healthy body weight for a sustained period of time, even with medical weight loss programs

Even if the criteria above are met, not everyone is a candidate for weight loss surgery. To make an informed decision, it's important to educate yourself about the types, benefits and potential complications of the various bariatric surgery methods.

Talking with your doctor, and even with other weight loss surgery patients, can help you better understand the benefits and risks for your individual situation.


Types of bariatric procedures we offer

Most gastric procedures are malabsorptive, meaning they restrict both the food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients your body absorbs. Typically, this is accomplished by reducing your stomach's holding capacity. When eating, this pouch fills quickly, and because you feel full sooner, you eat less.

We offer several common types of bariatric surgeries and nonsurgical weight loss procedures, including:

Adjustable gastric band

Gastric banding is a restrictive operation in which a band is placed around the outside of the upper stomach. By tightening or loosening the band, the rate that food travels from the upper to the lower stomach is controlled, and you are satisfied by smaller meals that fill the small upper pouch.

The adjustable gastric band is surgically implanted during a short, laparoscopic procedure. A port is placed under your skin, which allows saline to be added or removed to adjust the band after surgery. These fast and easy band adjustments take place at your surgeon’s office, clinic or hospital. Your first adjustment will probably be scheduled four to six weeks after your surgery.

Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common and successful type of malabsorptive surgery. First, a small stomach pouch is created to restrict the food intake. Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach and parts of the small intestine.

This bypass is both non-reversible and non-adjustable.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve, is a restrictive form of weight loss surgery in which approximately 85 percent of the stomach is removed. This leaves a cylindrical or sleeve-shaped stomach, which is approximately the size of a banana. The gastric sleeve procedure does not involve any bypass of the intestinal tract and can be performed laparoscopically.

With this surgery, the stomach is drastically reduced in size but its function is preserved. This means the gastric sleeve results in fewer restrictions on the foods you can consume after surgery.

If you have a relatively low BMI, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy may be a good choice. This is especially true if you also have existing conditions, such as anemia or Crohn’s disease, which prevent you from having other forms of bariatric surgery.

Intragastric balloon

The intragastric balloon procedure includes a weight loss device, a "balloon," that occupies space in the stomach. Once in place, the balloon is filled with salt water (saline) so it expands into a spherical shape. The balloon can be filled with different amounts of saline to best match your body structure.

The balloon system is temporary and will be removed after six months. Removal of the intragastric balloon takes around 20 to 30 minutes, similar to when it was inserted.

While the balloon is in place, you will meet regularly with our team to monitor your progress and receive education. This includes training about the nutrition and lifestyle changes you must follow to achieve long-term success. Your regular meetings with the support team will continue for six months after the intragastric balloon is removed.


Minimally invasive weight loss surgery

If performed using a robot-assisted or minimally invasive approach, you can benefit from a faster recovery and less scarring.

Benefits of weight loss surgery

When combined with proper medical weight loss programs, bariatric surgery can help prevent or reduce the impact of many health conditions. This is because excess weight substantially increases the risk of developing one or more conditions, such as:

  • Cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
  • Certain cancers
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Respiratory problems
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes

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The Healthy Living Blog

Read our blogs to learn about preventive care and ways you can lead a healthier lifestyle.

Choosing the right weight loss surgery 

December 20, 2021
Readers may have heard of gastric bypass and other weight loss surgeries, but what is the safest form of weight loss surgery?

Choosing the right weight loss surgery 

December 20, 2021
Readers may have heard of gastric bypass and other weight loss surgeries, but what is the safest form of weight loss surgery?