Weight management in Richmond, Virginia

Over time, obesity can impact a person's health and lead to serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. To help patients overcome these and other obesity-related challenges, the doctors at HCA Virginia Physicians use weight loss procedures, including surgical weight loss procedures, referred to as bariatric surgery. These procedures include gastric balloon, banding, bypass and sleeve surgeries.

For more information about our bariatric surgery options, please watch our online video seminar or request an in-person consultation.

Weight loss procedures

Although weight loss is the intended outcome of bariatric surgery and other weight loss procedures, these services are meant to transform the health of our patients. To help accomplish this, we also provide resources on healthy lifestyle changes for a better quality of life.

When a weight loss procedure is complemented by lifestyle changes, such as exercise and healthy eating habits, the patient can expect significant, long-term changes. However, it is important that interested patients first meet with a weight loss specialist to evaluate all options for weight loss, including non-surgical alternatives.

Weight loss procedure benefits

Non-surgical and surgical weight loss procedures can reduce the risk of obesity-related conditions, such as:

Types of weight loss procedures

We offer a wide range of weight loss procedures to ensure patients receive a weight loss solution that is right for their unique situation.

Medical and non-surgical weight loss procedures

Medical and non-surgical weight loss procedures still provide weight loss benefits to the patient, without any incisions to the body.

Gastric balloon

During a gastric balloon procedure, a medical-grade balloon is placed in the stomach and filled with the right amount of saline to match the patient's needs. By taking up space in the stomach, the balloon causes the patient to feel full more quickly.

A gastric balloon is a temporary system and should be removed after six months. It is used in adults who have been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. However, it is intended to be used while a patient participates in a diet and exercise plan supervised by a healthcare provider.

Advantages of gastric balloon include:

  • Shorter recovery time
  • Non-surgical and reversible procedure
  • The digestive tract functions as usual, allowing vitamins and nutrients to be fully absorbed into the body

Medical weight loss

With medical-assisted weight loss, patients will work one-on-one with a member of our weight loss team. During these sessions, patients will learn about diet, exercise and how to make healthy lifestyle changes to achieve weight loss goals.

Surgical weight loss procedures

Most of our surgical weight loss procedures, or bariatric surgery procedures, are performed using minimally invasive techniques. This allows major operations to be performed through smaller incisions with specialized surgical tools, resulting in reduced scarring and pain, as well as shorter hospital stays for patients.

Our bariatric surgeons offer the following surgical procedures for weight loss:

Gastric banding

In a gastric banding procedure, a band is placed around the outside of the upper stomach. Over time, the tightness of the band is adjusted to help the patient continually meet their weight loss goals. As it tightens, the patient feels full sooner and longer, encouraging ongoing gradual weight loss.

Advantages of gastric banding include:

  • No part of the stomach or digestive system is permanently altered
  • The surgery can be reversed
  • The digestive tract functions as usual, allowing vitamins and nutrients to be fully absorbed into the body

Gastric bypass

The Roux en-Y gastric bypass—also referred to as simply "gastric bypass"—is the most common and successful type of malabsorptive surgery. With a malabsorptive procedure, there is a restriction in food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.

During gastric bypass, a smaller stomach pouch is created and the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach and part of the small intestine. It is both non-reversible and non-adjustable. Long-term success depends on adhering to new rules for eating.

Advantages of gastric bypass include:

  • Average weight loss is generally higher than with gastric banding or sleeve surgeries
  • Weight loss is generally maintained the longest in comparison to other weight loss procedures

Gastric bypass revision surgery

For some gastric bypass patients, the small stomach pouch and bypass outlet can stretch back out over time. As a result, patients begin to eat more food before they feel full. We offer a safe and effective minimally invasive endoscopic procedure to correct this issue.

Gastric sleeve

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy, also referred to as a "gastric sleeve," is a form of restrictive weight loss surgery in which approximately 85 percent of the stomach is removed. The remaining stomach is about the size of a banana.

Patients may opt to have this surgery if they are concerned about the effects of other surgery types or having an implanted device, such as a gastric band or balloon.

Advantages of gastric sleeve

  • No postoperative adjustments are required
  • Patients may lose an average of 55 percent of their excess weight
  • It may help resolve high blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnea
  • It may help improve Type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia
  • The digestive tract functions as usual, allowing vitamins and nutrients to be fully absorbed into the body

Accelerated surgical services

We understand cost is a factor when considering weight loss surgery. Although weight loss surgery may be expensive, it’s important to also consider the financial costs of not having it. For example, consider the physical and financial costs of the associated complications of obesity, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, acid reflux, joint pain and fatigue. Weight loss surgery is an investment in your health—both financially and in quality of life.

For individuals looking to self-pay for their weight loss procedure, we offer a fast track program to help expedite their journey to better health. Under the supervision of a care team, we can often help patients through our process in as little as eight to 10 weeks.

For additional information about our fast track program, attend our free online seminar, or call (804) 967-5246.

Candidates for weight loss surgery

The need for weight loss surgery is determined by several factors, including a patient's classification of obesity.

Obesity is determined by body mass index (BMI) as follows:

  • BMI less than 18.5 is considered underweight
  • BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy
  • BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is considered overweight
  • BMI between 30.0 and 34.9 s considered obese
  • BMI between 35.0 and 39.9 is considered severely obese
  • BMI greater than 40 is considered morbidly obese

Patients may qualify for surgery if they have a BMI of at least 40, or if they have a BMI of at least 35 and also have other significant health issues related to weight, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

It is also important to note that BMI cannot distinguish between excess fat and muscle. The BMI of an extremely muscular person may be classified as obese, when clearly, he or she is not.

Complete the form below to determine your BMI.

BMI Calculator

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

Height:

feet
inches

Weight:

pounds

Your BMI Score is:

scale

Your BMI indicates your weight is in the underweight range. By gaining a few pounds, you may lower your chances of health problems.

Congratulations! Your BMI indicates that your weight is in the healthy range.

Your BMI indicates your weight is in the overweight range. To lower your chances of health problems, you may consider losing some weight.

Your BMI indicates your weight is in the obese range, which can have a significant impact on your health.

Disclaimer:
All information provided by this website is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a health care professional. No information provided in this site may be considered medical advice. The information may not be relevant for your individual situation and may be misinterpreted. HCA assumes no responsibility for how you use information obtained from this site. Before making any decisions regarding your health care, ask your personal physician.

Weight loss surgery prior to orthopedic surgery

For patients who are morbidly obese, having weight loss surgery prior to a scheduled orthopedic surgery—such as total hip or knee replacement—can greatly reduce both in-hospital and postoperative complications.

In recent studies, morbidly obese patients, those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of greater than 40, who had prior bariatric surgery were 75% and 31% less likely to have in-hospital complications for hip and knee replacements, respectively. The risk for 90-day postoperative complications was also lower, by 14% for hip replacements, and 61% for knee replacements.

As with any surgery, there are certain risks involved. This is why it is important for all patients to speak with their doctors and surgeons to determine if weight loss surgery prior to orthopedic surgery is the right choice.

Gastroparesis complications

Gastroparesis, a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, occurs when the stomach has difficulty emptying food. This leaves food sitting in the stomach for an extended period of time. When this happens, patients can experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Reflux
  • Vomiting

One type of gastroparesis is referred to as postsurgical gastroparesis, that is caused after a surgical procedure such as bariatric surgery. Our doctors specialize in treating gastroparesis as a result of bariatric surgery and are experienced in helping patients reduce symptoms and heal as quickly as possible.