Bariatric Surgery at Avita

Bariatrics is a surgery program focused on individuals who are struggling with obesity-related health problems and disabilities. Through Avita’s comprehensive bariatric program, patients have several options for improving their health and quality of life. Bariatric and metabolic surgery has helped thousands of people discover life at a healthier weight, resolving many health conditions associated with severe obesity.

Bariatric surgery is a tried and proven method of weight loss. Patients are expected to lose 60 – 75lbs per 100lbs overweight. It can also resolve medical conditions related to obesity such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, reflux/GERD, incontinence, fatigue, migraine headaches, fatty liver disease, and mobility issues.

Avita’s program is thorough and patients are required to complete several pre-screening appointments and tests prior to surgery, which is standard in any quality bariatric program. Some pre-surgical requirements include: clearance from a primary care physician and psychologist, visits to a nutritionist and/or dietician, lab work, and radiology procedures.

The first step for individuals who are considering bariatric surgery is to learn more about weight loss, surgical options and the pre-surgical process by watching our webinar and filling out a brief questionnaire.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

In this procedure, a small pouch is created out of the top portion of your stomach. The rest of your stomach is “bypassed” along with the first portion of your intestine. Your lower intestine is then brought up and attached to the small stomach pouch. This decreases the amount of food that you can eat and decreases absorption of calories. This procedure also helps you feel less hungry and get full faster.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

About 80% of the stomach is removed completely from your abdomen. This procedure reduces the size of your stomach, decreasing the amount of food that you can eat. This procedure also helps you feel less hungry and get full faster.

Duodenal Switch

This procedure is typically reserved for people with a BMI over 60. It is often performed in two stages. First, a sleeve gastrectomy is performed. This limits how much food can be eaten. Then an intestinal bypass is executed, forcing less calories to be absorbed. This procedure also helps you feel less hungry and get full faster.

Gastric Balloon

This procedure is performed endoscopically (through the mouth), rather than surgically. One or two balloons are inserted into the stomach and inflated. They remain in place for up to six months and make you feel full after eating only a small amount of food.

Am I a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

You may be a candidate if:

  • your BMI is greater than 40
  • your BMI is greater than 35 and you have an obesity-related health problem
  • you have attempted and failed multiple diet and exercise regimens
  • you are over the age of 18

Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

  • Up to 6 months of supervised weight loss attempts
    • Monthly visits with a primary care provider (PCP) or dietitian specifically dedicated
      to weight loss
    • Varies by insurance carrier
  • Medical clearance from your PCP
  • Clearance from medical specialists (heart, lung, or diabetes doctors)
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Sleep study
  • Lab work
  • Attendance at support group or bariatric exercise program

After Surgery

  • Most patients spend 1-2 nights in the hospital after surgery
  • On the night of surgery, you will be able to drink and walk around
  • Most patients return to work in 2-4 weeks.
  • The only restrictions following surgery will be on your diet (slow progression from liquids to solid food over 4-6 weeks) and heavy lifting. No lifting over 10 lbs.
  • Long-term follow-up with bariatric team (surgeon, psychology, dietitian, and yearly lab-work) every 3 months for the first year and yearly thereafter (A table in the webinar details follow-up visits)

Robotic-Assisted Bariatric Surgery

With the addition of the da Vinci Xi surgical robot, Avita provides minimally-invasive surgical options for bariatric “weight-loss” patients. Fellowship trained surgeon, Thomas Smith, DO, specializes in robotic bariatric surgery and performs all of his procedures using advanced robotic technology, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, duodenal switch, and revision operations. Dr. Smith completed his first robotic procedure in 2013 and has helped train other surgeons in robotic procedures since 2017.

Robotic-assisted surgery is often less invasive, more effective, and easier on patients. It allows the surgeon to perform complex surgeries through tiny openings which can help minimize scarring. According to Dr. Smith, it may result in “less post-operative pain and a quicker return to work for patients.”

Data has shown that surgeries done with the da Vinci Xi have favorable results when compared to traditional laparoscopic surgery*. These include:

  • Fewer complications and serious adverse events
  • Less bleeding
  • Fewer hospital readmissions
  • Shorter hospital stays

The surgical robot gives Dr. Smith greater control by acting as an extension of his eyes and hands. The arms of the robot end in tiny EndoWrists®, which allow Dr. Smith to make smaller cuts and work at different angles than offered by standard laparoscopic tools. This additional range of motion and precision can make certain tasks, such as suturing, much easier and more manageable. The wrists provide such precise movement that they can peel a grape! Watch the video below to see this in action.

To learn more about robotic-assisted bariatric surgery, request an appointment with Dr. Smith.

*El Chaar, Maher, Keith King, Jean F. Salem, AbdulAziz Arishi, Alvaro Galvez, and Jill Stoltzfus. “Robotic Surgery Results in Better Outcomes Following Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass: Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program Analysis for the Years 2015–2018.” Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, December 6, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soard.2020.12.005.

Initial Nutrition Evaluation

Welcome to the Bariatric nutrition program! Our nutrition classes consist of six appointments with a dietitian:

  • an initial appointment,
  • four classes,
  • and a final clearance before surgery.

Prior to your initial nutrition appointment, please fill out and submit the form below. This information will be automatically sent to the nutrition team. We will use the form during the initial nutrition appointment to get a better understanding of who you are and how we can best help you meet the nutrition goals prior to surgery.

Before & After Photos

Linden Karas, MD

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Linden Karas, MD

Gastric Bypass

Linden Karas, MD

Gastric Bypass

Linden Karas, MD

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Linden Karas, MD

Gastric Bypass

Linden Karas, MD

Gastric Bypass

Linden Karas, MD

Gastric Bypass

Linden Karas, MD

Gastric Bypass