MBSAQIP Logo, demonstrating our accreditation as a comprehensive centerThe Weill Cornell Medicine Weight Loss Surgery Program is one of the most highly regarded centers of its kind. Our experts, who are among the most experienced in the field, believe that by close collaboration with our medical weight loss colleagues, we can best meet the ongoing needs of our patients.

We are considered a Comprehensive Center by The American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. This designation goes to centers that provide complete specialized care for all patients, including those with the most challenging and complex conditions, in order to ensure the best outcomes.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Illustration that shows how sleeve gastrectomy is performed

Pioneered by surgeons at Weill Cornell Medicine, sleeve gastrectomy is the most common weight loss procedure in the United States and in the world.

Weight loss is induced by restricting food intake and also by altering gastrointestinal and satiety hormones. With this procedure, the surgeon removes approximately two thirds of the stomach laparoscopically — through small incisions in the abdomen — so that the stomach takes the shape of a tube or “sleeve.”

This procedure is also unique in that it can be performed on very obese or high-risk patients with the intention of performing another surgery at a later time. The second procedure can either be a gastric bypass or duodenal switch.

This combined approach has tremendously decreased the risk of weight loss surgery for specific groups of patients, even when the risk of the two surgeries is added. The timing of the second procedure will vary according to the degree of weight loss, typically 6-18 months.

Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y)

Illustration that shows how gastric bypass is performed

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a common form of weight loss surgery in the United States because it results in reliable weight loss with acceptable risks and side effects.

In a standard gastric bypass, the surgeon divides the top of the stomach to create a small pouch, which functions as the new stomach. The surgeon then makes a small opening (stoma) in the pouch and attaches that opening to a limb of the small intestine, thus bypassing the majority of the stomach and a small portion of the intestine.

Most people who meet criteria for surgery are candidates for laparoscopic gastric bypass, a minimal access approach that uses five to six small incisions in the abdomen, instead of the six-to-eight-inch incision used in traditional “open” gastric bypass surgery.

Since the size of the new stomach pouch is limited, the patient feels more satisfied with less food. The altered digestive tract often reduces tolerance for fats and sweets, helping you to avoid these foods.

Duodenal Switch

Illustration that shows how a duodenal switch is performed

Duodenal switch is a procedure that induces weight loss by multiple mechanisms including gastric restriction, intestinal malabsorption and gastrointestinal hormone changes.

With this procedure, the surgeon removes approximately 60% of the stomach so that the stomach takes the shape of a tube. The lower intestine is then divided further down than it is with gastric bypass, so that more intestine is bypassed. Duodenal switch preserves the outlet muscle (pylorus) that controls emptying of the stomach.

This surgery has reliable and long-lasting weight loss but may not be optimal for all patients. You may experience more bowel movements and gas, and your vitamin, mineral and protein levels will need to be closely monitored.

Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAP-BAND)

Illustration that shows how a gastric band works

Adjustable gastric banding, also known as LAP-BAND has been performed worldwide since the mid-1990’s and was approved for use in the United States by the FDA in June 2001. It is one of the least invasive obesity surgery procedures, because neither the stomach nor the intestine is cut. 

Time has shown, however, that weight loss is not as substantial as previously thought and complication rates with the device increase over time.

In this procedure, the surgeon places an adjustable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach to create a new small pouch above the band. By adding fluid to the band after recovery from surgery, the surgeon adjusts the size of the opening between the smaller upper pouch and the remaining lower portion of the stomach.

The tightness of the banded opening controls passage of food between the two sections of the stomach and helps you to feel satisfied after eating. This satisfied feeling lasts significantly longer than it would without the band.

Support Group

Weill Cornell Medicine offers a support group for patients, those considering surgery and their loved ones. Open to those who are at least 18 years old, these support group meetings are offered twice a month.

Learn more about our support group and view the upcoming schedule.