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Treatments and Services

The Bariatric Surgery Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock includes introductory sessions, support groups, nutritional counseling, and exercise promotion and three types of surgery. Our surgeons provide surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH and Elliot Hospital in Manchester, NH.

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass creates a small pouch from the stomach and connects the newly created pouch to the small intestine. After surgery, digested food bypasses most of your stomach and the first section of your small intestine. This surgery has been proven successful for long-term weight loss and is one of the safest surgical weight loss methods available.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy removes a large section of the stomach, leaving a tube-shaped stomach about the size and shape of a banana. Limiting the size of your stomach restricts the amount of food you can comfortably consume. This procedure is performed laparoscopically.
  • Gastric Revision Surgery is an option for patients who have had prior bariatric surgery with problems related to that surgery.

Bariatric surgery can help

Obesity is a disease and connected to many medical problems. If you lose weight and keep it off, your medical conditions are most likely going to improve.

After bariatric surgery, patients usually lose about one-half (50 percent) to two-thirds (66 percent) of their excess body weight. This weight loss equals about one-third (33 percent) of their current weight. It is possible to lose more than 66 percent of your excess body weight after bariatric surgery, but this requires:

  • commitment to following the dietary guidelines
  • motivation
  • ability to exercise regularly

Less than five percent of patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery reach their ideal body weight. You can regain weight about two years after surgery, if you don't exercise regularly and follow an improper diet.

Through the weight loss you achieve after bariatric surgery, other benefits will occur, such as the:

  • Elimination of pulmonary (lung) problems and sleep apnea - Bariatric surgery can eliminate sleep apnea in over 90 percent of patients. Shortness of breath is also likely to improve. Asthma will improve and you may rely less on your inhaler.
  • Improvement in heartburn and reflux symptoms - Heartburn and other reflux symptoms associated with obesity improve in almost all patients after gastric bypass. However, reflux symptoms can worsen following the sleeve gastrectomy.
  • Improvement in your outlook and self-esteem - Significant weight loss can help a patient feel a sense of accomplishment and improve their self-esteem. Many patients notice that they are no longer preoccupied with food, are in a better mood, and have increased stamina.
  • Improvement of blood pressure and cholesterol levels - Studies show that blood pressure and cholesterol levels may improve after bariatric surgery, due to the restricted diet you must follow after your procedure.
  • Reduction in diabetes medication - Over 90 percent of patients with obesity-related diabetes are able to stop insulin or oral medications, or decrease their doses significantly after bariatric surgery.
  • Reduction in the risk of heart disease - Since gastric bypass surgery will help you lose weight, your risk of heart disease is also decreased since obesity is a clear risk factor for heart disease.
  • Reduction of degenerative joint disease, arthritis, and back pain symptoms - Arthritis, degenerative joint disease, and back pain are not cured by bariatric surgery, but their symptoms may be reduced after surgery.

Risks

We are a nationally accredited center through the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). More information on surgical procedures, risks and complications can be found on their website. We will discuss risks and complications in more detail during the educational meetings.

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