Weight Loss
Surgery & Procedures

Dr. Don Waldrep in blue scrubs in weight loss surgery operating room

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

We perform the following procedures to assist in weight loss and weight management. Click to learn more about each.

Gastric Plication (The WRAP)

Plication is a relatively new technique and therefore performed by much fewer surgeons when compared to procedures such as Gastric Bypass. We have been performing this technique since 2009

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve surgery removes most of the stomach (“gastrectomy”), which includes the part of the stomach on the left side that stretches to allow you to eat a larger amount of food.

Lap Band Surgery

Gastric banding is a minimally invasive procedure that does not cut the stomach or intestine but places a circular balloon around the top of the stomach.

Gastric Balloon

Gastric balloon (or Intragastric balloon) is the newest procedure we offer for patients interested in a really minimally invasive way to assist in losing weight, since it does not require surgery.

Gastric Bypass

Gastric Bypass is a procedure that combines two concepts: restrictive (“small stomach”) and malabsorptive (decreasing the amount of intestine that efficiently absorbs calories).

Dr. Don Waldrep in a black suit

What is
Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery is also known as bariatric and metabolic surgery. These terms are used in order to reflect the impact of these operations on patients’ weight and the health of their metabolism (breakdown of food into energy). In addition to their ability to treat obesity, these operations are very effective in treating diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and high cholesterol, among many other diseases.

Two of the most common questions we’ve heard over more than 20 years of discussing a weight loss surgery with patients is “how did I get here?” and “am I a failure?” Patients are often describing a sense of frustration that they feel unable to overcome. What they are actually wondering is, despite struggling for years to control their weight, making fairly reasonable diet choices, and eating food similar to their friends and family, how did they get to the point where they are talking with a bariatric surgery expert about how to  lose weight.

Unfortunately, they often feel – or are made to feel – like failures for constantly losing weight, but then regaining that weight – or more. But we are only at the beginning of understanding how humans manage weight in the transition from cavemen searching the tundra for food – to the drive-thru fast-food junk-food era we are in now. Simply, people absorb, manage, and retain calories differently, and some of those who maintain calories more efficiently, seek out a variety of techniques to control their body weight: diet, exercise, medication, therapy, and weight loss surgery.

What are the Benefits of
Weight Loss Surgery?

More Successful

Bariatric or weight loss surgery is more successful than non-surgical attempts to lose weight.

Smaller to Your Brain

The common denominator of all weight loss surgeries is to create a stomach that is smaller or seems smaller to the brain, so you feel full on less food.

No Hospital Stay

No hospitalization is typically required for procedures that we provide such as WRAP/ Gastric Plication, Gastric Balloon, and Gastric Banding.

Weight Loss Surgery Explained

How is the surgery performed?

The addition of minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery has made weight loss surgery much more attractive to patients and surgeons, changing – and saving – millions of lives.  

Generally, for the  laparoscopic procedures we are discussing, five incisions the width of a drinking straw are used. We take effort to hide these small incisions in normal body folds or creases to they will heal essentially invisibly. During the operation, the space inside your belly, the space around your organs and intestines, is filled with a low-pressure gas (Carbon Dioxide, which is what you are exhaling now when you breathe). The inflation allows us enough space to put small straw-sized cameras and instruments through the incisions. The surgeon performs the procedure by watching a magnified, bright, high-definition image on a large flat screen monitor. After the surgery, the small wounds are closed with very fine dissolving suture and small paper-tapes. The ability of a highly experienced surgeon to perform these techniques greatly decreases discomfort and recovery time.

Why would a person choose surgery over the more traditional weight loss methods?

Patients have typically tried multiple techniques including calorie restriction, medications, commercial weight loss programs, gym memberships and even hypnosis prior to discussing bariatric surgery options. Unfortunately, these rarely result in long-term weight management; in our experience the average non-surgical weight loss effort averages about 5 pounds. You may want to research other doctor’s experiences here

Bariatric or weight loss surgery is more successful than non-surgical attempts to lose weight. But even bariatric surgery works better as part of a plan. As you have likely heard, surgery is only a tool to use to get to your goal. But just like you can’t build a house without a hammer, you can’t build a house with only a hammer. Planned meals, changes in patterns of behavior, exercise, and sometimes medications may all serve to optimize your weight loss surgery results.

How effective is weight loss surgery?

Each surgical option has a generally different “weight loss curve” and may depend on how simple, aggressive, or technically complicated the procedure is.  Weight loss is commonly measured in the amount of extra body weight you lose (the number of pounds above your ideal body weight. With any bariatric surgery option, there may be periods of rapid weight loss, slow weight loss, no weight loss, and even periods of weight gain. Studies have shown that the chances of dying prematurely are lower; there is a 95% reduction in obesity-related co-morbid factors such as back pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, urinary leakage, and sleep apnea; and patients feeling more energetic and optimistic, with increased mobility. 

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Dr. Donald Waldrep

Weight Loss Surgery with Dr. Waldrep

Dr. Donald J Waldrep, MD FACS, developed what has been called “a top tier bariatric surgery practice” in the US. Innovator of “The WRAP” – the new stomach re-shaping procedure revolutionizing weight loss surgery – Dr. Waldrep has successfully helped thousands of patients reach their weight loss goals.

Dr. Waldrep and his patients have been featured on NBC-TV, ABC-TV, E! Entertainment, USA Today.com, Sacramento Bee, the Ventura Star, and nationally syndicated health and weight loss specials.