Effective Weight Loss Surgery in Denver, CO

Bariatric surgery is increasingly recognized as an attractive and viable treatment option for those who are morbidly obese. Clinically morbid obesity is a true disease state. It is a disease with a strong genetic component (25 to 50%), often characterized by an overactive appetite center in the brain that results in excessive fat stores in the body. It is not a disorder of willpower, as sometimes implied.

Morbid obesity affects 16 million adults in the U.S. and is identified in a person who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 kg/m2, or is approximately 100 pounds overweight. Being severely overweight is dangerous to your health because it is associated with a variety of medical conditions as well as an increased mortality rate. Most morbidly obese people have struggled endlessly with failed attempts at weight loss and the frustration of limited alternatives.

Though often mislabeled as a disorder of willpower, morbid obesity is a true disease state that affects over 16 million adults in the United States. It is identified in a person who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 kg/m2 or is approximately 100 pounds overweight. Most morbidly obese people have struggled endlessly with failed attempts at weight loss, but the weight loss surgery options at Colorado Bariatric Surgery Institute offer proven results.

Bariatric surgery can help achieve potential long-term weight control for the morbidly obese. Our Denver, CO bariatric team is proud to offer a laparoscopic approach to obesity weight loss surgery that has demonstrated clear advantages over other procedures, including:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Earlier return to normal activities
  • Less pain and discomfort

Here at CBSI, Dr. Brown has performed over 4,000 laparoscopic surgeries and is now doing the majority of those surgeries robotically.


Why weight loss surgery?

When all other nutritional and medically sound weight loss approaches have failed and there is no link to a metabolic disease, weight loss surgery is the best way to achieve long-term weight loss. A surgical weight-loss procedure that results in sustained weight reduction can greatly reduce the life-threatening risk factors associated with morbid obesity, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Hernias
  • Sleep apnea
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • 15-year reduction in life expectancy
  • Increased risk for certain cancers (i.e. uterus, colon, breast, prostate)

Getting started

The first step in the journey towards a bariatric surgical procedure is to determine whether a patient is a potential candidate. Bariatric surgery is an elective procedure for clinically morbidly obese people for whom all other weight loss methods have failed. These potential candidates for weight loss surgery include:

  • People who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40
  • People who have a BMI of 35-40 that is combined with a co-morbid condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, digestive disease, or depression

Next, likely candidates seeking a gastric bypass will undergo a series of surgical, medical, nutritional, and psychological evaluations with our Denver, CO bariatric team prior to any treatment. Bariatric surgery requires a long-term commitment that requires modifying eating habits, physical activity habits, and overall lifestyle habits, so a thorough multidisciplinary evaluation is necessary to encourage a successful outcome.

Once the bariatric surgical procedure has been done, we provide and encourage involvement in our Colorado Bariatric Surgery Institute support group to assist patients in continuing to maintain their modified lifestyle.

Colorado Bariatric Surgery Institute’s Approach to Treatment

People who are likely candidates for laparoscopic bariatric surgery will undergo a thorough team evaluation prior to any treatment. To encourage a successful outcome, patients will undergo a multidisciplinary medical evaluation prior to being accepted and scheduled for surgery.

  • Surgical evaluation–the surgeon will discuss with a patient whether or not they meet the requirements for undergoing the surgical procedure and whether they are a satisfactory operative risk.
  • Medical evaluation–it is important for the patient to have a thorough medical evaluation, complete with specialty consultations when indicated.
  • Nutritional evaluation–our nutritionist will help motivate the patient towards making the necessary lifelong changes in eating habits and exercise that must complement the surgery. Each patient will meet with the nutritionist one-on-one preoperatively and at postop visits to address individual dietary needs. Close nutritional monitoring during rapid weight loss is critical as certain vitamins and minerals are poorly absorbed and need to be supplemented.
  • Psychological evaluation–there are two reasons for preoperative evaluation –one to identify those in whom surgery would be contraindicated and others in whom surgery is likely to be a success. The psychologist or clinical social worker will discuss with the patient issues that are not unique, but certainly common, among many obese adults such as frustration, food cravings and obsessions, self-esteem or confidence issues, anxiety, and depression, and how surgery may realistically impact their life.

Bariatric surgery requires a long-term commitment to positive change on the part of the patient, which will involve modifying eating habits, physical activity habits, and overall lifestyle habits. Clearly, the patient must be prepared and ready for such a challenge. Utilizing such a team approach to bariatric surgery increases the likelihood of success in achieving desirable and realistic weight loss, as well as improvement and satisfaction in daily life for the patient long-term. We also provide and encourage involvement in our CBSI support group to assist patients in continuing to maintain their modified lifestyle they have chosen.

Treatment that gets results

To better understand how bariatric surgery results in weight loss, it is helpful to understand how food is digested.

  • The digestive process involves breaking food into simple soluble substances so tissues can absorb them.
  • The process starts in the mouth when your food is mixed with salivary secretions.
  • Within seconds, it travels down the esophagus in peristaltic waves to the stomach.
  • The stomach normally holds about 20 to 30 oz (600-1000 cc) at one time.
  • Once food enters the stomach, it is sent into the digestive tract in small increments.
  • The digestive process continues in the first part of the small bowel (duodenum) where food comes into contact with bile and enzymes secreted by the liver, as well as the pancreas.
  • The small bowel is where most of the absorption of food, minerals, and vitamins occurs and consists of a progression from duodenum to jejunum to ileum.
  • Eventually, the unusable residue in the small bowel empties into the large bowel (colon) for excretion from the body.

Most bariatric procedures have two components that contribute to their effectiveness in contributing to weight loss:

  1. a restrictive component, and/or
  2. a malabsorptive component.

There are two components to gastric bypass surgery that contribute to weight loss: a restrictive component and a malabsorptive component. During gastric bypass surgery, a portion of the stomach is made into a small compartment, which greatly restricts the volume of the stomach and limits the amount of food a person can eat before feeling full. This anatomical restructuring delays digestion because the bile and pancreatic secretions now reach the food further downstream in the small bowel. This leads to incomplete digestion, less caloric intake, and a sustained weight reduction.

For more information, contact the compassionate team at Colorado Bariatric Surgery Institute at 303-861-4505!