Surgeons to Perform Gastric Bypass Surgery in Live Webcast

April 1, 2004

Surgeons at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center will use laparoscopic surgery to perform a gastric bypass during a live webcast at 5 p.m. EDT April 20.

This procedure is the most frequently performed weight loss surgery in the United States. Considered minimally invasive, it requires 5-7 small incisions in the abdomen to create an egg-sized stomach pouch.

Creating this small stomach pouch restricts the amount and type of food the patient can consume and induces restriction of food intake. The average weight loss with the Roux-en-Y procedure is 60-70 percent of the patient's excess weight. The weight loss can be maintained with strict attention to a comprehensive program of diet, exercise, and attention to the behavioral issues of overeating.

Studies show that patients who undergo this procedure were able to maintain the majority of their weight loss 10 to 14 years later. Health conditions often associated with obesity were also improved or resolved completely. Other bariatric surgery options include vertical banded gastroplasty, laparoscopic banding and duodenal switch operations. These procedures may be applicable in certain patients, and each patient is managed individually.

Wake Forest Baptist surgeons Adolfo "Fuzz" Fernandez, Jr., M.D., and Carl J. Westcott, M.D., F.A.C.S., will perform the procedure. Both have been fellowship-trained in laparoscopic surgery.

In order to be considered as a candidate for gastric bypass surgery, patients must:

  • Have made multiple attempts to lose weight, including structured programs through nationally recognized organizations or physician supervised programs.
  • Weigh at least 100 pounds over their ideal body weight with a Body Mass Index of >35 with co-morbidities or >40 with no current co-morbidities.
  • Be motivated to undergo a change in lifestyle and eating habits.
  • Have the approval of the primary care physician managing the patient's medical conditions.
  • Be willing to work collaboratively with a team of healthcare providers interested in their successful journey to a healthier lifestyle.
  • Be between 18-55 years old.


"The recent popularity of surgery has not changed the fact that obesity is best managed with diet and exercise," said Westcott. "But in some individuals this treatment course fails repeatedly leading to serious adverse health effects. In these patients a more drastic intervention is necessary if they are ever to get control of their weight and health."

For more information about gastric bypass surgeries, visit our website at

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