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Surgical Options

Surgical Options

They have years of experience and have seen thousands of patients, and they take the best out of each patient and keep honing in on the educational material. Every time you come in, they’ve got something new to share. They’ve learned from everyone who has gone through the program before and that’s what makes it so great.

—Monica, lost more than 160 pounds through bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is a major decision, and one that can put your life on a new, healthier course. As the first facility in the Cleveland region to be named a Bariatric Surgery Center for Excellence, St. Vincent Charity has changed more than 8,000 lives through bariatric surgery.

Yet surgery is the culmination of a number of steps you will take beforehand, and only a stepping- stone to the steps you will take for a lifetime after. While you are ultimately responsible for your success, we are your personal champions, and you will receive one-on-one care from our team throughout your journey. Your weight journey is more than a number on a scale, and at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, you’re more than a number on a chart.

Bariatric surgery options are largely the same regardless of the health care provider, but what sets St. Vincent Charity Medical Center apart is the individualized care you receive under our caringstaff. A patient advocate will work with you every step of the way. Our weight loss programs include psychological screenings and nutritional guidance, and our support groups allow you to meet other patients who are walking in similar shoes, as well as those who are on the other side of surgery and are leading healthier, happier lives. At St. Vincent Charity, we treat the person – not simply the condition.

You can do this. We will help.

Procedure Comparison


Gastric Bypass Gastric Sleeve
Majority of Weight Loss in months 12-18 12-18
Laparoscopic Surgery (Minimally Invasive) always always
Hospital Stay Average 2 nights 2 nights
Recovery Time (dependent upon job) 2-6 weeks  2-6 weeks
Band Adjustments No No
Insurance Coverage Most Most
Time Release Medications No Yes
Food Transition Period
Liquids only for two weeks Yes Yes
Pureed foods for remainder of the first month Yes Yes
Soft foods weeks four and five Yes Yes
Regular diet week six Yes Yes
Food Limitations
Dumping Syndrome Yes
Food Intolerance

Average % Excess Weight Loss 18 months post surgery

1 Gastric Bypass 2 Gastric Sleeve
65-80% 60%

We perform laparoscopic—or minimally invasive—surgical techniques for bariatric surgery as well as the traditional open procedures.

The laparoscopic method features:

  • Procedure performed by a fellowship-trained laparoscopic bariatric surgeon assisted by a team of anesthesiologists and nurses dedicated to laparoscopic bariatric surgery. Together, this team has successfully performed hundreds of laparoscopic procedures.
  • Average hospital stay of two days.
  • Average recovery time of 10 days to six weeks. For those who work, the time may vary depending on the physical requirements of your job.
  • Low risk for wound-related problems, such as hernias and wound infections.
  • Minimal scar tissue formation, which can decrease safety risk associated with future surgeries.

At the time of the patient's consultation, the appropriate surgical weight loss procedure will be chosen based upon established program criteria.




Laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

The laparoscopic or minimally invasive-surgical technique of the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is performed through five to six incisions no more than a half-inch in length. Long surgical instruments are used to perform the surgery while the surgeon views the procedure under magnification on video screens.

The surgeon creates a thin vertical sleeve, about the size of a banana, from the stomach. Unlike gastric bypass surgery, there is no rerouting of the intestine. And unlike adjustable gastric banding, there is no implementation of a device. Like both gastric bypass and adjustable lap band, vertical sleeve gastrectomy helps patients feel full with a small amount of food. The sleeve has been performed as a stand-alone weight loss operation and as a first stage operation since 2005 and was approved as an ASMBS weight loss operation in 2009. Operating time averages between 75 to 90 minutes.





Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Procedure

Whether performed using the open or laparoscopic technique, the first part of the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure involves creating a small stomach pouch. The surgeon begins by dividing the stomach in two unequal parts, creating a small upper section and a larger bottom section. The small upper section is the size of a thumb with about two ounces of capacity. After the surgery, this pouch will be the only part of the stomach to receive food. The remainder of the stomach will be bypassed in the digestive process.

Although the bypassed stomach is unable to receive food following surgery, it remains intact and still performs an important function in the digestive process. The food passes through the newly created stomach pouch, while the bypassed stomach continues to secrete stomach juices flowing through the intestinal tract. These digestive juices, along with those from the pancreas and liver, join with food to begin the digestive process.



Diabetes after weight loss: For patients with Type 2 diabetes, gastric bypass and "sleeve" surgeries can sometimes make a big difference. Some patients will see their blood sugar levels move back to normal levels even days after surgery, which means less medication or none at all. Patients may also experience improved blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Regardless of the procedure, it is important for all patients to commit to leading a healthier and more active lifestyle after any weight loss procedure.

For more information about diabetes and bariatric surgery, see the following references:




Plastic Surgery

You did it! You've shed pounds, toned up and reached, or are about to reach, your goal weight through bariatric surgery, diet and exercise. Some patients may have excess skin that remains after significant weight loss. Plastic surgery may be an option for you.

Through post-bariatric surgery body contouring, excess skin is removed. Specific areas are tightened and contoured, giving your legs, arms, abdomen, face, buttocks or breasts a “lift.”

By choosing St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, you can expect the same level of high quality care you received during your surgical weight loss procedure and throughout your recovery.

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