If you are considering weight-loss surgery, turn to the experts at Tower Health. Not only are we among the most experienced bariatric surgery programs in Southeastern Pennsylvania, but we offer the latest minimally invasive techniques that have you back on your feet — and back to your ideal weight — more quickly.
Weight Loss Surgery Locations
We offer adult and adolescent weight-loss surgery at three Tower Health locations.
- Weight Loss Surgery and Wellness Center, located in the Reading area in Wyomissing, PA, offers weight loss surgery for eligible patients 15 and older, including the latest minimally invasive, robotic-assisted techniques.
- St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in downtown Philadelphia, cares for younger patients through pediatric and adolescent weight management programs and pediatric weight loss surgery when necessary.
Types of Weight-loss Surgery
The term bariatric surgery refers to several surgical procedures performed within the digestive tract. These procedures help you lose weight by reducing the amount of food you can eat or by rerouting food through the body. Our fellowship-trained bariatric surgeons offer several procedures:
- Gastric bypass surgery. This common bariatric procedure reduces the size of your stomach. Your surgeon creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach, then attaches the pouch to the middle part of your small intestine. Because the stomach pouch is so small, you feel full after eating a small amount of food. And because food “bypasses” the top of the small intestine after leaving the stomach, you absorb fewer calories.
- Gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy). Your surgeon removes roughly 80% of the stomach, leaving only a small, banana-shaped “sleeve” intact. Because the remaining sleeve can only hold a small amount of food — and digestion slows down — you feel fuller, longer.
- Duodenal switch surgery. This procedure is reserved for people with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 50. It combines sleeve gastrectomy (removing most of the stomach) and intestinal bypass (shortening the length of the small intestine). It is a more aggressive option that typically leads to greater weight loss and a lower risk of obesity recurrence.
- Bariatric revision surgery. Some people need a second bariatric procedure, often referred to as revision surgery, due to complications or poor results following their first operation. Revision surgery may fix problems such as ulcers or obstructions (blockages). It may also help you get back on track if you didn’t lose enough weight — or regained all your weight — after surgery.
Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive techniques that may cause less pain with fewer complications and a faster recovery. These techniques include laparoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted surgery.
The Pre-operative Process
Prior to having bariatric surgery, you will need to complete our pre-operative readiness program. For example, you must attend a live or virtual educational seminar, participate in consultations with medical team members, and undergo certain health and nutrition screenings.
This planning and preparation process will help you make positive, permanent lifestyle changes.
Your Bariatric Surgery Care Team
Our team of obesity medicine specialists provides personalized care, ongoing encouragement, and compassionate support. When you are ready to tackle your weight for good, we are here to guide you at every step.
Patients have access to the following team members:
- Bariatric surgeons. Doctors who have advanced training in weight-loss surgery.
- Behavioral health specialists. Licensed professionals at Reading Hospital who can help you make lasting behavioral changes that lead to better health.
- Exercise specialists. At Reading Hospital, certified professionals who can help you create a safe, effective exercise plan tailored to your needs.
- Nurses and advanced practice providers. Our registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and other clinical providers offer ongoing education and guidance.
- Psychologists. Specialists at Reading Hospital who provide mental health support and counseling services during and after weight loss.
- Registered dietitians. Professionals who specialize in food and nutrition.
Safe, successful surgical solutions
At Tower Health, we also understand that weight loss is more than just a visible, physical change. Our team offers the tools and support you need to overcome the social and emotional challenges of obesity and to make permanent lifestyle and behavioral changes. Together we will transform your body, your health, and your confidence.
When combined with a proper diet plan, exercise program, and support services, bariatric surgery can help you lose a significant amount of weight — and improve (or cure) type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea.