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Weight loss (or bariatric) surgery changes the stomach and digestive process, with the goal of weight loss. This can be accomplished by:

  • Restriction: limiting the amount of food intake
  • Malabsorption: bypassing the small intestine where calorie absorption happens
  • Combination of both restriction and malabsorption

Atrium Health offers three surgeries:

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
    Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is one of the most frequently performed weight loss procedures in the United States. In this procedure, stapling creates a small stomach pouch. The remainder of the stomach is not removed, but is completely stapled shut and divided from the stomach pouch. The outlet from this newly formed pouch empties directly into the jejunum (part of the small intestine), reducing the amount of calories your body can absorb. This is done by dividing the small intestine to construct a connection with the newly formed stomach pouch. The other end is connected to the side of the Roux limb of the intestine creating the “Y” shape that gives the technique its name.
  • Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
    In this procedure, the stomach is stapled and divided vertically. About 85 percent or more of the stomach is removed. The stomach that remains is shaped like a very slim banana and measures from two to four ounces. There is no intestinal bypass with this procedure, only stomach reduction.
  • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band
    Like a wristwatch, an inflatable silicone band is fastened around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny stomach pouch that limits and controls the amount of food you eat. It also creates a small outlet that slows the emptying process into the stomach and the intestines. As a result, you should feel full and be satisfied with smaller amounts of food, which results in weight loss.

Am I a candidate for bariatric weight loss surgery?

To be considered for bariatric surgery, you need to meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are between the ages of 18 and 70
  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of over 35
  • You are currently experiencing serious effects (such as high blood pressure or diabetes) related to being severely overweight
  • You are unable to achieve a healthy body weight, even through medically supervised dieting
  • You are highly motivated to make an important lifestyle change

Calculate my BMI

Your Body Mass Index Classification Your Health Risk
Under 18.5 Underweight Minimal
18.5 - 24.9 Normal weight Minimal
25 - 29.9 Overweight Increased
30 - 34.9 Obese High
35 - 39.9 Severely Obese Very high
40 and over Morbidly Obese Extremely high

If you BMI is over 35, take the first step toward weight loss. Sign-up for a free weight loss seminar.

Pathway to Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

You'll go through the following steps as we help you achieve your goals for weight loss.

  1. Free information session – Required for anyone interested in weight loss surgery. Register for an upcoming seminar or call 800-358-1895.
  2. Health history form
  3. Verify insurance – Our insurance coordinator will help you with any insurance or payment issues.
  4. Consultation – with a bariatric nurse and surgeon.
  5. Psychological assessment
  6. Pre-surgery prep
  7. Surgery
  8. Post-surgery doctor visits
  9. On-going support – We'll be there in the months and years after your surgery with continuing support you as you embrace a new, healthier lifestyle.
  10. Support Groups

Patient Testimonials

Mike: Lost 157 lbs. Gained a New Outlook on Life

Best Children's Hospitals -  U.S. News - Orthopedics 2015-16

"I now have a life I never knew I was missing. So much has changed for me, but even the little things are wonderful: I get in an out of the car with ease. Walking doesn't exhaust me after 10 minutes. My mind is clear and thought processes come easier. I actually want to do physical activities I never would’ve considered before. And that's just the beginning."

 

Chad: Lost 136 lbs. Gained Endless Energy

Best Children's Hospitals -  U.S. News - Orthopedics 2015-16

"I knew that I needed to change my life. I was unhealthy, and I wasn't pleased with the direction my life was taking. This surgery has been the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I feel like a new person. I have an incredible amount of energy and feel like I could just keep going and going.

 

Lisa Lost 115 lbs. Gained a Healthy Lifestyle

Best Children's Hospitals -  U.S. News - Orthopedics 2015-16

In struggling with my weight my whole life, I managed to diet my way to over 300 lbs. And that was with every combination of diet and exercise program around! At that weight, life was a constant struggle and I was very worried about my health. Even though I was young, I had high blood pressure, was borderline diabetic and suffered from constant lower back pain. Once I went to the patient seminar and got all the information, I immediately knew it was right for me. Since my surgery, I no longer have high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels or lower back pain!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

One of our bariatric surgeons answers some of your most frequent questions.

How long does the surgery take?
Most cases require about 2 hours of actual operating time, but this varies.

How long am I in the hospital?
Most patients remain in the hospital for two days for gastric bypass. Many adjustable gastric banding patients may go home the same day.

How long will I be out of work?
Many people find they are ready to return to work in two weeks. Some feel they can return earlier, some later.

Is there another treatment option for those who don’t qualify for surgery?
Atrium Health's offers several outstanding options for those who don't need bariatric surgery. Our non-surgical weight loss options include a customized weight management program, and a non-surgical weight loss procedure, known as the gastric balloon procedure. Click here to learn more.

Which types of weight loss surgery are performed at Atrium Health?
We offer three procedures: adjustable gastric band, the gastric sleeve and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

Why should I consider surgery at Atrium Health?
Our program is one of the few centers to be designated a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. We have performed hundreds of successful bariatric surgeries and offer a full range of lifestyle and lifelong bariatric support programs.

What are the benefits of surgery?
Bariatric surgery can lead to massive weight loss. Long term, you can expect to lose a minimum of 50 percent of the excess weight and often much more. Along with increasing your lifespan, you'll find that your chances of serious complications from obesity are reduced dramatically.

Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?
All insurance coverage is different, so this depends on your individual insurance plan. We will ask you to bring your photo ID and insurance card to one of our FREE bariatric information sessions. This will allow our insurance coordinator to review your insurance plan and assess your coverage before any surgery is scheduled.

What kind of foods can I eat after surgery?
Most people who have had a gastric sleeve or adjustable gastric band procedure can eat all the foods they enjoyed before the surgery, but in smaller portions.

Will I ever gain weight after surgery?
Obesity itself can cause biological changes within your body that can make you more susceptible to weight regain. But it’s rare for you to regain all the weight you lost, and with proper nutrition and lifestyle changes, you should be able to keep your weight off for a lifetime.

Weight Loss Surgery Locations

Atrium Health Weight Management
2630 E. 7th Street, Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28204
Phone: 704-355-9484
Fax: 704-446-4983
Map
Directions
Atrium Health Weight Management Ballantyne
14214 Ballantyne Lake Road, Suite 150
Charlotte, NC 28277
Phone: 704-667-2681
Fax: 704-667-4301
Map
Directions
Atrium Health Weight Management - Concord
1090 Vinehaven Drive, NE
Concord, NC 28025
Phone: 704-403-7580
Fax: 704-403-7581
Map
Directions

One of the most common weight loss surgeries, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass helps you lose weight by limiting your food intake and calorie absorption.

In this procedure, a stapling method is used to create a small pouch in the stomach, which can only hold a small amount of food.

The newly formed pouch is then attached to the small intestine, allowing food to bypass part of the small intestine, which is where most of the calorie absorption takes place.

This procedure helps you achieve lasting results by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion.

Like a wristwatch, an inflatable silicone band is wrapped around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny pouch. This stomach pouch limits and controls the amount of food you eat.

A small outlet is also created to slow the emptying process into the stomach and intestines. As a result, you should feel full and be satisfied with smaller amounts of food, which leads to weight loss.

The band can be adjusted or removed, making this one of the only reversible weight loss procedures.

In this commonly done procedure, a large amount of the stomach is removed. A small pouch (or sleeve) is created with the remaining portion of the stomach (about the size and shape of a banana).

The small stomach pouch restricts the amount of food that can be consumed, resulting in weight loss.

The duodenal switch procedure, also known as biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, helps you lose weight by restricting the amount of food your stomach can hold and the amount of calories your body absorbs.

The first part of the surgery is a sleeve gastrectomy in which a large portion of the stomach is removed. A small pouch (or sleeve) is created with the remaining portion (about the size and shape of a banana).

In the second part of the surgery, a section of the small intestine is rerouted. This results in food moving more quickly through your digestive system, which also means fewer calories are absorbed.

Bariatric surgery can lead to massive weight loss. Long term, you can expect to lose at least 50% of your excess weight and often much more. Along with bettering your quality of life and increasing your lifespan, you'll also improve or eliminate obesity-related conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers.

Your bariatric surgeon and dietitian will explain the diet you need to follow, in detail, before and after surgery, including what types of food are best, portion size and meal frequency. They’ll also provide guidance on supplementation to ensure you’re receiving the right amount of vitamins and minerals.

Obesity itself can cause biological changes within your body that can make you more likely to regain weight. But, it’s rare to regain all the weight you lost, and with proper nutrition and certain lifestyle changes, you can keep the weight off for a lifetime.

Candidates for bariatric surgery:

  • Must be between 18 and 70 years old (in most cases)
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more (calculate your BMI)
  • Often have a chronic disease, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea
  • Should be highly motivated to make lasting lifestyle changes
Most bariatric surgeries take about 2 hours of actual operating time, but this varies.
Surgery recovery times differ based on the type of surgery as well as the patient. Most patients remain in the hospital for 1 to 2 days for gastric bypass. Many adjustable gastric band patients go home the same day.
Most people are ready to return to work in 2 weeks. Some feel they can return earlier, some later.

We offer 4 types of weight loss surgery: adjustable gastric band, gastric sleeve, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and duodenal switch.

Our bariatric surgery program is a MBSAQIP Accredited-Comprehensive Center. Being an accredited MBSAQIP center means we meet the highest-quality bariatric surgical standards and have quality improvement actions in place. We’ve also performed hundreds of successful bariatric surgeries and offer lifelong support, including bariatric support groups.
All insurance coverage is different, so this depends on your individual insurance plan. We have insurance coordinators to review your insurance plan and assess your coverage before surgery is scheduled.

While there are many checkups and meetings in between, these are the basic steps you’ll go through:

  1. Free information seminar - required for anyone interested in weight loss surgery
  2. Health history form
  3. Verify insurance - our insurance coordinators will help with any issues
  4. Consultation with bariatric surgeon
  5. Psychological assessment
  6. Pre-surgery prep
  7. Surgery
  8. Post-surgery doctor visits
  9. Ongoing support
  10. Support group meetings

Learn more about our bariatric surgery program.

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