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Bariatric Surgery

Welcome to the Bariatric Surgery Program at St. Francis Hospital. As some of the most experienced bariatric surgeons in the region, we know how crucial it is to select the right weight loss options for patients facing serious health challenges from a chronic condition known as morbid obesity. The members of our highly skilled surgical team have one of the largest caseloads in the northeast. They have been recognized for their excellent success rates in performing the safest and most effective weight loss procedures. These options include virtually scarless single-incision gastric banding, laparoscopic gastric bypass, and virtually scarless single-incision sleeve gastrectomy. Our goal is to see our patients enjoy longer, healthier lives and we augment our surgical skills with patient education and support. We look forward to helping you before and after surgery as you make this long-term commitment to better health.
- Shawn M. Garber, M.D., FACS, FASMBS, Director of Bariatric Surgery


Bariatric Surgery – An Overview

Weight-loss surgery, known medically as bariatric surgery, is performed on patients who are approximately 100 pounds or more overweight and have been unsuccessful with diet, exercise, and weight-loss medications. Recent research reveals that conventional weight loss treatments generally fail to produce permanent weight loss. Several studies have shown that patients on diets, exercise programs, or medication are able to lose approximately 10% of their body weight but tend to regain two-thirds of it within one year, and almost all of it within five years. Another study found that less than 5% of patients in weight loss programs were able to maintain their reduced weight after five years.

The St. Francis Hospital Bariatric Surgery Program offers the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, the Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass (also referred to as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass), and Laparoscopic Banding (Adjustable Gastric Band). All procedures are performed using state-of-the-art, minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques, with smaller incisions, less post-surgery pain, less time in the hospital, and a faster recovery. We also offer revisional surgeries. Patients who have had gastric bypass in the past and encounter stomach stretching or weight gain may now be in the market for revisional surgery such as Band-Over-Bypass.
Surgeons often are able to utilize a technique known as Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) that uses just one small opening in the abdomen, through the navel, rather than the five incisions required in traditional techniques.

Shawn Garber, M.D., Director of Bariatric Surgery, and his colleagues in the New York Bariatric Group, Spencer Holover, M.D., John Angstadt, M.D., Niklesh Sekhar, M.D., Wenting Chiao, M.D., Pankti R. Patel, M.D., and Eric Sommer, M.D. have performed more than 6,000 minimally invasive weight-loss procedures. St. Francis has specially-trained bariatric surgery teams, as well as a dedicated bariatric unit with rooms and accommodations specially designed for post-surgery comfort and privacy. We also have specially trained plastic surgeons, such as Kevin Howard Small, M.D., who are experts in skin reduction.

To see if you are a candidate for Bariatric Surgery, calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI).  A typical candidate would have a BMI greater than 40.  Candidates with medical complications related to obesity -- high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and/or gallbladder disease -- might have a BMI as low as 35.