Surgical weight loss options in Portsmouth

Choosing bariatric surgery, often called weight loss surgery, is a lifelong commitment and a decision to be made with care. Portsmouth Regional Hospital's New Hampshire Medical & Surgical Weight Loss Center offers education, support and experience to help you make that decision. When choosing which surgery option is right for you, our doctors consider and discuss your individual needs and medical history. They conduct a thorough medical evaluation and create a nutrition and exercise follow-up plan to increase your chances of success.

Your first step in determining whether bariatric surgery is right for you is participating in one of our free weight loss information seminars online or in person. Register here.

We partner with Atlantic Surgical Associates to offer you weight loss seminars both online and in-person for your convenience.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital is committed to ensuring all patients receive quality care. That means we:

  • Employ a dedicated operating room staff with special interest and training in bariatric surgery
  • Employ physicians whose primary specialty is bariatric surgery and who have extensive experience and educational training
  • Surround you with a team of specialists who will help you prepare for your procedure and support you in your new lifestyle

What is bariatric surgery?

Weight loss surgery is not a cosmetic procedure. It reflects an educated decision to improve your health and lifespan. Patients who opt for weight loss surgery at Portsmouth Regional Hospital see their lives transformed and notice improvements in their health and quality of life. The journey requires effort and commitment, and we’re able to help you every step of the way as you navigate your life-changing path.

Sign up for a free online or in-person weight loss information session

Bariatric surgery is the general term for a variety of weight loss surgical procedures that reduce the size of the stomach, helping patients to lose weight, establish and maintain health through reduced consumption, healthy eating and exercise. The surgery is a tool, not a cure, to help treat weight problems. Our mission is to help patients transform their lives through surgical weight loss when nonsurgical attempts have been unsuccessful.

Weight loss surgery is intended not only to decrease your weight, but to improve your overall health. Obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, can be greatly reduced after weight loss surgery.

Benefits of bariatric surgery

According to recent health studies, the risk of an early death for an obese person is twice that of a non-obese person. Weight loss surgery also decreases your chance of sleep apnea, gastric reflux, asthma, arthritis and migraines. It is also suggested that weight loss can lower the risk of developing certain cancers patients may be at a higher risk for due to morbid obesity, including breast cancer, endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer.

Most nonsurgical weight loss programs are built using a combination of diet, behavior modification and regular exercise. However, even the most effective interventions don’t provide results or work for everyone. It’s estimated that less than five percent of individuals who participate in nonsurgical weight loss programs will lose a significant amount of weight and maintain that loss for an extended period of time.

For patients who are morbidly obese—usually defined as being 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight or having a body mass index of 40 or higher—it is harder to achieve sustained weight loss. In fact, there are serious health risks for people who subject their bodies to a severe and continuing cycle of weight loss and gain, known as “yo-yo dieting”.

Per the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization, bariatric surgery has been cited as the most effective way for morbidly obese people to lose significant weight permanently. Some 95 percent of bariatric surgery patients lose 50 percent of their excess weight and 85 percent of them lose at least 75 percent, all with a markedly improved quality of life.

Health risks of bariatric surgery

It is important to talk to your doctor, other weight loss surgery patients and your loved ones to best understand the benefits and risks for your individual situation.

Surgery should not be considered until you and your doctor have evaluated all options. It’s important to discuss the following with your doctor:

  • These procedures are in no way to be considered cosmetic surgery.
  • The surgery does not involve the removal of adipose tissue (fat) by suction or excision.
  • A decision to choose surgical treatment requires a careful assessment of risks versus benefits.
  • Most weight loss surgical procedures approved in the U.S. are not reversible (except gastric banding).
  • The success of weight loss surgery depends on long-term lifestyle changes in diet and exercise.
  • Problems can arise after bariatric surgery that may require additional surgery.

As with any surgery, there are potential risks for surgical and long-term complications, which should be discussed with your doctor. However, for most patients, the risk of death from obesity-related health complications is greater than the risk of complications from bariatric surgery.

Among the possible surgical risks are:

  • Bleeding
  • Complications from anesthesia and medications
  • Reopening of the incision
  • Infections
  • Leaks from staple line breakdown
  • Ulcers
  • Pulmonary problems
  • Spleen injury
  • Stenosis
  • Blood clots
  • Gallstones

Surgical weight loss options

Our surgical weight loss procedures are performed using minimally invasive or laparoscopic techniques. This means major operations can be performed through tiny incisions with specialized surgical treatments. The result: reduced post-surgical pain, shortened hospital stays, shorter overall recovery time and a lower risk of complications and infection.

These procedures have been shown in long-term medical studies to help patients safely, effectively and permanently lose over 50 percent of their excess weight—improving health, mobility and quality of life. Our bariatric surgeons in Portsmouth offer:

  • Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: This procedure removes about 80 percent of the stomach—including the section that produces ghrelin, a hormone that acts on the brain to produce hunger—and changes the stomach to a tube shape.
  • Roux-en-y gastic bypass: The first type of bariatric surgery adopted for general use, this procedure is performed by dividing the stomach into two sections, one of which becomes a new, smaller stomach that holds about one-and-a-half ounces of food. The bulk of the stomach remains in place without the capacity to receive food.
  • Revision weight loss surgery: This procedure is performed on patients who have already undergone a form of bariatric surgery, experienced complications from bariatric surgery or have not achieved significant weight loss results.

Your weight loss team

As part of our commitment to integrative care, we understand that the surgical procedure is only one part of the weight loss process. Our experienced, multidisciplinary team works together to help you understand your surgical weight loss options, guide you through the surgery process and prepare you for a new lifestyle.

We have helped more than 1,800 patients from the Seacoast region build a nutrition and exercise plan to guide them in their weight loss journey toward overall better health and longevity.

Your hospital stay

It’s likely you’ll stay in the hospital a day or two after your procedure. Your surgeon and nurses use this time to assess your response to the surgery and your overall health prior to leaving the hospital. They will ensure you’re able to:

  • Take enough liquids and nutrients by mouth to prevent dehydration
  • Remain fever-free
  • Have adequate pain control with medication