Ask the Nurse: Understanding Bariatric Surgery
Janice Laviole, RN, Bariatric Coordinator, explains the types of weight-loss surgery available at the George Washington University Hospital and the health benefits patients might expect as a result of the procedure.
Q: Who is a candidate for weight-loss surgery?
To qualify as a candidate you have to be 100 pounds over the ideal weight for your height and age group, or have a body mass index (BMI) — an indicator of body fat based on weight and height — of more than 40. You may qualify if you have a BMI between 35 and 40, but only if you have obesity-related conditions such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea or diabetes. Candidates also have to have been unsuccessful with previous weight-loss efforts, such as medically supervised diets and exercise.
Q: How much weight can I expect to lose?
Most people lose about 10 to 20 pounds a month in the first year after surgery. Weight loss will decrease over time. By sticking to your diet and exercise early on you will lose more weight.*
Q: What kinds of weight-loss surgery does
GW Hospital offer?
We combine two techniques: restrictive, which means shrinking the size of the stomach, and malabsorptive, or rearranging or removing part of the digestive system to limit the amount of calories and nutrients your body can absorb. The surgeries we perform are open or laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and revision of previous weight-loss surgery. With Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the stomach is made smaller through stapling, and the upper absorptive part of the intestine is bypassed. The sleeve gastrectomy involves removing part of the stomach.
*Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.