Weight loss surgery in San Antonio, Texas

Methodist Healthcare's weight loss surgeons in San Antonio are committed to extending lives, improving quality of life and maximizing independence through a variety of weight-loss surgeries and lifestyle coaching.

To learn more about our bariatric surgery program, call the Methodist Healthcare HealthLine at (210) 575-0355.

Accredited bariatric services

Methodist Healthcare has a team of expert surgeons, physicians, nurses and support staff to help guide you through the process of weight loss surgery

The weight loss centers at Methodist Hospital Metropolitan and Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant have been designated as American Society for Metabolic Surgery Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence®.

Effects of obesity

Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. Obesity is most commonly measured by body mass index (BMI). A person with a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese. A BMI greater than 40 suggests morbid obesity.

Morbid obesity is a disease that can cause a severe decline in health and a shortened life span. Weight loss surgery is not done for cosmetic reasons—it is done to treat and prevent serious medical problems associated with severe obesity. Nearly all body systems are affected by morbid obesity.

Some common and significant medical problems caused by morbid obesity include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obstructive sleep apnea, breathing failure
  • Degeneration of weight-bearing joints in hips, knees, ankles and feet
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

If you are interested in surgical weight loss, find out if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery.

Weight loss surgeries

Our weight loss surgeons at Methodist Healthcare provide excellent and compassionate care for patients of bariatric surgery. We offer gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric band surgeries for weight loss and improved health.

Methodist Healthcare also offers stomach intestinal pylorus-sparing surgery (SIPS), which is similar to gastric bypass surgery except that food does not skip the first part of the small intestine. This allows the absorption of more nutrients and allows food to move at a steady rate through the digestive system, which can improve control of diabetes.

Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass surgery consists of creating a small pouch in the upper stomach that is then connected to the small intestine, which restricts the volume of food, calories and nutrients absorbed while eating.

Gastric bypass surgery helps patients achieve rapid and reliable weight loss. The surgery creates trauma that stuns the nerves of the stomach so patients experience profound freedom from hunger over a sustained period.

Depending on the starting point, patients can lose anywhere from 40 to 100 pounds within the first three months after surgery. As healing of the stomach pouch progresses, hunger and calorie intake naturally return so that weight loss slows. For most gastric bypass patients, the lowest weight level is reached 10 to 16 months after surgery.

There is a strong tendency to regain 10 to 15 pounds during the second year after surgery, and the weight that a patient has at the two-year point is usually one they will maintain for the rest of their life. The total weight loss can vary from 70 to over 250 pounds lost.

Sleeve gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure that removes 75 to 80% of the stomach, resulting in a "sleeve" shape. The gastric sleeve causes profound suppression of hunger in a way that appears similar to the gastric bypass.

It seems that the long tubular stomach recovers a bit more quickly than after gastric bypass, so average weight loss is not as dramatic as for gastric bypass patients. On the other hand, the reservoir section of the stomach that is removed seems to be the source of some hunger-related hormones such as ghrelin, so the removal of that part of the stomach may help create sustained suppression of hunger.

With sleeve gastrectomy, total weight loss is slightly less than gastric bypass. However, it is within the same range. There is not yet any data on the weight maintenance at five years or more after gastric sleeve surgery.

Adjustable gastric band

Adjustable gastric banding, also known as Lap-Band surgery, helps create weight loss that is slower and more prolonged, sometimes continuing for three years after surgery. Adjustable gastric banding is a minimally invasive, and reversible, surgery where an adjustable band is placed around the upper part of the stomach to limit the amount of food it can hold.

In the first few weeks after gastric band surgery, most patients experience a short-term loss of hunger. This is because of minor trauma to the nerves of the stomach and because the band is placed wide open with fluid on the day of surgery.

During the first month, a band patient may lose between 5 and 30 pounds. Weight loss will slow down as hunger and intake return, but if the patient works with the surgical team for gastric band adjustment, then the hunger will be controlled.

When following our team's diet and exercise recommendations, our patients can expect to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. Band surgery may allow patients to reach their target weight. In our experience, about 30 percent of band patients will lose less than 40 pounds but will still have achieved better health with that modest weight loss.

Robotic bariatric surgery

We offer minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery for gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy that is completely controlled by your surgeon at all times. Robotic surgery offers several potential benefits compared to traditional surgery or laparoscopy, including:

  • Less pain
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Lower rate of complications
  • Smaller incisions for minimal scarring

Improved health after bariatric surgery

People who undergo surgery for obesity tend to lose substantial amounts of weight after surgery (50 to over 200 pounds), and they have a very good chance of maintaining their lower weight for life. Life after bariatric surgery can improve or resolve many issues as the medical stress caused by weight is reduced. A few of the most important medical and lifestyle improvements that are seen after bariatric surgery are:

  • 85 percent of diabetes cases are resolved
  • 95 percent of GERD cases are resolved
  • 60 percent of high blood pressure cases are resolved
  • 50 percent of cancer risk is reduced after weight loss surgery
  • 40 percent increase in life expectancy over the next five years
  • Improved breathing and increased energy levels
  • Better ability to travel
  • Greater confidence
  • Improved job or career prospects
  • Better quality sleep

Note that this outline of benefits is not complete unless it is balanced against the risks of the chosen weight loss surgery.