Bariatric Surgery

Minimally Invasive Weight Loss Surgery

The GW Weight Loss and Surgery Center remains the region’s leading bariatric surgery program. Our bariatric center is supported by the research and cutting-edge technology of George Washington University.

Our team of board certified surgeons routinely perform proven minimally-invasive laparoscopic bariatric surgery procedures and are recognized by their surgical peers for their expertise in managing high risk surgical patients and experience in revision bariatric surgical procedures. Surgery is performed at the George Washington University Hospital which is named by BlueCross BlueShield as a Blue Distinct Center of Excellence.

The GW Weight Loss and Surgery Center is an accredited Comprehensive Metabolic and Bariatric Center recognized by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program of the American College of Surgeons for our demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.

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Surgical Weight Loss Program

Our program is comprehensive, covering:

  • Nutrition Support
  • Bariatric Support Group Meetings
  • Medical Weight Loss Management
  • Mental health evaluation and support
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Revisional Bariatric Surgery
  • Evaluation, management and support for weight regain issues after surgery
  • Management of the unique needs of the pregnant bariatric surgery patien
  • Over 550 multidisciplinary physician group including:
    • Internal Medicine
    • Cardiology
    • Pulmonology
    • Gastroenterology
    • Endocrinology
    • Nephrology
    • Psychiatry
    • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
    • Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery
    • Orthopedic Surgery
About Morbid Obesity

Start Fighting Back With our Weight Loss Professionals in Washington DC

Obesity is a growing health problem in the United States and worldwide. Severe Obesity undermines every organ of the body and limits one's ability to work, care for family, and even socialize. Obesity elevates the risk of Diabetes; Heart Disease; Stroke; Hypertension; Sleep Apnea; Osteoarthritis; Liver and Gallbladder Disease; and certain cancers. Weight-loss and bariatric surgery is an effective and long lasting treatment for morbid obesity. Many of the medical comorbidities can be reversed or prevented through weight loss surgery.

Morbid obesity is a chronic, life threatening, multifactorial disease with symptoms that build slowly over an extended period of time. The underlying causes of morbid obesity are not entirely understood. Many factors contribute to the development of morbid obesity, including certain biological markers, metabolic and behavioral eating disorders, and environmental influences.

Morbid obesity affects the function and performance of multiple body systems leading to serious health illnesses, lower quality of life, fewer economic and social opportunities, and a shorter life span.

Many health conditions are related to morbid obesity, but some of the more common are:

  • Type II Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Heart Disease
  • High cholesterol (lipids)
  • Acid reflux (GERD)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Female reproductive disorders
  • Stress urinary incontinence
  • Depression

Other health conditions related to morbid obesity include:

  • NASH or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Obesity hyperventilation syndrome
  • DVT/Pulmonary embolism
  • Pseudotumor cerebri
  • Certain cancers
Criteria for Bariatric Surgery

When to Consider Weight Loss Surgery in Washington DC

Weight loss surgery is a serious undertaking, and should be considered a last-resort effort for an individual who must lose weight to alleviate debilitating chronic disease.

The decision to consider weight loss surgery for morbid obesity is both complex and intensely personal.

Many factors must be considered in determining who may be a candidate for surgery. Following the National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines for weight loss surgery, candidate selection criteria include:

  • Be at least 100 pounds over their ideal body weight
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or greater with one or more obesity-related health conditions
  • Have a BMI of 40 or greater regardless of other medical conditions
  • Have documented multiple failed attempts to maintain weight loss through medical therapy, diet programs, exercise and behavioral change
  • Be committed to life-long nutritional and behavioral changes including diet modification, regular exercise and medical follow-up

An appropriate candidate must also:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Understands the mechanics of how the surgery works
  • Have realistic expectations for how the surgery may assist with weight loss
  • Have the ability to engage in vigorous exercise after surgery
  • Understand and accept the possible risks, potential complications and their implications
  • Show how they have made a sincere effort towards nutrition and behavioral change prior to surgery

Weight loss surgery may not be appropriate for candidates with:

  • Certain gastrointestinal disorders
  • Severe pulmonary or cardiovascular disease
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Certain mental health disorders
  • Pregnant, or who may be pregnant within 18 months after surgery

Who Can Benefit from Bariatric Surgery?

The decision as to whether a patient would benefit from bariatric surgery is made on an individual basis after a consultation between the patient and a bariatric surgeon.

General considerations for weight loss surgery are as follows:

  • BMI Criteria
    • BMI ≥ 40

Or

  • BMI ≥ 35 with a medical co-morbidity
Surgical Procedures

Minimally Invasive Approaches to Weight Loss Surgery

Laparoscopic Surgery

The surgeon makes several very small abdominal incisions to insert a tiny camera and surgical instruments in to the abdomen to complete the surgical procedure.
Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

The surgeon creates a small stomach pouch using staples, then attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the newly created pouch. The small stomach pouch restricts the amount of food consumed, while the rerouting of the intestine allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine where calories and some nutrients are usually absorbed. This is both a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure. The volume of food consumed at any one time is limited, and there is further calorie reduction due to decreased absorption.

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

A thin, vertical “sleeve” of stomach is created using a stapling device. The newly created sleeve is roughly the size of a banana. The remaining unused portion of the stomach is completely removed from the body.

This is a restrictive procedure, meaning that the volume of food consumed at any one time is limited.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band

A silicone band is placed around the uppermost part of the stomach, creating a smaller stomach pouch. A connecting tube and filling port are placed in the soft tissue under the skin. Over time, the band will be slowly filled with sterile water to create a feeling of early fullness when eating.

This is a restrictive procedure, limiting the volume of food passing through the banded portion of the upper stomach at any one time.

Revision Bariatric Surgery

Under certain circumstances, a previous bariatric surgical procedure may have failed due to technical or behavioral reasons, causing weight regain. A second bariatric surgery procedure may be considered to facilitate weight loss.

Revision bariatric surgery carries a much higher risk for surgical complications, and the potential for any meaningful weight loss may be much less. Each situation is very unique, and must be thoroughly evaluated on an individual basis.

Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Accreditation accredited center
Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Accreditation