More than Just Weight Loss: The Health Benefits of Bariatric Surgery 
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital 
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 

If you're very overweight and can't lose pounds with a healthy diet and exercise, weight loss surgery might be an option for you. “Bariatric surgery is typically for patients who have a body mass index (BMI) above 40, or a BMI of 35 or greater with obesity-related serious medical conditions,” explains Voravit Wongsa, MD, bariatric surgeon on the medical staff at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. To determine your BMI, visit Cy-Fair Hospital’s Web site to utilize an interactive BMI calculator tool.


Why Surgery?

Obesity can increase the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux, fatty liver disease, gallstones, stroke, snoring and sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and pain in weight-bearing joints, such as back, hips knees and ankles, leg swelling, and menstrual irregularities and infertility in women.


“Most people who have any type of weight loss surgery may lose at least 50 percent to 90 percent of their excess weight (the amount of weight in excess of a person’s ideal body weight) in the first 18 to 24 months after the procedure, depending on the type of weight loss surgery performed” explains Dr. Wongsa. “Plus, many of the patients’ obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, or sleep apnea, completely resolve or improve significantly after surgery.” Bariatric surgery also can provide long-term, consistent weight loss when accompanied with a few lifestyle changes.


Surgery Options

Today, there are several options for weight loss surgery.  Talk to your doctor to determine the best one for you. All procedures can be performed laparoscopically, using only small incisions, which is minimally invasive and results in little postoperative discomfort and short healing period.


“Laparoscopic Gastric bypass constructs a new small stomach pouch which is connected directly to the small intestine, bypassing 95% of the stomach and duodenum,” explains Dr. Wongsa. “It is the gold standard in bariatric surgery, being the most effective weight loss procedure, with a higher success rate (about 80-85% excess weight loss) than other weight loss procedures (50% excess weight loss for Lap-band and sleeve gastrectomy).”

LAP-BAND adjustable gastric banding involves placing an adjustable band around the top part of the stomach to create a small pouch for food. The band restricts the amount of food that can be eaten and increases the amount of time it takes for food to digest.

Other surgical options also available at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital include sleeve gastrectomy, where 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving a sleeve-shaped vertical tube of residual stomach that restricts food intake, and revisional bariatric surgery, surgery designed for some patients who may not have had the positive outcome they expected for a previous bariatric surgery.

The long-range success of any weight loss surgery or any treatment depends largely on the patient, who must follow a healthy, nutritious eating plan for life. If you’re interested in finding out more about bariatric surgery at Cy-Fair Hospital or scheduling a consultation, visit or call 800-681-2733.