To meet the needs of as many patients as possible in the Baltimore, MD, and Washington, D.C. region, MedStar Health offers several types of weight loss surgery. The majority of weight loss surgeries use a laparoscopic technique, which is considered minimally invasive. Laparoscopic surgery usually results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.
As with any abdominal surgery, potential risks exist; however, with bariatric surgery, these risks are further complicated because of the patient's extra weight. You should discuss the benefits and risks of each type of surgery in detail with your surgeon and our bariatric surgery team, to determine which one is right for you.
Our board-certified surgeons—who have extensive experience in minimally invasive and robotic bariatric surgical procedures—lead our multi-disciplinary bariatric team. A nurse program coordinator, dietician, and an exercise physiologist coordinate your care and guide you through the entire process of bariatric surgery. Extensive follow-up care provides the support you need well after whichever procedure you have.
Laparoscopic gastric banding, commonly known as Lap-Band®, is the least extreme surgical option. During Lap-Band System™ surgery, an adjustable gastric band is placed around the upper part of thw stomach. The band creates a smaller stomach pouch, decreasing the amount that can be ingested at any one time, as well as the time it takes for the smaller stomach pouch to empty. These bands are adjusted in a minor office procedure, until optimal weight loss is achieved.
During a sleeve gastrectomy, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device, and the rest of the stomach is removed, reducing the stomach to approximately 15 percent of its oringinal size. By reducing the size of the stomach, the amount of food that can be ingested is decreased. Additionally, the hormone responsible for signaling hunger is contained in the portion of the stomach removed.
Gastric bypass may be right for individuals whose excess weight and weight-related medical conditions threaten to shorten their lives. During gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is divided to make a smaller pouch. This smaller pouch is then attached to a portion of the intestine, bypassing the larger stomach and the first part of the smaller intestine. The surgery changes the absorption rate of food, as well as decreasing the amount that can be ingested.
MedStar Health’s bariatric surgeons are trained in the latest technologies, including robotic surgery. The da Vinci® Surgical System is used for laparoscopic gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy procedures. During a robotic procedure, the surgeon inserts tiny robotic instruments and a camera into small incisions in the abdomen. The surgeon then controls the surgery from a nearby console. Learn more about robotic surgery here.