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Surgery Options

At Sanford Health, we offer several minimally invasive laparoscopic weight loss surgery options, including:

  •  Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Adjustable gastric banding (Lap-Band®)*
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Revisional bariatric surgery*
  • *At our Bemidji location, only management and removal of Lap-Bands is offered and no revisional bariatric surgery is available.

Surgical approach

We want the best for our patients, so we offer minimally invasive surgery options. This means smaller incisions, which allows you to recover faster and heal with less pain and scarring.

Laparoscopic surgery is done through five or six very small incisions, using small tubes, video cameras and surgical instruments. These small incisions mean less pain, external scarring and healing that typically occurs faster than traditional open surgery.

Robotic-assisted surgery is an alternative approach to minimally invasive surgery and is offered in select regions. Like laparoscopy, robotic surgery is done through five to six very small incisions. However robotic surgery allows the surgeon to have more dexterity with special instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist can. With magnified 3D high-definition views, the surgeon can operate with enhanced vision, precision and control.

Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass surgery reduces the size of your stomach and allows food to bypass a large part of your stomach and part of the small intestine. Having a smaller stomach means you’ll feel full more quickly, helping to reduce the amount of food eaten. Bypassing a section of the small intestine allows you to absorb fewer calories as well, which also aids weight loss.

Developed and refined over many years, gastric bypass surgery is known as the gold standard of bariatric surgery. It has proven to be a safe, effective and permanent weight loss solution.


How gastric bypass works

The surgeon first staples and divides the top portion of your stomach, leaving a small stomach pouch. We then bypass the remainder of the stomach and approximately 100 to 150 cm of the small intestine called the duodenum. The remainder of the intestine is re-routed to the newly created stomach pouch. The bypassed area of the duodenum is reconnected downstream to the functional intestine so digestive juices and enzymes can continue to help break down your food. This area of the intestine is not used to digesting high calories foods and therefore gastric bypass patients may experience “dumping syndrome” with high fat or sugar foods. 

Follow-up care 

Checkups are required at two weeks, two months, six months and then yearly for life. 

Weight loss 

This is a combination procedure. It is restrictive because your stomach pouch is smaller, and it is malabsorptive as an area of the stomach and intestine is bypassed affecting digestion. Stomach hormones are also altered with surgery, helping you feel less hungry and aid in satiety. Because of all these things, patients typically lose approximately 60 to 80 percent of their excess weight in 12 to 18 months. 

Other considerations 

Gastric bypass often helps to quickly reduce many weight associated health problems such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infertility and more. 

Adjustable gastric banding (Lap-Band®) 

Lap band surgery involves placing an adjustable silicone band around the top portion of your stomach. This limits the amount of food your stomach can hold, helping you eat less and feel full on a smaller portion. 

How lap banding works 

Lap banding, or adjustable gastric banding, involves the surgeon placing an adjustable band around the upper or top part of the stomach. This silicone band creates a new small stomach pouch. Tubing from the band is attached to a port located underneath the skin on the abdomen. This port is accessed to inflate or deflate your gastric band as needed for customizable restriction. The Lap-Band® reduces the amount of food that can be eaten at a meal and allows the food to pass through the digestive tract in the usual manner, allowing it to be fully absorbed into the body.


Follow-up care

The key to the adjustable band is adjustments. Patients are asked to return every four to six weeks the first year until the band is optimally adjusted, and then the frequency of visits is reduced to one to two times per year and as needed. Lifelong follow-up is required for all bariatric procedures done at Sanford.

Weight loss

This is a purely restrictive procedure because there are no areas of the digestive tract that are altered. Weight loss is dependent on diet, exercise and behavioral changes. Typically patients lose approximately 40 to 60 percent of their excess weight over three to five years. Learn more about lap band surgery here.

Sleeve gastrectomy

This surgery involves removing the majority of your stomach and reduces the size of your remaining stomach. This allows you to eat less and feel full on a smaller portion while food passes through on its normal route.

How sleeve gastrectomy works

The surgeon laparoscopically removes two-thirds of the stomach, leaving a narrow tube (sleeve) of stomach. The intestines remain intact so that food passes through its normal route. This provides for a quicker sense of fullness and decreased appetite, which reduces the amount of food you eat and thus the calories consumed.


Follow-up care

Checkups are required at two weeks, two months, six months and then yearly or more frequently, if needed, for life.

Weight loss

This is a combination procedure. It is restrictive because your stomach holds less food, and it is malabsorptive because a portion of the stomach is removed. Stomach hormones are also altered with surgery, helping you feel less hungry and aid in satiety. Because of all these things, patients typically lose approximately 50 to 70 percent of their excess weight in 12 to 18 months.

Revisional bariatric surgery

If you have had bariatric surgery in the past and have regained weight or are experiencing a problem – such as extreme reflux – our surgeons also perform revisional surgery. Bariatric revision surgical options are extremely individualized. If you have questions, want to know your options or if you qualify for revision, schedule a consultation today.

Click here for additional information about weight loss surgery and a glossary of terms.

Qualifying for surgery

Are you a candidate for surgery? See if you qualify for weight loss surgery at Sanford Health.