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UVA Health

Peter Hallowell, MD, and patient


Weight-Loss Surgery Options at UVA

Obesity is a preventable medical condition that can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and joint problems. If exercise and diet alone have failed to help, weight loss surgery offers an effective way to lose weight and improve your health.

At UVA, we have the most experienced bariatric and metabolic surgery team in Central Virginia. We offer the following procedures:

Surgical options: 

  • Gastric bypass
  • Sleeve gastrectomy

Non-surgical options: 

  • Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty
  • Endoscopic gastric balloon


UVA Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Clinic

UVA's bariatric program offers weight loss procedures that include Gastric bypass, Gastric sleeve and Gastric balloon (OBERA). These techniques reduce the size of the stomach to allow the loss of life-threatening weight. View transcript for bariatric surgery clinic video.

Weight Loss: Surgical Options

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass, also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting that pouch directly to the small intestine. After the procedure, swallowed food goes into this small stomach pouch and then directly into the small intestine (bypassing the rest of your stomach and some of your small intestine).

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy, also called a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a less-invasive procedure that only uses small cuts in your upper abdomen. During the procedure, surgeons reduce the size of your stomach by forming it into a tube about the size and shape of a banana. This restricts the amount of food you can eat and causes hormonal changes that promote weight loss and help relieve some conditions associated with being overweight.

These surgical procedures are usually only done if diet and exercise haven't worked or you have serious weight-related health issues, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure and/or cholesterol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea 
  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Infertility
  • Severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Who Qualifies?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool that compares your height to your weight to measure your body fat. BMI results fall into these ranges:

Individuals qualify for weight loss surgery if they:

  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 and over with at least one obesity-related condition, or
  • Have a BMI of 40 and over

You can calculate your BMI using this tool from the NIH.


Why Choose UVA?

UVA has been a leader in weight-loss surgery for more than two decades. We:

  • Have the most experienced metabolic and bariatric team in central Virginia, with more than 3,000 successful surgeries performed
  • Take patients with a BMI of 35 and higher, with expertise treating patients with a BMI of 60 or higher
  • Are designated a comprehensive center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP)
  • Are a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center
  • Offer a comprehensive program that includes:
    • Education and evaluation
    • Board certified surgeons
    • Physicians specially trained in metabolic disorders
    • Dietitians
    • Certified registered nurses
    • Behavioral health specialists