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Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, can help you lose weight by making your stomach smaller or changing the way your small intestine absorbs food. It’s done by surgeons who are specially trained in weight loss surgery.

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Weight loss surgery is one of the most effective treatments for achieving your weight loss goals. The benefits of bariatric surgery may include:

  • Improved health – Losing weight may help you improve weight-related health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, arthritis and heart and vascular disease.
  • Greater mobility – As you lose weight, everyday activities may become easier and you may become more active.
  • Positive emotional changes – When you feel better about the way you look, it can make you feel more confident, raise your self-esteem and improve your social life.

Bariatric surgery may be right for you if you’re between 18 and 74 years old and have:

  • body mass index (BMI), of 40 or more.
  • A BMI of 35 or more with a weight-related health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.
  • Have been unsuccessful trying to lose weight following a weight loss or diet plan.

The bariatric surgery team at PeaceHealth can help you decide if weight loss surgery is right for you.

Bariatric surgery at PeaceHealth

You don’t have to struggle with weight loss on your own. The weight loss team at PeaceHealth is here to help you succeed with your weight loss goals.

MBSAQIP Accreditation logo

Weight loss surgery expertise

PeaceHealth is designated as a comprehensive bariatric facility by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This means you will receive quality care before, during and after weight loss surgery.

Expert surgeons

The bariatric surgeons at PeaceHealth offer advanced bariatric surgery approaches. Most of the procedures are done using minimally invasive methods. These methods use smaller incisions (cuts), which may help you to recover faster.

Comprehensive support

PeaceHealth offers a wide range of support — from informational seminars, dietitian and psychological expertise — to help you decide if surgery is right for you, to ongoing support and education that helps empower you to reach your weight loss goals.

An experienced weight loss team

PeaceHealth's bariatric surgery program offers the combined expertise of surgeons, weight loss experts and others who specialize in weight-related conditions. PeaceHealth has a diabetes wellness program, a sleep disorders center and a well-respected heart and vascular center. These resources are available to you to help you with healthy weight loss.

Treatments Provided

Gastric bypass surgery (Roux-en-Y)

This procedure creates a small pouch in your upper stomach that will become your new, smaller stomach. The pouch is connected to the middle part of your small intestine, bypassing the lower part of your stomach and the upper part of your small intestine. A smaller stomach helps you to feel full faster, because food bypasses part of the small intestine and fewer calories are absorbed.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy

This procedure creates a stomach pouch about the size of a banana — which is about 15 percent of your stomach’s original size. Similar to gastric bypass surgery, the smaller stomach pouch helps you feel full sooner. 

Post-surgery support (bariatric)

After your surgery, you will have a full spectrum of support available to help you reach your weight loss goals:

  • Dietitians trained to help you learn how to eat healthier.
  • Support groups to provide you encouragement from others who’ve had bariatric surgery and maintained their weight loss.
  • Ongoing education to help you embrace your new lifestyle and support you in the healthy habits you’ve learned.
Duodenal switch

This highly effective procedure changes the size of your stomach and the length of your small intestine. It combines two techniques for greater weight loss. One is restriction (the volume of food you can eat at one time). The other is malabsorption (the amount of food you can absorb from your intestines into your bloodstream).

Your surgeon will first do a simple sleeve gastrectomy. This procedure uses surgical staples to shrink your stomach to about the size of a banana. This limits how much food you can eat at a meal. You'll then have an intestinal bypass procedure. It is like gastric bypass, but technically different. Intestinal bypass shortens your small intestine by 50 to 75%. Food doesn’t have to travel as far from your stomach through your intestine, so you absorb fewer nutrients. See an animation of how it’s done.

People who have this surgery lose about 80% of their extra weight within two years. And 9 out of 10 maintain significant long-term weight. It works well for people with Type 2 diabetes, many of whom can stop taking medication after their surgery.

Duodenal switch is a complicated procedure, so it’s not widely available. PeaceHealth Southwest does more of these operations than any other hospital in the Portland metro area. Higher volumes generally lead to better outcomes. This means you can feel confident about your surgical team's expertise.

When you consider duodenal switch, it's important to know that insurance coverage varies. Some companies have BMI restrictions and authorization coverage for this procedure. We can help you check with your health plan to see what's covered for you.