Weight Loss
Treatments & Services

Surgical Options

We have seen many people transform their health and their lives through the Emory Bariatric Center. When people lose weight and maintain the weight loss, they often benefit from significant improvements in some or all of the following:

  • Blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes management
  • Sleep apnea and sleep quality
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Joint pain and arthritis
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Activity level
  • Cholesterol/lipid profile
  • Wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence

Our multidisciplinary team includes bariatric surgeons, a medical bariatrician, dietitians, and consulting psychologists. The strength of our weight loss program lies in the individualized approach and ongoing support including medical monitoring, wellness coaching, nutrition counseling, and support group meetings.

Our bariatric surgical options include:

Laparoscopic Gastric Band (Lap Band) Surgery

Laparoscopic gastric banding, or the "lap band" procedure, involves the placement of an adjustable gastric band around the top part of the stomach, which divides it into two parts: a small upper pouch and a lower stomach. The size of the gastric lap band is adjusted using a port placed under your skin. Adjusting the lap band changes how much you can eat and how quickly food leaves the new pouch so patients feel full sooner and longer than usual.

Gastric banding surgery risks include, but are not limited to: gastric perforation, port leakage or twisting, lack of satiety, reflux, nausea and vomiting, infection, outlet obstruction, pouch or esophageal dilation and band slippage.

The ideal candidate for the lap band procedure will have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 40, or approximately 100 pounds overweight for men, and 80 pounds for women. Lap band surgery may also be an option for people with a BMI between 35 and 40 who suffer from chronic or life threatening complications associated with obesity.

The gastric lap band procedure is fully reversible when medically indicated and does not involve the use of cutting or staples. A few of the additional benefits of laparoscopic gastric banding (as compared to other weight loss surgery options) include:

  • Short hospital stay
  • Quick recovery
  • Adjustable without additional surgery
  • No nutrition issues (because no intestines are bypassed)

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is both a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure. The surgeon divides the stomach in two parts; the large portion of the stomach is closed off with staples to create a smaller pouch. The smaller stomach, your new pouch, restricts the amount of food you can eat at one time. The small intestine is cut below the duodenum and reattached to the new stomach pouch, leaving a shortened path for food to travel through so less food is absorbed.

The result is an early sense of fullness, combined with a sense of satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat. Because of the malabsorptive component, your body will not be able to process certain foods. Eating certain foods, like sweets, may result in dumping syndrome. This may be identified by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain or cramping.

Surgery risks include but are not limited to: staple line bleed or leak, fistula, small bowel obstruction, and ulcers.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The sleeve limits food intake by reducing the size of the stomach. A stapling device is used to divide the stomach vertically, leaving behind a thin vertical sleeve of stomach. The excised portion of the stomach is removed.

  • One of the newest procedures
  • Ghrelin (hunger promoting hormone) is primarily removed with excised stomach, thus decreasing appetite
  • Only procedure where a portion of the stomach is removed

Surgery risks include but are not limited to: staple line bleed, gastric leakage, nausea and vomiting.

Post Surgery Body Contouring

After major weight loss, skin often becomes baggy and thin around the stomach, legs, arms, breasts, and neck. Emory board-certified surgeons are skilled at removing and tightening skin through a variety of procedures (see below). Because these procedures are considered cosmetic, insurance companies rarely cover body contouring. In instances when the procedure is a well-documented medical necessity, insurers may make exceptions.

Candidates for Body Contouring are those:

  • whose weight loss - and weight -- has stabilized for at least one year
  • who have large amounts of excess skin, with multiple loose skin rolls and folds
  • who want to feel better about their bodies
  • who do not smoke

We recommend all body contouring procedures be performed at the Emory Aesthetic Center.