Parham Doctors' Hospital offers bariatric (weight loss) surgery in Richmond, Virginia, for obese patients who want to improve their overall health.

Weight loss surgery, often called bariatric surgery, is not a cosmetic procedure. Its an educated surgical decision to improve your health and lifespan. Patients who opt for weight loss surgery at HCA Virginia see their lives transformed, with marked improvements in their health and quality of life.

Common Bariatric Procedures

At Parham Doctors' Hospital, our surgeons perform three common types of bariatric surgery, and one non-surgical weight loss procedure:

The transformative journey requires work and commitment. A comprehensive program of nutritional counseling, support and a follow-up plan best accomplishes weight loss after surgery.

Our MBSAQIP-accredited bariatric surgery program, the first in Richmond, Va., is home to surgeons Michael Barker, MD, FACS, Matthew Brengman, MD, FACS, and Gregory Schroder, MD, FACS, all pioneers in their field. Joined by an expert team spanning all aspects of the surgical weight loss journey, they provide the most comprehensive program in the mid-Atlantic region.

Bariatric surgery is the general term for a variety of weight loss surgical procedures. The surgery is a tool, not a cure, to help treat weight problems. Our mission is to help patients transform their lives through surgical weight loss when nonsurgical attempts have been unsuccessful.

Weight loss surgery is intended not only to decrease your weight but also to improve your overall health. Obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, are greatly reduced after weight loss surgery.

The surgery involves both risks and a commitment to significant lifestyle changes. To make an informed decision, educate yourself about the types, benefits and potential complications of the various bariatric surgery methods.

Most non-surgical weight loss programs are based on a combination of diet, behavior modification and regular exercise. Unfortunately, even the most effective interventions don't work for everyone. It's estimated that less than 5 percent of individuals who participate in non-surgical weight loss programs will lose a significant amount of weight and maintain that loss for an extended period of time.

Sustained weight loss for patients who are morbidly obese is even harder to achieve. Morbid obesity is usually defined as being 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight, or having a body mass index of 40 or higher. And serious health risks have been identified for people who move from diet to diet, subjecting their bodies to a severe and continuing cycle of weight loss and gain known as yo-yo dieting.

Bariatric weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding force patients to drastically reduce the amount of food they consume by surgically creating a small stomach pouch. Most gastric procedures reduce the stomachs holding capacity from about two quarts to two ounces. When eating, this pouch fills quickly. Because patients feel satisfied and full sooner, they eat less.

Gastric banding is a restrictive operation in which a band is placed around the outside of the upper stomach, creating a small pouch and a narrow passage into the rest of the stomach.

By tightening or loosening the band, the rate that food travels from the upper to the lower stomach is controlled, and patients are satisfied by smaller meals that fill the small upper pouch. The adjustable gastric band is surgically implanted during a short, laparoscopic procedure. A port is placed under the patient’s skin which allows for adjustments to the band after surgery by filling or removing saline. Over time, the tightness of the band is adjusted to help you continually meet your weight loss goals.

During an adjustment, saline (a safe fluid) is delivered through the port into the band balloon, making the band fit more snugly around your stomach. Saline can also be removed from the band. After an adjustment, you’ll feel full sooner, stay satisfied longer, and maintain gradual weight loss. Fast and easy band adjustments take place at your surgeon’s office, clinic, or hospital. Your first adjustment will probably be scheduled 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery.

The Roux en-Y Gastric Bypass is the most common and successful type of malabsorptive surgery. Malabsorptive operations restrict both food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs and are the most common gastrointestinal surgeries for weight loss.

First, a small stomach pouch is created to restrict food intake. Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach, the duodenum (the first segment of the small intestine), and the first portion of the jejunum (the second segment of the small intestine). This bypass reduces the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs, and is both non-reversible and non-adjustable.

On average, more than half of patients lose 70% or more of their extra weight and then start to maintain. Long-term success is dependent on accepting new rules for eating and food selection, which is taught in the follow-up period after surgery.

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive form of weight-loss surgery in which approximately 85% of the stomach is removed, leaving a cylindrical or sleeve-shaped stomach, which is about the size of a banana. With this surgery, the outlet valve and the nerves to the stomach remain intact and, while the stomach is drastically reduced in size, its function is preserved.

The gastric sleeve results in fewer restrictions on the foods that patients can consume after surgery, although the quantity of food eaten is still considerably reduced. It does not involve any bypass or the intestinal tract, and it can be performed laparoscopically.

For obese patients with a relatively low BMI, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy may be a good choice, especially where existing conditions such as anemia or Crohn’s disease prevent them from having other forms of bariatric surgery.

The ORBERA® Intragastric Balloon System is a weight-loss device that uses a gastric "balloon" to occupy space in the stomach. The balloon is placed into the stomach through the mouth, using a minimally-invasive endoscopic procedure, while the patient is under mild sedation. Once in place, the balloon is filled with salt water (saline) so that it expands into a spherical shape. The balloon can be filled with different amounts of saline (from 400 to 700 cc) to best match the patient’s body structure. The system is temporary and will be removed after six months.

During the six month period that the ORBERA® intragastric balloon is in place you will meet regularly with your team to monitor your progress and receive education and training. These important educational aspects of the program involve the nutrition and lifestyle changes that you must follow in order to achieve long-term success. Your regular meetings with the support team will continue for six months after the intragastric balloon is removed.

Removal of the intragastric balloon takes around 20-30 minutes, similar to when it was inserted. During the removal procedure, you will be sedated and your doctor will remove the sterile salt water from the intragastric balloon before removing the deflated balloon from your stomach. It’s very important that you continue seeing your support team on a regular basis during this final six months of the program as this will set the foundations for the future.

Bariatric surgery can save lives and continues to benefit people struggling with morbid obesity worldwide. With each successful procedure, the medical community sees further evidence that bariatric surgery is an effective weight loss tool and treatment for obesity-related health conditions. Studies show that bariatric surgery patients are living longer lives of higher quality.

The risk of an early death for an obese person is twice that of a non-obese person, according to recent studies. Morbid obesity can shorten lives and cause life-threatening health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Weight loss surgery helps decrease your chances of these and other conditions, including sleep apnea and arthritis.

With treatment, good health and a longer life are much more likely.

All surgeries and medical procedures carry risk. It's important to talk to your doctor, other weight loss surgery patients and your loved ones to best understand the benefits and risks for your individual situation.

Accelerated Track Surgery

For individuals looking to self-pay for their weight loss procedure, we offer a "Fast Track" program to help expedite your journey to better health. We can routinely shepherd patients through our process in 8-10 weeks. Call us today or attend a free seminar (online or in person) to find out how to get started.

Contact Edita Kantzler with any further questions regarding the surgical weight loss accelerated program at (804) 967-5246.


If you would like more information about Parham Doctors’ Hospital’s bariatric surgery program in Richmond, Va., please visit Advanced Surgical Partners of Virginia, where you can learn about our team, details about our process and procedures, and sign up for a free virtual seminar if you are ready to get started. If you have questions, please call our office directly at (804) 360-0600.

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