At Covenant Health, our commitment is to offer care and treatment for our patients before, during and after surgery.
If you are considering weight loss surgery, you will want to educate yourself on this life-changing procedure. We are here to answer your questions and to assist you in determining if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery.
If you or someone you love is morbidly obese, you already know how damaging it can be. Excess weight can impact your health, self-esteem and relationships. People who suffer with morbid obesity are faced with a shorter life expectancy and are at a much higher risk for other diseases such as high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and sleep apnea. The true measure of the operation's success is achieving a greater quality of life by improving and eliminating these conditions.
Diet and exercise fail 95 percent of the time when a person is 75 to 100 pounds over their ideal body weight. Bariatric weight loss surgery may be the next step for people who remain severely obese after trying non-surgical approaches, or for people who have an obesity-related disease. We specialize in providing the gold standard of health care by performing the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Lap Band, Gastric Sleeve and Duodenal Switch procedures.
Bariatric surgery can be done in two ways – laparoscopic or open.
Laparoscopic surgery uses a camera is placed in your belly and requires four to six small cuts in your belly. The surgeon will pass the camera through one of these cuts. It will be connected to a video monitor in the operating room. Your surgeon will look at the monitor to see inside your belly. Surgical instruments will be inserted through the other cuts.
Advantages of laparoscopy over open surgery include:
- Shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery
- Less pain
- Smaller scars and a lower risk of hernia or infection
With open surgery, your surgeon will make a larger surgical cut to open up your belly. Your surgeon will do the bypass by working through the incision to access your stomach, small intestine and other organs.
Bariatric surgery generally takes one to four hours for the surgeon to complete the procedure.
With any bariatric procedure, the amount of weight loss and overall success depends on your motivation and commitment to a new lifestyle and eating habits. Bariatric surgery is a powerful tool to aide in weight loss and overall health. Itcan help you achieve longer lasting weight loss by limiting the amount you can eat, reducing your appetite and slowing digestion.
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery is a bariatric surgical procedure designed to help patients lose weight. It uses laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) techniques to close part of the stomach, creating a smaller upper stomach pouch that bypasses the lower stomach. This helps limit the amount of fat and calories you absorb from food.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive bariatric surgical procedure. It uses laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) techniques to remove about 75 percent of the stomach pouch, creating a gastric sleeve that helps limit food intake.
Gastric banding surgery is a restrictive bariatric surgical procedure. It uses laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) techniques and a silicone band to create a smaller stomach pouch that helps limit food intake. It does so without disrupting normal digestive processes.
Duodenal switch makes changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight by limiting how much you can eat and by reducing the absorption of nutrients. The duodenal switch combines the creation of a moderately sized stomach pouch (about the size and shape of a banana) with bypassing a longer part of the small intestine.
At Covenant Health, you'll find several resources to help you through your weight loss journey. When you elect to undergo any weight loss procedure at our hospital, you will also receive support in nutrition counseling and from our education and support groups.
Covenant's bariatric services program doesn't end with your weight loss surgery. We will give you the right tools to make sure your weight loss journey is a life-long success. You will have the opportunity to work with our bariatric dietician to design a nutritional plan that fits your new lifestyle.
Weight loss procedures alter your body's natural digestive process. Because of this, nutritional counseling is crucial in helping you learn the best eating techniques. You will learn basic nutritional skills to assist you in eating out or cooking at home.
Covenant Health offers educational opportunities to our bariatric services patients, before and after surgery. If you're interested in learning more about any of the procedures we offer, please attend one of our free bariatric seminars. Call 806-725-0000 and ask about bariatric services.
Support groups are also available to help new and former patients connect in a fun and safe environment to learn about what to expect before, during and after undergoing weight loss surgery.
Support groups are a free community event held monthly at Knipling Education Conference Center, located on the 6th floor of the parking garage on the Southeast corner of 21st & Louisville. Available to anyone who has had bariatric surgery, our support groups are led by the bariatric nurse specialist and the bariatric dietitian. Family members and potential patients are also welcome to attend. Registration is not necessary for support groups – please join us. Sugar-free drinks are served.
- American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Obesity Education Initiative
After bariatric surgery, success is in your hands. The changes you make need to be lifelong commitments. Follow any instructions you are given on nutrition and activity. Be aware that how you see yourself and how others see you may change. Turn to those close to you for support. They can help you adjust to your new life.
What to expect as you lose weight
Most likely, you will lose weight steadily each month after surgery. The most rapid weight loss often happens during the first six months after surgery. Most patients lose more than half their excess weight in the first year and a half. After that, you may gain a small amount of weight back. This is normal.
Changing your eating habits
To stay healthy, you may be given guidelines to follow, such as:
- Choose high-protein foods to help prevent nutritional problems
- Eat slowly; take small bites; chew each bite well before swallowing it
- Stop eating as soon as you feel full
- Do not snack between scheduled meals
- Drink sugar-free liquids, such as water, between (not with) meals; wait one hour after meals before drinking liquids
- Take vitamins as directed
- Avoid fibrous foods, such as celery, string beans and unprocessed meat
- Avoid alcohol and carbonated drinks
Covenant Health provides Nutritional counseling with a registered dietician for all of our bariatric patients.
Having an active lifestyle
These tips can help you succeed:
- Choose a form of exercise you enjoy
- Exercise at your own pace
- Ask a friend to join you
- Keep a record of your exercise activity in a calendar or notebook; some people find this a good way to track their progress and stay motivated
You might talk to:
- Friends and family members.
- Other bariatric surgery patients. Often they know just what you're going through. You may find other patients through a support group at your bariatric surgery program, or there may be a group in your local community.
- A mental health professional. If you spoke with one before surgery, you might seek him or her out again. Special counseling or classes may be suggested.
Like any surgery, weight loss procedures can be intimidating. That's why we've tried to answer a few common questions here for anyone considering bariatric surgery.
What type of procedures are there?
Covenant Health's weight loss surgical procedures are minimally invasive or laparoscopic. We offer:
- Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
- Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap-Band®)
- Gastric Sleeve (Sleeve Gastrectomy)
- Duodenal Switch (biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch)
How do I know if weight loss surgery is right for me?
If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, have other health problems or struggle with weight loss, come to a free seminar to learn more and speak with a surgeon.
How do I know which procedure is right for me?
There are a number of factors that help determine which procedure fits a particular patient the best. Come to our free seminar to hear first-hand about the surgical options, ask questions and speak with one of our weight loss surgeons. You and your surgeon will determine which procedure is right for you.
Do I get to meet the surgeons?
Yes, you get to meet, talk to and ask questions of one of our weight loss surgeons at the free seminar, and have a one-on-one consultation with your surgeon to discuss your specific needs and determine which procedure is the best for you.
How do I get more information?
We're glad you're exploring your weight loss surgery options at Covenant Health.
To help determine if bariatric surgery is right for you, please consider the following characteristics:
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40. Calculate your BMI*.
- Have a BMI of 35 to 40 with obesity-related medical conditions, such as diabetes, severe sleep apnea, uncontrolled hypertension or severe osteoarthritis
- Have a BMI of 30 to 35 with diabetes
- Have tried to lose weight but have been unsuccessful
- Are healthy enough to undergo the operation
- Understand the surgical risks, benefit and limitations of surgery
- Commit to lifestyle changes after surgery
*BMI calculator disclaimer: Please remember that this is only one of many possible ways to assess your weight. If you have any concerns about your weight, please discuss them with your physician, who is in a position (unlike this BMI calculator) to address your specific situation.