Bariatric surgery in Caldwell, Idaho

If you are 50 or more pounds overweight and serious about exploring your weight-loss options, then you may be a candidate for bariatric (weight loss) surgery at West Valley Medical Center. Bariatric surgery is recognized as a safe and effective treatment for weight-related health conditions.

For more information about our bariatric surgery options, contact us at (208) 455-3981.

Are you a candidate for bariatric surgery?

To be a candidate for bariatric surgery, patients must meet the following criteria:

  • BMI (body mass index) more than 40
  • BMI between 35 and 40 who suffer from at least two obesity-related diseases (e.g., diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure or heart disease)
  • Patients who have failed non-surgical methods of weight loss (e.g., diet, exercise or medication)
  • Patients who are not suffering from any other disease that could have caused them to be overweight
  • No history of alcohol or substance abuse

You should be well informed and motivated for the lifestyle changes that follow bariatric surgery and should have the capacity to participate in treatment and long-term follow-up. Ultimately, the decision to have the procedure is entirely up to you. After learning more about the program and process, you can decide if surgery is right for you.

Preparing for surgery

Prior to the surgery, you should expect to undergo:

  • A complete physical exam and related testing to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery
  • Blood tests and an ultrasound of your gallbladder
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Psychological counseling to make sure you are emotionally prepared for surgery and the required follow-up care

Surgical weight loss procedures

Weight-loss surgery is only a tool; your ultimate success depends on life-long adherence to recommended dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes. We perform several minimally invasive procedures to help you in your weight loss journey.

Roux-en-y gastric bypass

In a roux-en-y gastric bypass procedure, a small part of the stomach is used to create a new stomach pouch (roughly the size of an egg), which bypasses part of the small intestine. This allows you to feel fuller more quickly, and you won’t be able to eat as much food at one time.

How it Works

Our bariatric surgery specialists perform the gastric bypass procedure via laparoscopy (through small incisions using a tiny camera). This procedure involves three basic steps:

  1. Your surgeon divides the stomach (about the size of a deflated regulation football) into two separate sections, creating a small pouch approximately the size of a man’s thumb, separated from the rest of your stomach.
  2. Your surgeon bypasses a portion of the small intestine.
  3. Your surgeon then attaches the bypassed intestine (Roux Limb) to your stomach pouch.

The laparoscopic gastric bypass usually takes two hours or less. You will likely stay in the hospital for two to three days after your operation and should be ready to return to full activity within two weeks.

Benefits of gastric bypass

Benefits of gastric bypass include:

  • The procedure is particularly effective for people with a high BMI because it has more predictable outcomes than some other types of weight loss surgery.
  • One year after surgery, weight loss averages 77% of excess body weight.
  • Studies show that after 10 to 14 years, some patients have maintained 50-60% of excess body weight loss.
  • This procedure has a positive impact on many weight-related conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • You won’t have to come into the office for ongoing adjustments like you would for procedures like the gastric band. You will, however, need to come in for regular follow-up care to ensure your weight loss and nutritional needs are on track.

Patients who have undergone a gastric bypass must limit their intake of sugary and starchy foods. Otherwise, you may experience many of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Flushing skin
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

These symptoms typically last 30-45 minutes. For many people who have had a gastric bypass, these symptoms serve as a motivation to make better food choices and stay away from foods that have tempted them in the past.

Risks of gastric bypass

Risks of gastric bypass include:

  • Your body will not properly absorb nutrients such as iron and calcium because the duodenum (small intestine) is bypassed, which can lead to iron deficiency anemia. This is a particular concern for those who experience chronic blood loss during excessive menstrual flow or bleeding hemorrhoids. Women, already at risk for osteoporosis after menopause, should be aware of the potential for the increased loss of bone calcium.
  • Bypassing the duodenum has caused metabolic bone disease in some patients, resulting in bone pain, loss of height, humped back and fractures of the ribs and hip bones. All of these deficiencies can be managed through proper diet and vitamin supplements.
  • A chronic anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency may occur. The problem can usually be managed with vitamin B12 pills or injections.
  • The bypassed portion of the stomach, duodenum and segments of the small intestine cannot be easily seen using X-ray or endoscopy (a small, flexible tube with a camera and light attached to the end) if problems such as ulcers, bleeding or malignancy should occur.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical procedure for weight loss. With this procedure, the surgeon removes a large portion of your stomach. The new, smaller stomach is about the size of a banana, which limits the amount of food you can eat at once and helps you feel fuller after smaller meals.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is often performed on patients who are too overweight to safely undergo other types of weight loss surgery.

How it Works

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is performed via laparoscopic surgery (using small incisions with a tiny camera). Here’s how vertical sleeve gastrectomy works:

  • Your surgeon will make two to five small cuts (incisions) in your abdomen. The scope and instruments needed to perform the surgery are inserted through those incisions.
  • The camera (now inside your abdomen) is connected to a video monitor, so the surgeon can have a clear view during the procedure.
  • Your surgeon removes approximately three-fourths of your stomach and joins the remaining portions of your stomach with surgical staples. This process creates a long vertical tube-shaped stomach.
  • Your surgeon removes the scope and other instruments, and the incisions are stitched closed.

The laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy takes about 60 to 90 minutes. You can expect to stay in the hospital for about two days after the procedure. You’ll be able to drink clear liquids the day after your procedure and begin a pureed diet by the time you go home.