Bariatric Surgical Procedures


The Roux-en-Y (pronounced ROO-en-why and abbreviated RNY) gastric bypass procedure is the most common type of gastric bypass surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon uses surgical staples to create a pouch in the upper stomach. The pouch is connected directly to the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. The surgery typically takes about two hours.

It is important to note that the upper portion of the small intestine—which is bypassed, or gone around, in Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients—absorbs iron and calcium best. Since this portion of the intestine is removed from the digestive process after surgery, it is very important for RNY patients to include iron and calcium supplements in their lifelong nutrition plans after surgery. Vitamin B12 and vitamin B1 will also have to be supplemented.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The Sleeve is another surgical weight-loss procedure option. During this procedure, the surgeon staples off and removes about 85% of the stomach. The patient is then left with a very small stomach. This procedure assists in losing weight by restriction, meaning it limits the amount of food that can be taken in at one time. The surgery typically takes about one hour and is performed laparoscopically.

Even though this is a restrictive procedure and not a mal-absorptive procedure, vitamin supplements are required. With such a low caloric intake the diet alone will not supply all the necessary vitamins.

Adjustable Gastric Band

The adjustable gastric band weight-loss procedure is a minimally invasive surgery that creates a small pouch in the upper portion of the stomach, allowing patients to feel full longer. During the typically hour-long procedure, the surgeon places a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach, creating a pouch that can hold only a small amount of food. The larger, lower part of the stomach is connected to the newly formed pouch by a small outlet through the band. Also, an access port will be placed in your abdomen to be used for adjusting the band.

This type of procedure is unique in that it is adjustable—after surgery, patients can undergo a simple procedure to adjust the band. To adjust, a needle is inserted through the abdomen and injects or removes saline solution in the band, making it tighter or looser, depending on the patient’s needs.

After Surgery

Remember surgery is only one component of a successful weight-loss treatment plan. A diet high in protein, an exercise program and a support network are also essential in order to successfully meet your weight-loss goals.

A key component of a successful weight-loss surgery treatment plan is support. Support should come from a variety of places. Start by being sure your friends and family are aware of your goals and ask them for their help. In addition, it is helpful to participate in a support group to connect with others who are experiencing the same challenges and milestones that you are. Finally, diet and exercise support is available through Colorado Bariatric Surgery to help keep your goal of a healthy lifestyle in mind.

Learn more about our support groups by calling us at 303-789-1877 or toll free, 800-332-7291.