Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about weight loss surgery? We have answers!

What is gastric restrictive surgery?
The Samaritan Bariatric Surgery Program performs three types of gastric restrictive procedures: the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric band.

The Roux-en-Y (RNY) gastric bypass is a permanent procedure that is recognized as an effective treatment in providing significant weight loss and long-term weight control. It is one of the most commonly used procedure in the United States, and has world wide acceptance. A small stomach pouch is created by dividing the stomach just below the esophagus.  This limits the amount of food one can eat, while providing a satisfying "full" sensation.

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is a newer procedure for the treatment of severe obesity. This is purely a restrictive procedure which reduces the size of the stomach allowing for a sense of fullness with a smaller amount of food.

The adjustable gastric band (AGB) is an inflatable silicone device that is implanted around the top portion of the stomach using a laproscopic surgery approach. The band can be adjusted by accessing a small port placed under the skin. By adding saline to the band the doctor can tighten the band to create a small pouch allowing the patient to eat a smaller portion of food and still feel "full".

The Samaritan Bariatric Surgery Program encourages all of our prospective patients to consider all three gastric restrictive procedures as options. You and one of our surgeons will decide which option will give you the best possible results.



Who is eligible for surgery?
Eligible patients (age 18 to 65) must meet selection criteria, understand possible complications from the surgery, and agree to participate in nutritional education and physical activity after surgery.

Many factors are taken into account when assessing potential candidates for surgery. The most important factor is the level of obesity. We use a method known as the Body Mass Index (BMI), a formula that considers height and weight. A healthy BMI is about 18 to 25. A BMI of 30 or more reflects obesity, and greater than 40 is considered morbid obesity.

Surgery is not the ideal choice for everyone fighting obesity. In general, those with a BMI greater than 40—or greater than 35 with significant weight-related health problems—are the best candidates for surgery. Successful candidates also need to be highly motivated and dedicated to improving their health. They must understand the goals and limitations of bariatric surgery, be healthy enough to have this major surgery, and understand the risks involved in the procedure.



What is my Body Mass Index (BMI)?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the most accurate ways to determine when extra pounds translate into health risks. BMI is a measure which takes into account a person's weight and height to gauge total body fat in adults. Someone with a BMI of 26 to 27 is about 20 percent overweight, which is generally believed to carry moderate health risks. A BMI of 30 and higher is considered obese. The higher the BMI, the greater the risk of developing additional health problems. Heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure are all linked to being overweight.

A BMI of 24 or less is considered a healthy weight, whereas a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight. Individuals who fall into the BMI range of 25 to 34.9, and have a waist size of over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women, are considered to be at especially high risk for health problems.

CLICK HERE to calculate your BMI.



What should I know about the risks and complications of surgery?
As with any form of major surgery, there are associated risks. Although the level of risk is relatively low, the consequences of such problems can be devastating and may result in death. In general, the risks of bariatric surgery increase with a patient's age and with the severity of other health problems. These risks include:
  • Infection
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Leaks where bowel is sewn (anastomosis)
  • Breathing problems (pneumonia)
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots in legs or lung
  • Incisional hernia
  • Problems from anesthesia
  • Band slippage
  • Band erosion
  • Need for additional operation
  • Death



What if I have more questions about bariatric surgery?
Call us! We'll be more than happy to talk with you and answer any questions or concerns you have. We also encourage you to attend one of our free monthly classes. The Samaritan Bariatric Surgery Program can be reached at (541) 768-4280.