Bariatric Surgery Options

Choosing Surgery

Weight loss surgery is major surgery. Although most patients enjoy an improvement in obesity-related health conditions (such as mobility, self-image and self-esteem) after the successful results of weight loss surgery, these results should not be the overriding motivation for having the procedure. The goal is to live better, healthier and longer.

That is why you should make the decision to have weight loss surgery only after careful consideration and consultation with one of our experienced bariatric surgeons or a knowledgeable family physician. Our qualified surgeons will answer your questions clearly and explain the exact details of the procedure, the extent of the recovery period and the reality of the follow-up care that will be required.

It is important to remember that there are no ironclad guarantees in any kind of medicine or surgery. There can be unexpected outcomes in even the simplest procedures. Ultimately, the decision to have the procedure is entirely up to you. After having heard all the information, you must decide if the benefits outweigh the side effects and potential complications. This surgery is only a tool. Your ultimate success depends on strict adherence to the recommended dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes.

Surgery Options

The American Society for Bariatric Surgery describes two basic approaches in weight loss surgery:

  1. Restrictive procedures that decrease food intake.
  2. Malabsorptive procedures that alter digestion, thus causing the food to be incompletely absorbed into the body.

At the Weight Loss Institute of Columbus Regional Health, we offer both restrictive and malabsorptive procedures.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

A newer restrictive procedure in which approximately 90% of the stomach is removed, leaving a tubular sleeve between the esophagus and the first portion of the small intestine.

Learn more about Sleeve Gastrectomy

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

The current gold standard procedure for weight loss surgery. A combined restrictive and malabsorptive procedure, it is one of the most frequently performed weight loss surgeries in the U.S.

Learn more about Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

What About Life After Surgery?

Adjusting to life after bariatric surgery is very important. You should follow the guidance of the Weight Loss Institute team in order to have the most profound, effective weight loss and to ensure you remain healthy and happy long-term. Here are some critical areas.


The modifications made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits that must be adhered to for successful weight loss. You should remember that there are different types of weight loss surgery procedures, so dietary guidelines will be different for each surgeon and each type of procedure. What is most important is that you adhere strictly to your surgeon's recommended guidelines. The following are some of the generally accepted dietary guidelines a weight loss surgery patient may encounter:

  • When you start eating solid food, it is essential that you chew thoroughly. You will not be able to eat steaks or other chunks of meat if they are not ground thoroughly.
  • Do not drink fluids with meals as it could make you feel ill or defeat your weight loss.
  • Omit desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients.
  • Omit carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes, high-fat foods and foods with high fiber content.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Limit snacking between meals.

Going Back to Work

Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will vary according to your physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of weight-loss surgery you had. Many patients return to full pre-surgery levels of activity within six weeks of their procedure. Patients who have had a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure may be able to return to these activities within a few weeks.

Post-Surgery Exercise

Exercise is essential postoperatively in your overall weight loss and to prevent complications like muscle wasting and osteoporosis. We recommend both aerobic and strength training after surgery to prevent these complications. At the Weight Loss Institute of Columbus Regional Health, we have developed “Active at Any Size,” a specialized exercise program for patients’ individualized needs, through our Wellness program.

Birth Control & Pregnancy

It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age use the most effective forms of birth control during the first 16 to 24 months after weight loss surgery. The added demands pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this a critical requirement.

Long-Term Follow-Up

Although the short-term effects of weight-loss surgery are well understood, there are still questions to be answered about the long-term effects on nutrition and body systems. Nutritional deficiencies that occur over the course of many years will need to be studied. Over time, you will need periodic checks for anemia (low red blood cell count) and Vitamin B12, folate and iron levels. Follow-up tests will initially be conducted every three to six months or as needed, and every one to two years thereafter.

Support Groups

The widespread use of support groups has provided weight loss surgery patients an excellent forum to discuss their personal and professional issues. Most learn, for example, that weight loss surgery will not immediately resolve existing emotional issues or heal the years of damage that morbid obesity might have inflicted on their mental well-being. Our bariatric program has support groups in place to assist you with short-term and long-term questions and needs. Almost all of our patients find our post-surgical support helps them produce the greatest levels of success.

Surgery Is Not the Only Option

There is certainly no shortage of choices for weight loss programs. In fact, to qualify for insurance coverage of weight loss surgery, many insurers require patients to have a history of medically supervised weight loss efforts.

Read about other weight loss options