Types of weight loss surgeries

Find the right bariatric surgery approach and take the first step to better health.

Weight loss surgery works by causing a number of metabolic changes in your body—both in the chemicals and hormones your body makes and your body’s nerve signals. These changes cause your body to regulate and lower your weight level.

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is done using a laparoscopic technique, with a camera and small incisions.

The surgery reduces the size of the stomach from the size of a cantaloupe to the size of an egg, creating a 1- to 2-ounce stomach pouch. The small intestine is cut and reattached to the new stomach pouch.

By bypassing a portion of the small intestine, food passes faster and fewer calories are absorbed.

Advantages of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

  • On average, patients will lose 70-75% of their excess body weight after surgery. Weight loss usually plateaus between 18 and 24 months.
  • Maintained weight loss is most common after this surgery.
  • This is the most effective long-term treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  • This is the most appropriate weight loss surgery for patients with acid reflux.
  • Most patients see improvements in other medical problems associated with obesity, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis after successful surgical weight loss.

Gastric bypass illustration

A sleeve gastrectomy is done using a camera and small incisions to reduce the size of the stomach and create a small “sleeve” that looks like a tube or banana. This surgery removes about 80% of the stomach.

Not only does it help you lose weight by reducing the amount of food you can eat, it also removes the part of the stomach that effects the hormones that control hunger.

Advantages of sleeve gastrectomy

  • On average, patients will lose 65-70% of their excess body weight.
  • This surgery does not require reconstruction of the GI tract.
  • There is no dumping syndrome as seen with gastric bypass.
  • There is no malabsorption as seen with gastric bypass.
  • Most patients see improvements in other medical problems associated with obesity including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis after successful surgical weight loss.

Sleeve gastrectomy illustration

The LAP-BAND® wraps an inflatable band around the upper portion of the stomach to create a small pouch, allowing for adjustments as you lose weight. While gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy are the more common weight loss surgeries, this procedure is at times the best option for patients that need something less invasive.

Placement of lap bands is currently offered at Poudre Valley Hospital and University of Colorado Hospital. All locations offer revisions of previous LAP-BAND surgeries, as well as ongoing maintenance and management of patients with the LAP-BAND.

Advantages of the LAP-BAND®:

  • Patients can expect to lose 50% of their excess weight over the first 3 years (average weight loss). Patients can maintain that loss long term.
  • The LAP-BAND is less invasive than other bariatric surgeries. There is no cutting or stapling of the stomach or intestines.
  • The LAP-BAND decreases hunger and makes you feel full longer.
  • There is no malabsorption of nutrients. However, a daily multivitamin is recommended since food intake is decreased.
  • Illnesses associated with obesity such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and asthma may improve or resolve with weight loss.
  • The LAP-BAND is removable, although it is meant to stay in place permanently.

Adjustable gastric band illustration

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS) is performed only at University of Colorado Hospital.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS) is a less-common weight loss procedure in which a smaller stomach pouch is created and most of the small bowel is bypassed. This surgery is reserved for those with BMIs over 50 or as a back-up procedure for those who have failed a bypass or sleeve.

Although BPD/DS produces the greatest amount of weight loss, it has the greatest number of side effects. Strict adherence to guidelines after surgery is critical to avoid malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies that can cause serious complications.

Advantages of Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch

  • Can result in greater weight loss than gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy and the LAP-BAND®.
  • Like other bariatric procedures, it decreases hunger and makes you feel full longer.
  • Illnesses associated with obesity such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and asthma may improve or resolve with weight loss.

Biliopancreatic diversion illustration

Revision surgery

Sometimes one procedure isn't enough.

What is revision surgery?

The reality with weight loss surgery is that one procedure sometimes isn’t enough, meaning patients relapse and gain back their weight.

The severity of the relapse depends on the original weight loss procedure. When relapsed individuals have an additional procedure, it’s called revision surgery. UCHealth offers revision surgery that can help patients treat specific symptoms and lose weight again.

Our weight loss surgery locations