Surgical Weight Loss

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Here at Hartford HealthCare, we are taking a new approach to bariatric, or weight loss, surgery. 

In the past, we would often look at any diet, exercise program, or weight loss surgery procedure in terms of how much weight we could expect a patient to lose.

In fact, most overweight or obese Americans about to start a new diet, exercise program, or have weight loss surgery set unrealistic “weight loss” goals for themselves, leading to disappointment and a sense of failure.

That’s part of the reason our team of surgeons and weight loss experts is now focused on asking not how much can you lose, but instead, what will you gain?

Dr. Darren S. Tishler, director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Hartford HealthCare.


How Do I Know If Weight Loss Surgery Is For Me?

Most people feel that weight loss surgery is for someone who is hundreds of pounds overweight, someone who can’t walk or someone who is in extremely poor health.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, our goal is to make sure that our patients don’t ever get to that point in the first place.

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Information Sessions

From a purely weight standpoint, women about 60 pounds or more overweight and men about 70 pounds or more overweight might be candidates for weight loss surgery.  A better measure that takes into account both height and weight is Body Mass Index, or BMI.  A BMI of greater than 35 kg/m2 with other health problems, or a BMI of 40 kg/m2 or more with or without medical problems are considered candidates for weight loss surgery by most insurance companies, although some offer coverage for BMI greater than 30 with certain health problems.  You can easily calculate your BMI by clicking here.

If you . . .

  • Have a Body mass index 40 or greater.
  • Have a Body mass index 35 or greater with a major health issue such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or sleep apnea.
  • Are more than 40-60 pounds overweight.
  • Are not able to walk or easily perform everyday activities as a result of your weight.
  • Are worried about a family history of obesity.

. . . You might be a candidate for weight loss surgery. Consider talking to your health care provider or a weight loss surgeon about your options to lose weight and see what you can gain from a healthier life.


Why Weight Loss Surgery?

We look at weight loss surgery to serve two purposes:

  • Treating obesity-related health problems.
  • Preventing these health problems from ever happening in the future.

Many people don’t consider weight loss surgery early enough.  Patients who are overweight need to consider both their personal health issues as well as their family history.

For example, an overweight person with obese parents with diabetes, high blood pressure and a history of heart disease should be more aggressive at treating their weight at an earlier stage in their life.  We offer weight loss surgery because the risk of surgery is substantially lower than the risk of dying prematurely from obesity related diseases.  Unfortunately, some patients wait too long before considering weight loss surgery and only consider it as an option once they have been diagnosed with possibly irreversible health conditions.


What Can I Gain From Weight Loss Surgery?

From a purely medical standpoint, weight loss surgery helps to lower the risk of dying of stroke, heart attack, lung disease, blood clots and certain cancers.  Arthritis, joint and back pain are all lessened with the reduced weight and impact on the joints, muscles and back.  Weight loss also helps to control or cure many obesity-related health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infertility, breathing problems and sleep apnea.

More important, you will likely live longer. Most patients also experience a higher quality of life.  The improvement in mobility is perhaps the most important gain from weight loss surgery. As a result, it is easier to walk, exercise and do just about everything with less effort.

Improvements in health and mobility often occur early on after weight loss surgery, sometimes in the early phases of weight loss.  The overall sense of well-being produced by these gains leads to an improved outlook on life.  After weight loss surgery, many patients also feel a sense of accomplishment, a renewed energy and gain confidence in just about everything they do. (Click here to read about a patient who recognized the health risks of obesity and chose weight loss surgery.)


Which procedure is right for you?

A number of procedures are available to treat severe obesity.

No single procedure is right for everyone. When you meet with our surgical weight loss team, we will help you determine which procedure is best for you.

To determine the best possible procedure for you, we take into consideration:

  • How overweight you are.
  • Where your weight is distributed.
  • Whether you have gastrointestinal reflux (GERD), previous abdominal surgeries and other health problems.

We also work with you to identify any lifestyle concerns that would make one procedure preferred over another.


What should I expect?

The goals of surgery for obesity are to lose weight and improve health-related problems.

Program highlights:

Comprehensive Team Approach

Patients work with a multidisciplinary team both before and after surgery. Our teams offer patient centered care and an individualized plan of care. This approach ensures the safest and most successful experience for every patient. Our teams include board-certified surgeons, advanced practitioners, program coordinators, patient navigators to assist with the work-up process, nursing staff, and highly experienced nutrition, behavioral health and exercise specialists.  

Quality of Life

The goals of bariatric surgery are to support weight loss and improve health and lifestyle. These procedures work with lifestyle changes in both diet and exercise. Success of the surgery -- weight loss and quality of life improvements -- is determined by each patient. Results vary and depend greatly on your motivation and long-term compliance.

Addressing Health Issues

Successful weight loss corrects or improves many weight related health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, reflux (GERD), sleep apnea and high cholesterol in many patients.  Weight loss can also help improve osteoarthritis and joint and back pain, fatty liver disease, asthma, polycystic ovaries and infertility. Many patients are able to reduce the amount of medications they take on a daily basis for their health conditions.


What Will You Gain?

Sometimes it's the little gains that have the biggest impact on our patients:

A trip to celebrate a special occasion with family or friends.

  • Picking out a new wardrobe
  • Starting a garden.
  • Starting a family.
  • Building something with a grandchild.
  • Getting outside to do more adventurous activities like skiing, sailing, or hiking.
  • Riding a bike to an area that can’t be accessed by car.
  • Participating in sports with your kids, not just watching them play.

Surgical Weight Loss Procedures Performed

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

This procedure, often called gastric bypass, was developed in 1967. The operation creates a small upper-stomach pouch (less than one ounce) that limits food eaten and makes you feel full and satisfied with only a small amount. Also, not all food is digested because part of the small intestine is bypassed. This decreases the amount of calories that are absorbed. This procedure is performed at Backus Hospital, Hartford Hospital and Midstate Medical Center.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive bariatric surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon creates a small, sleeve-shaped stomach. This limits the amount of food that can be eaten, yet makes you feel full and satisfied. The intestines are not bypassed in this procedure, which is performed at Backus Hospital, Hartford Hospital and Midstate Medical Center.

Adjustable Gastric Band

The adjustable gastric band (LAP-BAND®) is a device surgically applied to the upper part of the stomach to restrict the amount of food entering the stomach. A small port, placed under the skin in the abdomen, allows adjustment of the band's size. Frequent follow-up in the office is needed initially after this procedure. The placement procedure is performed at Hartford Hospital. Follow-up care for a patient with an adjustable gastric band can be provided at all Surgical Weight Loss programs.

Orbera® Intragastric Balloon

A new option in weight-loss surgery, the Orbera® intragastric balloon, is inserted into the stomach and inflated so that it will restrict the amount you can eat and reduce hunger. The balloon is placed for six months, then removed. Our team works with you for a year after the balloon is placed to support your weight loss, diet, and exercise. This procedure is performed at Hartford Hospital.

vBloc® Neurometabolic Therapy

This newer, innovative weight-loss therapy relies on a pacemaker-type device that blocks hunger signals between the brain and stomach. You'll feel fuller longer and reduce the amount of food you want to eat. This procedure is performed at Hartford Hospital.

Revisional Surgery

You may be a candidate for a revision of your original bariatric surgery if you're having physical problems. Revisions are performed on a case-by-case basis after a thorough work-up. Failure to lose weight or weight regain does not always require a revision. Our teams are committed to working with patients to lose weight and improve their quality of life. We offer a comprehensive approach to long-term weight management. All our programs accept transfer patients, too. If you are from another program or new to the area, just call one of our offices to discuss a possible transfer in care. Revisional procedures are performed at Backus Hospital, Hartford Hospital and Midstate Medical Center.


Meet Our Bariatric Specialists

Name Specialties Location
Benbrahim, Aziz, MD, FACS, FASMBS
203.238.2691
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Meriden
  • Meriden
  • Southington
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Brown, Catherine L., PA-C
860.246.2071
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Glastonbury
  • Enfield
  • Farmington
  • Manchester
  • South Windsor
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Garcia, Dawn Marie, APRN, CBN
860.246.2071
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Glastonbury
  • Enfield
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
  • South Windsor
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Hannoush, Edward J., MD
860.224.5161
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Farmington
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
  • Southington
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Papasavas, Pavlos K., MD, FACS, FASMBS
860.246.2071
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Glastonbury
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
  • South Windsor
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Rice, Jenny Ann, PA-C
860.246.2071
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Glastonbury
Thompson, Sara M., APRN, CBN
860.224.5161
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Farmington
  • Meriden
  • Southington
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Tishler, Darren Scott, MD, FACS, FASMBS
860.246.2071
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Glastonbury
  • Enfield
  • Farmington
  • Manchester
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Young, Ricardo, MD, FASMBS
860.425.8740
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Norwich

Medical & Surgical Weight Loss