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Bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is an approach to help you improve your health and quality of life by losing weight.

Is excess weight affecting your life and your health? Bariatric surgery may help you reach a healthier weight. This surgery alters your digestive system. For the surgery to be successful, you must change your diet and lifestyle. In most cases, the surgery is not reversible. So if you’re considering surgery, learn all you can about it before you decide. Bariatric surgery also has a number of potential risks and complications that you need to discuss with your surgeon.

Bariatric Surgery Staff

Chyrese Hollingsworth ACNP-BC
Bariatric surgery coordinator
Phone: 215-823-5800

Amy Cha MD, FACS
Bariatric Program Director

Victor Kim, MD
Bariatric Surgeon

F. Brian BeCraft, RDN/LDN
MOVE! Coordinator & Bariatric Dietitian

Qualifying for surgery

Surgery is not for everyone. To qualify:

  • You must have a BMI of 35 or more, or a BMI of 30 or more (see box below) plus a serious obesity-related problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.

  • You must be healthy enough to have surgery.

  • You may be required to have a psychological evaluation.

  • You must have tried to lose weight by other means, such as diet and exercise.

Surgical procedures available

  • Sleeve gastrectomy: This is also called the gastric sleeve. This is a type of surgery that removes up to 80% of the stomach. The surgery turns the stomach into a narrow tube that looks like a banana. The sleeve holds much less food, and you feel full faster. The sleeve also works by gut hormones that change how full or hungry you feel.

Other surgical options

(Note: These procedures are available only in Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre)

  • Gastric bypass: This is also called a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. During this surgery, your surgeon separates part of the stomach to create a small pouch. The pouch is then attached to a part of your small intestine. The gastric bypass reduces the amount of food you can eat at one time as well as decreases your hunger and makes you feel full faster. It also reduces the number of calories and nutrients you can absorb from the foods you eat. The gastric bypass also works by gut hormones, that results in less hunger, faster fullness, and improved diabetes resolution.