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Weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is performed on patients with obesity. There are several types of bariatric procedures, but all focus on making modifications to the digestive system with the goal of significant weight loss.

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Surgical weight loss center in Largo, Florida

Bariatric surgery is considered the most successful approach to overcoming obesity.

This is an informed surgical decision, not a cosmetic procedure, and it is by no means "the easy way" to lose weight. You will still have to work hard to become healthier with better diet and exercise habits. And at Florida Bariatric Centers at HCA Florida Largo Hospital, we are proud to be able to help you do this with both nonsurgical and surgical weight loss solutions.

Conditions weight loss surgery can treat

Obesity can shorten your lifespan and increase your risk of developing serious health conditions. Weight loss operations offer you the opportunity to change that and live a healthier life. They can also reduce, and sometimes reverse, obesity-related medical conditions, including:

  • Acid reflux
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Infertility
  • Sleep apnea
  • Unhealthy blood pressure levels
  • Unhealthy lipid (cholesterol) levels

Weight loss procedures we offer

As a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) Accredited Comprehensive Center, we provide surgical and nonsurgical weight loss solutions, including both traditional and robotic surgical techniques. These weight loss treatment options include the following:

Endoscopic gastric balloon (nonsurgical weight loss)

The endoscopic gastric balloon procedure is a nonsurgical bariatric option for many people with a BMI between 30 and 40. On average, patients lose about 35 pounds with the balloon in place, combined with dietary counseling and an exercise program.

During this minimally-invasive procedure, a medical balloon is inserted with an endoscope — a thin, flexible scope with a tiny video camera and light on the end. The procedure can take as little as 15 minutes, and you typically go home the same day.

The balloon temporarily occupies space in the stomach, helping you feel full with less food. While the balloon is in place, it enables you to make lifestyle changes, such as dietary modifications and exercise routines.

After six months of building these healthy habits and adapting to a healthier way of living, the balloon device is removed.

Adjustable gastric banding

The adjustable gastric band system involves a purely restrictive surgical procedure in which a band is placed around the uppermost part of the stomach. Because the amount of food that passes through the band is regulated, it makes you feel full faster. Food digestion occurs through the normal digestive process.

Gastric sleeve (vertical sleeve gastrectomy)

Gastric sleeve is a surgical weight loss procedure in which a portion of the stomach is removed, reducing it to about 15 percent of its original size. No bypass is involved in this procedure, making it a beneficial alternative if you have a higher BMI.

Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)

Gastric bypass restricts food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs by creating a smaller stomach pouch and changing the digestive process. As a result, food bypasses a large part of the stomach and most of the small intestine.

Minimally invasive bariatric surgery techniques

Robotic surgery involves surgeons using robotic technology to perform your procedure. These minimally invasive procedures usually require fewer and much smaller incisions, which means you get less scarring, less pain and a faster recovery.

The robotic system also gives our surgeons enhanced visualization, greater dexterity, increased precision and better control of surgical instruments.

Our hospital is the first in the area to have surgeons perform:

  • Robotic adjustable gastric band
  • Robotic single-incision adjustable gastric band
  • Robotic sleeve gastrectomy

Diet and exercise changes after bariatric surgery

Ideally, your diet will have changed before bariatric surgery to solidify the habit of eating more protein, eating smaller portions and eating healthier foods. Immediately after weight loss surgery, your eating habits will then drastically change in ways that will permanently impact your life.

After weight loss surgery, you must strictly follow a specified diet to ensure proper healing and obtain adequate nutrition. For example, in the first nine to 12 weeks after surgery, you must gradually progress to eating solid foods.

The number one reason weight loss surgery "fails" is because patients abandon the postsurgical diet and modified exercise program prescribed by their weight loss surgeon or dietitian.

Weight loss surgery support groups

Support group meetings are an incredibly helpful way to get the emotional support and encouragement you need to have long-term, sustained weight loss. Our bariatric surgeons and weight-loss specialists will suggest support groups for preoperative and postoperative support for you.

These free group meetings offer opportunities to learn more about life after weight loss surgery, to share experiences and to gain support from our program’s professionals.

Candidates for weight loss surgery

Bariatric surgery isn't the right approach to weight loss for everyone, but you may qualify if:

  • You are 100 pounds or more over the healthy body weight for your height
  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater
  • You have a BMI of 35 or greater and obesity-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
  • You are otherwise unable to sustain a healthy body weight, even through medically supervised dieting

Bariatric surgery requirements

The exact tests, forms and steps required before weight loss surgery can vary from person to person. However, we are here to help you navigate the process and have outlined the typical steps here:

Verify insurance coverage

Unless you plan to self-pay for bariatric surgery, contact your insurance provider to see if they will cover your procedure and, if so, what requirements they have.

Schedule a bariatric surgery consultation with us

After you have gathered required documentation, please make an appointment with our weight loss team and we'll talk about the next steps together.


Document medically monitored weight loss attempts

Most insurance companies require several months of medically documented and supervised weight loss attempts. Your primary care provider can help you with this process and documentation.

Complete a psychological evaluation

A psychological evaluation is required before weight loss surgery. It includes a detailed clinical interview and psychological tests that help us understand your mental health. 

Complete a nutritional assessment

A nutritional assessment is also part of the preoperative plan of care. It will cover your postsurgical diet, emotional eating, food intake and identifying your triggers.

If you would like to learn more about weight loss surgery at HCA Florida Healthcare, please call us at (855) 227-4387.

Florida Bariatric Centers - Webinar

Life is too short to let your weight hold you back. As part of Florida Bariatric Centers, we specialize in minimally invasive weight loss surgery with a support team to help you through every step of the journey.

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