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Weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is performed on patients with obesity. There are several types of bariatric procedures, but all focus on making modifications to the digestive system with the goal of significant weight loss.

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Weight loss programs and surgery in Florida

For many of us, losing weight can be an all-consuming, painful thing, a sort of monster in our emotional closets.

It can drive every single thing we do and don't do and impact how we think and feel about ourselves. We don't think this is fair. We want you to know that you deserve to be happy and to feel good about who you are — you deserve to be healthy. At HCA Florida Physicians' practices throughout Florida, our bariatric doctors and weight loss specialists can help make this happen for you. They'll also work with your primary care doctor and your family, offering you complete and connected weight loss care.

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Types of bariatric surgery we offer

We want to be sure you have as many options as possible when it comes to weight loss so we can choose the most effective one for you. That's why we offer a wide range of bariatric surgeries, including:

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS)

BPD/DS is two part — a small portion of the stomach is removed (similar to a sleeve gastrectomy) and then most of the small intestine is bypassed.

This is a particularly good option for patients with certain types of diabetes or those who take arthritis medications. This is because it can reverse some cases of diabetes and it doesn't require most people to stop arthritis medications beforehand.

Gastric balloon

Gastric balloon is typically an outpatient procedure. It involves a saline-filled balloon that makes you feel full. Once your healthy habits are established and you've successfully lost weight (approximately six months), the balloon is removed.

This option is typically most useful for patients who don't want surgery but who have not had success with nonsurgical methods of weight loss.

Gastric band (laparoscopic adjustable gastric band or "lap-band")

Gastric banding involves placing an adjustable silicone band around the stomach, making the stomach smaller.

This is usually a good option for those who need a more controlled and personalized rate of weight loss. It's also useful for those who may need or want the procedure to be reversed later on.

Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)

Gastric bypass surgeries involve turning the stomach into a smaller pouch. Unlike some other procedures, gastric bypass is considered a "major surgery" even when performed laparoscopically.

However, it is a particularly good option for patients with other obesity-related health issues, such as diabetes, sleep apnea or hypertension. This is because gastric bypass can often resolve these issues completely.

Sleeve gastrectomy (vertical sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve)

The gastric sleeve surgery permanently removes a section of your stomach.

It is often used for patients with medical complications — like severe asthma or anemia — that prevent them from having other types of weight loss surgery.

Revisional bariatric surgery

With so many surgical options and the unique medical history of each person, sometimes bariatric surgeries need to be altered or "revised" later on. This is not necessarily an indicator that you have done something wrong. It may simply be that the original procedure is not working with your unique medical needs or that you require a different approach to be successful long-term.

In these cases, we offer revisional bariatric surgery (which can also often be completed robotically or laparoscopically). Our weight loss specialists will work with you to determine if you need revisional surgery and what to do about it if you do.

Minimally invasive weight loss procedures

We are proud to offer minimally invasive options for most of our surgeries. This includes laparoscopic and robotic surgeries for band placements and removals.

Some of our other specialty minimally invasive weight loss procedures include:

  • Laparoscopic conversion of prior procedures, such as lap band and sleeve gastrectomy
  • Laparoscopic mini gastric bypass
  • Single anastomosis duodenal switch

Our other bariatric services

Bariatric surgery is not going to make you a healthier or happier person. You need better habits and weight loss resources for the rest of your life. That's why we provide a wide range of other bariatric services, including:

Nonsurgical medically supervised weight loss programs

In most cases, the first thing you need to do before bariatric surgery is participate in a medically supervised weight loss program. Many insurance companies require this before approving surgery, but we recommend it either way. This is because these programs are designed to help you prepare for surgery, develop diet plans and cope with the emotional challenges ahead of you.

If you think you might benefit from these types of programs, talk to your doctor. It may be that you need surgery in the end, but you will never regret having the educational and community-building experience of these programs.

Adolescent bariatric programs

We know your child doesn't deserve to carry the physical and emotional burdens of obesity, such as heart and lung diseases or depression. That is why we'll do everything we can to help your entire family develop healthier habits.

This begins with nonsurgical weight loss options. They are the first thing we recommend for overweight and obese children and teens. If this doesn't work, or if it is not an option for some other reason, we offer complete bariatric surgical care for your child.

Whatever type of care they need, our weight loss teams will personalize these treatment plans to help your child achieve their best health.

Presurgical guidance

One of the ways to ensure your weight loss procedure is successful is to lose 10 percent or more of your body weight before the surgery. Doing that means beginning your education and practice of healthy lifestyles the moment you begin discussing bariatric surgery with our specialists.

We will help you with all of that, but here are some places to start:

  • Eat smaller portions, and eat them more slowly.
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and beverages.
  • Set achievable daily goals.
  • Give yourself non-food related rewards when you meet your goals.
  • Above all, we encourage you to be kind to yourself. The path you're choosing — the path to health — is not easy. Just know that we are with you, every step of the way.
Postsurgical weight loss support

We offer complete follow-up and ongoing care to help you understand and lead a successful life after bariatric surgery.

As part of that, you will have access to many different mental health and wellness support groups via our physician practices and hospital partners. We want you to feel supported, cared for and empowered to take on the challenges ahead. Talk to your provider about what groups in your community can best serve you.

Weight loss doctors and specialists

Our bariatric teams are just that — teams. They work closely together and side-by-side with you to help make sure you have everything you need to succeed. Some of the specialists you may work with include:

  • Bariatric coordinators
  • Bariatric surgeons
  • Dietitians and nutritionists
  • Psychiatrists and psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Other doctors and nurses specially experienced in bariatrics