Procedures

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Gastric Sleeve (VSG)

Gastric sleeve surgery, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss surgery that removes about 80 to 85 percent of the stomach. This type of bariatric surgery can also be referred to as sleeve gastrectomy, vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), tube gastrectomy, or stomach surgery.

Gastric Bypass (RNY)

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, that is performed on patients who have tried and failed to lose weight losing using traditional methods. RNY is the gold standard in bariatric surgery. It is a very effective method for achieving weight loss at any BMI.

Mini Gastric Bypass (MGB)

Mini gastric bypass surgery (MGB) is a laparoscopic gastric bypass weight loss surgery that can be revised. It is very similar to the traditional RNY surgery, but only has one connection to the small intestine. Compared to RNY, mini gastric bypass is less invasive and requires less time for surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery (VSG)

Gastric sleeve surgery, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss surgery that removes about 80 to 85 percent of the stomach. This type of bariatric surgery can also be referred to as sleeve gastrectomy, vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), tube gastrectomy, or stomach surgery .

 

Potential sleeve patients are those with BMI of 30 or higher and those with an increased risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes, and other obesity-related diseases. To see if you’re a qualified candidate for sleeve gastrectomy please contact our specialized staff.

 

Price: $5,800*

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While the laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery may be considered a new procedure, it has been performed since 1988. It was originally used as a “first-stage” procedure in patients with a high BMI and/or with serious co-morbidities. The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) would be performed on the patient with the expectation that a second procedure (either the Roux-en Y gastric bypass or the duodenal switch) would be performed after the patient had lost enough weight so that the second procedure could be safely performed. It was discovered that many patients did so well with the gastric sleeve procedures alone as a successful treatment of morbid obesity that they did not need the second procedure.

 

In this procedure there is no rerouting of the small intestines, and no new connections need to be made. This makes the VSG safer, easier, and faster to perform. The lack of rerouting of the intestines also reduces the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and can also be easily converted to another procedure such as gastric bypass or duodenal switch.

 

The surgery is laparoscopic in nature by making five little incisions on the abdomen of the patient. These are used to insert the instruments and scope needed to complete the procedure. The surgeon will then create a small stomach by stapling the larger stomach down to a size that is approximately 80–85% smaller than the original. Sleeve procedures take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete.  The new, smaller stomach, shaped like a banana, will already be attached to the inlet and outlet for the stomach. The sense of hunger will be reduced because the portion of the stomach that contains ghrelin, the hunger hormone, will be removed.

 

Like your shoe size, everyone has a different sized stomach. When the surgeon makes your pouch, a cylindrical measuring device (bougie), is inserted into your stomach as a guide. As stomachs are different sizes, it may mean that your pouch is a little longer or shorter than someone else’s. The new smaller stomach will limit the amount of food you can eat at one time by about 85 percent. Your pouch might handle 4 ounces easily, while someone else’s can only handle 2.5 ounces. It is also important to know that the triple row of surgical staples is always over-sutured. Some surgeons call this suturing of the staple line “double buttress” but just means that the risk of complications and chances of developing a leak are greatly reduced. Some non-ALM surgeons skip this part, leaving patients with a higher risk of leaks and complications. The tiny medical grade titanium staples used are safe for CAT scans, MRIs, and airport scans. They will remain in place forever.

Gastric Bypass Surgery (RNY)

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, that is performed on patients who have tried and failed to lose weight losing using traditional methods. RNY is the gold standard in bariatric surgery in the United States. It is a very effective method for achieving weight loss at any BMI, especially in the “sweet eater” group, due to the malabsorptive mechanism that is produced.

 

Price: $6,900*

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Gastric bypass surgery makes the stomach much smaller. The new stomach (pouch) has a capacity of about two ounces. This surgery also allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. You will feel full more quickly than when your stomach was its original size of about two quarts, which reduces the amount of food you eat and thus the calories consumed. However, you will not feel hungry after eating those small portions like you would if your stomach were its original size. Plus, the calories contained in the foods that you eat aren’t absorbed as well by your system due to the intestinal bypass, further reducing total calories taken in. The combination of these two factors leads to weight loss.

 

In the RNY gastric bypass operation, the stomach is made smaller by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach using surgical staples. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine (jejunum), bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum).

 

The surgery takes approximately two hours and is performed under general anesthesia using the laparoscopic approach (keyhole). Our surgeons have each performed over 1,000 bariatric procedures. The technique of using staples on all openings created in the surgery instead of hand sewing was developed at UCLA and is routinely used by our surgeons. The use of this method resulted in no leaks in the last 800 patients, thus drastically reducing the risk of complications.

 

The results of the gastric bypass speak for themselves, as this surgical option has stood the test of time. A positive surgical outcome means achieving and maintaining a weight loss of at least 50% of your excess weight. Patients that follow the diet and exercise program achieve the best and fastest results.

Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery (MGB)

Mini gastric bypass surgery (MGB) is a laparoscopic gastric bypass weight loss surgery that can be revised. It is very similar to the traditional RNY surgery, but only has one connection to the small intestine. Compared to RNY, mini gastric bypass is less invasive and requires less time for surgery. MGB is a restrictive procedure that impairs the absorption of food nutrients across the gastrointestinal tract. With MGB, proper nutrition, diet, and exercise, patients can expect to lose a significant amount of their excess weight.

 

Price: $6,900*

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Mini gastric bypass surgery (MGB) is a laparoscopic weight loss surgery that can be revised. It is very similar to the traditional RNY bypass but only has one connection (single anastomosis) to the small intestine. Compared to gastric sleeve surgery and RNY, the MGB procedure is less invasive and requires less time for surgery and recovery. The complete procedure takes about 90 minutes or less and patient can be released from the hospital in 72 hours.

 

Instead of a small pouch like with the gastric sleeve, the mini gastric bypass surgery procedure creates a narrow tube-like pouch that holds approximately 1-2 ounces, restricting the amount of food that can be taken in at one time. The small intestine is then attached or looped to the new pouch approximately six to seven feet from its starting point. This placement bypasses the part of the intestines that allows for less nutrients, calories, and fats to be absorbed by the body, causing weight loss.

 

MGB is a mal-absorptive and restrictive procedure. Because you will eat less and absorb fewer calories, you will lose weight. Following surgery, and for the remainder of your life, it is important to take a bariatric multivitamin, calcium, vitamin B12, and iron (for women of menstruating age). With MGB, patients who employ proper nutrition, diet, and exercise can expect to lose up to 50% to 70% of their excess weight. They are also more likely to experience an overall well being and reduction of many co-morbidities associated with a person suffering from obesity.

 

Because this is a laparoscopic procedure, and no large incision is needed to perform mini gastric bypass surgery, there is a lower risk of large surgical scars or hernia. This procedure has a shorter operating time and less post-op complications reported.

 

Recent studies have shown that patients can expect to lose similarly to the traditional bypass, up to 50% to 70% of their excess weight by the end of the first year, and slightly more by the third year post-op. Usually the Mini Gastric Bypass is effective for people with a BMI of 35 and several co-morbidities.

Revision Surgery

Have you had a previous weight loss surgery? Are you experiencing problems, complications, and/or not losing the weight expected? A Lighter Me offers several solutions to revise your previous procedure into one that may prove more effective.* These procedures include revising failed lap bands or other unsuccessful procedures to a sleeve, a bypass, or duodenal switch (DS). Contact an ALM coordinator to discuss your situation and learn about favorable revision options.

 

Price: $6,500*

Plastic Surgery

After extreme weight loss, many patients find that plastic surgery will be necessary to complete their transformation. Removing excess skin will aid in general health, personal hygiene, finding clothes that fit, and overall self-image. For these reasons, we offer excess skin removal, tummy tucks, and other cosmetic surgeries for our patients relating to bariatric surgery.

 

Price: By quote only

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All Pricing Includes:

All standard medical related costs including the surgeon and anesthesiologist.

Pre-op hotel room for you and your companion.

Two nights in the surgical center.

Ground transportation to/from the airport.

Aftercare with a certified bariatric nurse

* = $500 additional for BMI of 50 or greater.