Weight-Loss Procedures: Surgical & Non-Surgical Options

Weight-loss procedures reduce the amount of food your body can take in. These procedures use different methods to reduce your food and calorie intake. Some completely bypass your stomach, while others shrink or reshape it. 

Which Weight-Loss Procedure is for You?

You'll meet with our weight-loss surgery experts to figure out the best procedure for you. Along with your primary care provider, they'll look at your lifestyle, eating habits, and mental and physical condition. These factors will determine what procedure would work best for you.  

Weight-Loss Procedures at UVA

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass, also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, involves forming a small pouch from your stomach and connecting that pouch directly to the small intestine. After the procedure, swallowed food goes into this small stomach pouch. The food then goes directly into your small intestine, going around or bypassing the rest of your stomach.

Gastric bypass:

  • Is a surgical procedure
  • Requires a hospital stay

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy, also called a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, only requires small cuts in your upper abdomen. During the procedure, surgeons reduce the size of your stomach by forming it into a tube about the size and shape of a banana. This restricts the amount of food you can eat. 

Sleeve gastrectomy:

  • Is a surgical procedure
  • Requires a hospital stay
  • Causes hormonal changes
  • Helps relieve conditions caused by being overweight

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty

Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty reduces the size of your stomach without cutting through your skin. Using an endoscope, a suturing device is threaded into your mouth and down to your stomach. There, sutures placed in the lining of your stomach change the stomach's shape. This limits how much you can eat and affects your ability to absorb calories.

Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty:

  • Doesn't require surgery or a hospital stay
  • Is an option if you have a BMI of 30 or more
  • Along with healthy diet and exercise, can lead to significant weight loss

Endoscopic ORBERA™ Gastric Balloon

In this outpatient, non-surgical Weight-Loss Procedures, your doctor inserts a balloon through your mouth and into your stomach. Once inside, your doctor fills the balloon with saline, which expands it to the size of a grapefruit. The balloon helps you learn portion control and healthy eating habits. After six months, your doctor removes the balloon through a second outpatient procedure.

Gastric balloon:

  • Doesn't require surgery or a hospital stay
  • Is temporary
  • Has a short recovery time
  • Takes about 20-30 minutes 

Please note that payment for both the gastric balloon and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty procedures is generally not covered by insurance. We recommend you contact your insurance provider for more information regarding coverage.

Is Bariatric Surgery Right for You?

UVA Surgeon Peter Hallowell, MD, discusses the reasons why a patient should consider bariatric surgery. View bariatric surgery transcript.