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. 

Before any procedure, you'll meet with healthcare providers. They, along with your primary care provider, will review your lifestyle, eating habits, and mental and physical condition to decide if you qualify and which procedure may be best.

Weight-loss procedures usually require a short hospital stay.

Weight-Loss Procedures at UVA

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass, also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is a surgery that 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 and then directly into the small intestine (bypassing the rest of your stomach and some of your small intestine).

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy, also called a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a less-invasive procedure that is done using only 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. It also causes hormonal changes that promote weight loss and help relieve some conditions associated with 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.

    This procedure may be an option if you have a BMI of 30 or more. Along with lifestyle changes, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty can lead to significant weight loss.

    Endoscopic ORBERA™ Gastric Balloon

    In this outpatient, non-surgical procedure, 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.

    Benefits include: 

    • The balloon is temporary
    • It doesn't require surgery or leave scars
    • Short recovery time
    • Short procedure (only takes about 20-30 minutes to complete)
    • No hospital stay

    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.