For many severely overweight people, repeated attempts at diet and exercise have been unsuccessful. This often results in depression, frustration and a sense of hopelessness. If you or someone you know has been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise or a medical weight loss management program, help is available. Weight-loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, may be an appropriate option.

Akron General has a dedicated, knowledgeable, sensitive team of weight-loss specialists who are here to support you and help you find the best, and most healthy, solutions for your weight-loss difficulties. With help from our specialists in sleep disorders, gastroenterology and nutrition, cardiology, internal medicine and other obesity-related fields, as needed, our patients receive the support they need for a permanent return to health.

You could be a candidate for surgical weight loss if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You are more than 100 lbs. over your ideal body weight.
  • You have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40
  • You have a BMI of over 35 and are experiencing severe, negative health effects, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, related to being severely overweight.
  • You are unable to achieve a healthy body weight for a sustained period of time, even through medically-supervised dieting.

Our Bariatric Center is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a joint project of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). MBSAQIP accreditation means you have access to a comprehensive and multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success.

Am I a candidate?

By considering bariatric surgery, you are making a decision that will completely change your life for the better. And for us, nothing is more satisfying than helping our patients. But the decision is both serious and personal. So we make every effort possible to provide a positive experience that answers all of your questions or concerns.

To find out more about how Akron General can help you reach your weight loss goals:



Our Bariatric Center offers a comprehensive program that includes educational classes, medically supervised weight loss and monthly support group sessions. For many severely overweight people, repeated attempts at diet and exercise have been unsuccessful. Surgical treatment for weight loss may be recommended for those with morbid obesity, or people with severe obesity who have obesity-related health problems. More information about our procedures is listed below.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

The most popular weight loss procedure, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (GBP), can now be performed laparoscopically. In most cases, this minimally invasive surgery only requires six small incisions. The stomach is divided into two parts using a surgical stapler. The upper part forms a small (approximately ½ ounce) pouch, which receives food. We then create an outlet from the pouch to a portion of small bowel (150 cm Roux limb) using a circular stapler.

This results in a bypass of most of the stomach and duodenum. The average hospital stay is usually two or three days.

Reported weight loss from the GBP can vary widely. However, it is generally reported that average excess weight loss ranges from 60-70 percent within one to two years.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy

The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is an operation that limits how much food you can eat by significantly reducing the size of your stomach (by 75 percent or more), but does not lead to decreased absorption of food. The left side of your stomach is surgically removed, resulting in a new stomach, which is roughly the size and shape of a banana and holds 2-3 oz. It is carried out laparoscopically with five or six very small incisions, and is therefore much less traumatic than open surgery, with a shorter healing time and less risk. Since this operation does not involve any "rerouting" of the intestines, it is a simpler operation than the gastric bypass, and you will suffer none of the side effects experienced by bypass patients because your digestion is unaltered.

The portion of your stomach that is removed is responsible for secreting Ghrelin, which is a hormone that is responsible for appetite and hunger. By removing this portion of your stomach, this possibly eliminates most Ghrelin hormone production and helps to reduce the sensation of hunger that people have. The removed section of the stomach is actually the portion that "stretches" the most. The long vertical tube shaped stomach that remains is the portion least likely to expand over time and it creates significant resistance to volumes of food. Not only is your appetite reduced, but also very small amounts of food will give you early and lasting feelings of fullness.

Currently Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is a covered benefit for some insurance companies, but may be considered investigational by others.

Procedure Comparisons

Sleeve vs. Bypass

  Sleeve Bypass
Usual length of Hospital stay 2-3 days 2-3 days
Avg time to lose excess weight 12-18 months 12-18 months
Avg excess weight lost 70% 77%
Effectiveness w/"sweet eaters" Fair Good
Surgery Introduction 1993 1967
Requires maintenance "fills" No No
Requires re-routing of intestines No Yes
Invasiveness of the surgery More Most
Risk of vitamin deficiencies More Most
Re-operation Low Low
Usual route of re-operation Laparoscopic (small incisions) Open (large incision)
% Operative Mortality (death rate within 30 days of surgery) 0.08% 0.14%
Reversibility Irreversible Reversible


Our staff includes board-certified surgeons and nurse practitioners, as well as a dedicated team of dietitians, psychologists, registered nurses, health and fitness professionals and surgical technicians. Additionally, we work closely with your primary care doctor, as well as any appropriate specialists, who could include gastroenterology, endocrinology, cardiology, internal medicine and other obesity-related fields



To find out more about how Akron General can help you reach your weight loss goals: