Penn Medicine

Penn Bariatric Surgery: The Most Experienced in the Region

With over 20 years of experience in weight loss surgery, the Penn Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program offers those who are severely obese the latest surgical procedures as tools to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Bariatric surgeons at Penn personalize treatment plans to match the needs of each patient. Penn prides itself in its continual commitment to quality, excellence and outcomes.


Surgical Options:

Bariatric surgery procedures include:


All obesity surgery procedures are available using a minimally invasive approach called laparoscopic-assisted surgery, which means:

  • Shorter, faster recovery times
  • Less post-operative pain


Penn's bariatric doctors are experts in robotic-assisted surgery and have performed more than 750 robotic LAP-BAND® and sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve) procedures.

Adjustable Gastric Band

Adjustable Gastric Band

The least invasive bariatric surgery available, the adjustable gastric band procedure assists in weight loss by limiting food intake. Using open or laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon places an adjustable band around a portion of the upper stomach to form a small gastric pouch. When food enters the pouch it stays there longer, causing a feeling of fullness.

Periodically, the band will need adjustment to continue the weight loss process. This is done through a port located under the skin. There is no stomach stapling or gastrointestinal bypass with the adjustable gastric band procedure. While the adjustable gastric band is intended for long-term use, it may be removed if necessary. This is typically done laparoscopically.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass This laparoscopic procedure restricts food intake and shortens the digestive track by creating a small gastric pouch from the upper portion of the stomach. The intestine is surgically connected to this pouch, creating a small opening for food to pass through. The remaining larger portion of the stomach and part of the intestines are bypassed. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure limits the amount of food consumed and reduces the calories and nutrients absorbed from food.

Sleeve Gastrectomy (gastric sleeve surgery)

During a sleeve gastrectomy, a sleeve-shaped tube is created from a small portion of the stomach and the majority of the stomach is removed. Food passes through the new stomach tube directly into the intestines. Nutrients and calories are absorbed from food normally, but patients feel full sooner and longer.

Sleeve gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically and can be a permanent surgical solution to manage weight. A second operation may be required, however, if significant weight loss is required to improve the patient's health.

Robotic-assisted Surgery

Robotic-assisted SurgeryPenn’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program also offers robotic-assisted surgery for the adjustable gastric band and sleeve gastrectomy procedures.

Robotic-assisted surgery is like other minimally invasive procedures in that instruments and cameras are inserted through small incisions in the abdomen. However in robotic surgery, the surgeon sits next to the patient at the console of the robot, looks into a viewfinder at the three-dimensional, high-quality image sent back by the cameras, and works the surgical “arms” using the robot’s hand and foot controls.

It is important to note that robotic-assisted surgery is performed by a surgeon — not a robot. The equipment is a tool for skilled surgeons, enhancing their ability to provide the best care for their patients. The success of robotic-assisted surgery depends on the skill and experience of the physician, not the equipment.


Revisional Surgery

Penn's Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program is also a leader in revisional surgery for patients who experience post-surgical weight-gain, as well as patients with surgical complications from weight loss surgery like ulcers and stricture.


Are you a weight loss surgery candidate?

To be eligible for weight loss surgery, patients must have a BMI greater than 40 or BMI greater than 35 with medical complications related to obesity. You and your surgeon can determine what option is best for you.


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