What Is Bariatric Surgery?

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Meet Dr. Joshua Long:
Our Bariatric Surgeon

A nationally renowned and double-board-certified Denver bariatric surgeon, Dr. Long uses a partnership care model with each patient to tailor care to their individual needs. Patients routinely thank Dr. Long for his warm, compassionate bedside manner. He’s considered to be at the top of his field, having performed over 1,000 bariatric surgeries. Peers praise his technical skill, and he has some of the lowest complication rates among bariatric surgeons in the nation. Dr. Long and the staff at the Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado consider it an honor to serve every patient with the highest quality of care.

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Dr. Joshua Long


Bariatric surgery simply means weight loss surgery. It involves removing or sectioning off part of the stomach to make it smaller, meaning that a person cannot eat more than a small portion in a given meal. This is something we call restriction. Some bariatric surgical options also bypass a portion of the intestines to decrease the amount of calories absorbed. We call this malabsorption. The best and most lasting weight loss is often achieved through a combination of restriction and malabsorption.

Is Bariatric Surgery Right For Me?

Do you feel trapped? Have you worked hard to lose weight? Have you tried diet after diet resulting in temporary weight loss, only to regain your weight a short time later? For many this experience is very frustrating and can leave them feeling defeated.

However, there is hope. Even if lifestyle modification and medical therapy have failed you, you are not a failure. The body is naturally designed to maintain its current weight, meaning that losing significant weight and keeping it off can be difficult. Weight loss surgery is a highly effective weight loss tool that can level your playing field and give you the same opportunity to lose weight as anyone else.

This kind of surgery is not for everyone. But if you have struggled with obesity, it can be a powerful tool to help you lose weight, keep it off, and regain your quality of life*.

What Are the Types of Bariatric Surgery?

This is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed laparoscopically through just 4 or 5 tiny incisions. This avoids much of the pain traditionally encountered with “open” surgeries performed through large surgical incisions.

Various types of weight loss surgery are available. The best type of bariatric surgery for you will depend on your individual medical history and desired weight loss goals. The three most common types of weight loss surgery selected by our patients are the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, the laparoscopic gastric bypass, and the loop duodenal switch. Dr. Long is a national innovator in safe weight loss surgery, and will work with you to discover the best weight loss surgery to fit your specific needs.

If you also have a hiatal hernia, this may need to be repaired at the time of surgery. Dr. Long is also an expert at definitive hiatal hernia repair.

Is Bariatric Surgery Risky?

This is a very common misconception. Ten or twenty years ago, weight loss surgical techniques did come with a higher risk. However, today complications are so rare that your chances of dying or suffering a major complication from bariatric surgery are no higher than your risk from even the most minor surgical operations, such as gallbladder removal*. With a skilled surgeon, bariatric surgery is safe and exceptionally low-risk. You can learn more about bariatric surgery complications, and how the BMCC minimizes risk, here.

In fact, surgery is much less risky than remaining severely overweight, because of the health dangers associated with obesity. In just the first 5 years after bariatric surgery, the risk of dying an early death decreases by 89% due to a transformation in overall health*. Many, if not all, obesity-related health problems such as diabetes can be resolved with bariatric surgery and weight loss*. Far from being risky, surgery can significantly reduce the health-related dangers that many patients face.

Learn More About Weight Loss Surgery

Types of Bariatric Surgery

The LAP-BAND® surgery was once very popular, but has higher long-term risk and is less effective than modern alternatives. Find out more about lap band surgery here.

The Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is a popular type of weight loss surgery if you want to lose 55-80% of your unhealthy body weight*, but may not be ideal for patients with a BMI of over 50 or who suffer from Type II diabetes. Learn more about gastric sleeve surgery.

The Gastric Bypass is ideal if you suffer from Type II diabetes and want to resolve this condition, while losing 65-90% of your excess weight*. Learn more about gastric bypass surgery.

The Loop Duodenal Switch (or SADI-S) surgery, like the gastric bypass, is ideal if you suffer from type II diabetes. 98% of patients who suffer from type II diabetes see their diabetes resolved with a SADI-S surgery*. SADI-S surgery is also the best type of bariatric surgery if you have a BMI of 50 or greater and want to lose 80-100% of your excess weight*. Learn more about duodenal switch surgery.

We operate out of Lone Tree, and offer bariatric surgery to patients in the Denver area. Many patients also come to us from throughout Colorado or other states.

Weight Loss Surgery Testimonials

At the BMCC we’re passionate about helping people, which is why we’re the highest-rated bariatric clinic in Colorado according to patients. Here’s what our patients have to say:

“I feel like I have won the lottery and have been given a second chance in life! March 25, 2014 was the first day of the rest of my new life and I can’t even start to express in words how grateful I am. I am a completely new person in many ways but still have all of my positive characteristics I had before surgery. I lost 147 pounds in just under a year and feel amazing!”—Rochelle Goforth

Gastric bypass before and after--Rochelle Goforth--Before
Gastric bypass before and after--Rochelle Goforth--After

You can see more life-changing stories here.

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This page was medically reviewed by Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS. Dr. Long is a double-board-certified bariatric surgeon and bariatric medical director for Parker Adventist Hospital.
Full Bio: Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
Page Updated: January 20th, 2023

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*Please note that individual results can vary and are not guaranteed.