What is Obesity?

woman with scale

The term “obesity” specifically refers to an excess amount of body fat. Over the years, the prevalence of obesity among adults in the United States has more than doubled. Currently, nearly one third of adults are obese. Importantly, obesity results in a significant impairment of health making the body prone to numerous health problems and diseases. In fact, approximately 300,000 deaths among adults each year are related to obesity. Health problems and diseases that have been linked to obesity include but are not limited to:

How Does Bariatric Surgery Work?

Bariatric Surgery promotes weight loss by restricting food intake and, in some procedures altering the digestive process. As with other treatments for obesity, the best results are achieved when combined with healthy eating behaviors and regular physical activity.

What is Laparoscopy?

The preferred method for bariatric surgery involve laparoscopy (also known as minimally invasive surgery), a surgical technique in which a high-definition camera and very fine surgical instruments are placed through small incisions, instead of the standard large incisions. The image is then viewed on a video monitor by highly trained surgeons as they perform the procedures using the specialized instruments.

Eliminating the need for a large incision, laparoscopy results in less tissue damage, less blood loss, shorter hospitalization, a faster recovery, and fewer complications than open operations. Our state-of-the-art operating rooms and staff provide patients with the best care possible using laparoscopic techniques.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

Gastric Banding

Gastric banding, usually done laparoscopically, is a less invasive and the only adjustable and reversible obesity surgery available. During this procedure, surgeons place an inflatable silicone band around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny pouch that limits the amount of food that can be consumed and slows its progression into the stomach and intestines. The patient feels full sooner and satisfied with smaller amounts of food, ultimately losing up to 40 to 60 percent of his or her excess weight over three years. This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis, normal activities can be resumed in one week.

The band itself is adjustable by adding or removing fluid from the band’s interior through a small port that is placed beneath the patient’s skin. Adjustments can be made as necessary in the surgeon’s office, where the surgeon can adjust the band via the port with minimal discomfort to the patient.

Gastric Bypass (Roux-en Gastric bypass)

If a patient requires even greater weight loss than banding techniques produce, a gastric bypass operation is considered. Gastric bypass restricts both food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs. Patients who have bypass operations generally lose 70 percent of their excess weight within one-and-a-half years.

In Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RGB), the most common gastric bypass procedure, a small (30ml) stomach pouch is created by stapling to separate it from the rest of the stomach. Then, a section of the small intestine is attached to the new pouch to allow food to bypass the first portion of the small intestine to reduce calorie and nutrient absorption. The limited quantity of food, combined with reduced absorption of calories, results in faster and perhaps more pronounced weight loss than is normally achieved by the gastric banding procedure.

This procedure usually requires a two-to three-day hospital stay, and normal activities can be resumed in four to five weeks.

Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Resection

The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a bariatric procedure in which the surgeon removes approximately 85% of the stomach, shaping the remaining stomach into a tube or “sleeve”. It can be used as a first stage operation prior to a gastric bypass or as a definite procedure. Ultimately losing 40 to 60 percent of excess weight over one-and-a-half years.

Revisional Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery is very successful as a long term treatment for Morbid Obesity. However on some occasions patients can experience weight regain. There are multiple causes for weight regain including dietary and anatomical reasons. Revisional Bariatric Surgery can be very complex and requires an individual approach. Our surgeons will investigate the cause for weight regain and need for revision and tailor a plan to fit each individual patient.

Gastric Balloon

Recently approved by the FDA but this procedure has been performed worldwide for several years. This new same day procedure is an endoscopic procedure that takes 20 to 30 mins. There are no incisions or scars. A soft expandable gastric balloon is placed endoscopically. The balloon is left in place for 6 months. The patient is also enrolled in a 12 month comprehensive weight loss program. Most patients lose 30 to 50 pounds.

Criteria for Bariatric Surgery

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You weigh 100 lbs. over your ideal body weight, or have a BMI greater than 30 with a major medical condition, or BMI greater than 40.
  • Your weight loss attempts have had short-term success.
  • You do not have another condition that causes obesity.
  • You are prepared to make changes in your eating habits & lifestyle.
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess.

Even if you do not meet the weight criteria, you still may be considered for surgery if you are suffering from serious health problems related to your weight. Always consult your physician to determine if surgery is appropriate for your situation.

Life after Obesity…Let’s Get to It!

The Surgical Obesity Program at Plantation General Hospital provides comprehensive bariatric services, and has helped many men and women enjoy their lives to the fullest once again!
Plantation General hospital takes great pride in our bariatric surgery team, who were selected for their extensive education, experience, and compassionate care.

Additional Resources

Listen to Andy Rubenstein, PGH’s first bariatric patient, talk about his pre & post surgical experience with Jimmy Cefalo and Brenda Bassett, on their Saturday morning radio talk show Eat This Drink That Go! on 610AM WIOD.

BMI Calculator

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.


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Congratulations! Your BMI indicates that your weight is in the healthy range. A lifestyle of good food choices and routine exercise will help you with long term weight management.

Your BMI indicates your weight is in the obese range and can have a significant impact on your health. You are at risk for weight related health conditions. If you have been diagnosed with a health condition related to obesity, then weight loss surgery could be right for you. To learn more about the surgical procedures for obesity, please contact us for more information, or sign up for a free seminar schedule and registration.

All information provided by this website is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a health care professional. No information provided in this site may be considered medical advice. The information may not be relevant for your individual situation and may be misinterpreted. HCA assumes no responsibility for how you use information obtained from this site. Before making any decisions regarding your health care, ask your personal physician.