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Bariatric Surgery: Lafayette

Why choose Ochsner Lafayette General for bariatric surgery?

Excess weight affects every aspect of health, including quality of life. In short, it’s holding you back. The bariatric surgery program at Ochsner Lafayette General helps patients create a healthier future for themselves through surgical or medical weight loss. Our multidisciplinary team will create a personalized plan to help you meet your goals.

Whether you’re interested in one of our weight loss surgeries or want to try medical weight loss, we’ll help you find the treatment path that’s right for you. If you have bariatric surgery, our team will help you improve your health before the procedure and offer support as you make important healthy lifestyle changes afterward. We’ll be by your side for every step of your weight loss journey.

  • Your team will be led by a fellowship-trained surgeon. All of our surgeons have undergone fellowship training, which includes extensive experience in laparoscopic bariatric surgical procedures and revision surgeries, as well as all other aspects of patient care before and after surgery. A formal fellowship is the highest level of training a surgeon can receive, so you know that you’re in the best of hands. In addition to their medical expertise, our surgeons are caring individuals who have chosen bariatrics because they truly enjoy helping people change their lives for the better.
  • You will receive care from a nurse practitioner. Our staff includes a nurse practitioner who is fully devoted to bariatric patients. She is always available in our office to address your needs. This proves very helpful to our patients, as most of the follow-up after surgery is related to issues such as ensuring adequate vitamin levels and changes in various medications as you lose weight.
  • A bariatric patient advocate will be here to help you. We provide full-time staff members who devote all of their time to helping you through the insurance and financing process, which can be challenging and frustrating at times.
  • You will get comprehensive education from weight loss counselors. Our team includes a program nurse and behavior modification educator. These professionals will provide education and work closely with you during your weight loss surgery journey. We offer both individual and group classes to accommodate each patient’s needs.
  • A dietician will help you learn about proper nutrition. Our team of bariatric-trained dieticians specializes in the unique needs of bariatric surgery patients. They provide education to our patients in both private consultations and group sessions before and after surgery.
  • Your mental health matters, too. We offer you access to a licensed professional counselor experienced in the treatment of people suffering from obesity. They perform psychological evaluations on all of our patients prior to surgery and are available to help throughout your post-operative journey as well.
  • Our support groups are here to help you thrive. Research shows that patients who regularly attend support groups have better success after weight loss surgery. Our monthly support groups are led by a bariatric team member who is accompanied by a variety of other bariatric professionals to bring you discussions on many different topics related to life after surgical weight loss.

At Ochsner General & Bariatric Surgery we understand obesity is a disease, and we treat it as such. We offer you the best surgical weight loss program in Lafayette that combines skilled surgeons with a talented staff of bariatric specialists and patient care experts. Our team will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve, while also offering support for the rest of your life. Let us help you change your life for the better – starting today.

"We know that not everyone's weight loss journey is the same, and your team here at Ochsner Health Center - General Surgery and Bariatrics provides you with the right options that fit your lifestyle - and will always be available to support and encourage you along the way." - Philip Gachassin, MD

Finding the right weight loss option is crucial to your success in losing weight and keeping it off. We’re here to help you do just that. We offer a full range of bariatric procedures – as well as a non-surgical weight loss program – to meet your unique needs.

There are two different ways that bariatric procedures work: restriction and malabsorption.

Restriction helps you to feel satisfied while eating less food.

Malabsorption limits the number of calories and nutrients your body can absorb. The surgeon reroutes the small intestine so that fewer calories and nutrients are absorbed.

Regardless of which type of procedure is right for you, our team will provide you with expert care and total support from surgery throughout your entire weight loss journey.

You could be among the many patients who are considering an appealing weight loss procedure called gastric sleeve. Also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, this procedure can combine the reliability and low maintenance of gastric bypass surgery with the simplicity of gastric banding.

Gastric sleeve surgery involves the removal of a section of the stomach called the greater curve (the outer side of the stomach). This leaves a narrow tubular section of the stomach that fills quickly with food – allowing you to eat less and still feel full.

The gastric sleeve was originally one part of a more complex procedure called biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. However, surgeons eventually realized that this procedure could stand alone to help patients lose weight. Research has proven that the gastric sleeve improves health through significant weight loss – while also helping to correct the metabolic syndrome caused by obesity. This procedure usually results in weight loss almost equivalent to gastric bypass and is now the most commonly performed procedure.

In the gastric sleeve procedure, the surgeon uses a surgical stapling device to remove the large reservoir section of the stomach called the greater curve. When completed, the operation leaves a narrow tubular section of stomach to carry food into the intestine, which is not disturbed. People are sometimes confused that the “sleeve” part of the name means that something is wrapped around the stomach to give it a tubular shape – but in fact there is no wrapping material and the name comes from the tubular hollow shape of the newly reduced stomach.

The long tubular stomach fills quickly with small amounts of food, so that patients find it is easy to eat small meals and feel fully satisfied. With much smaller eating, patients lose substantial weight. Weight loss appears to be almost as brisk as the gastric bypass, but not quite as much weight loss on average.

The gastric sleeve is appealing because the surgery does not involve moving intestines from one place to another like the gastric bypass. Gastric sleeve surgery does not create significant changes in nutrient absorption, though we recommend supplement vitamins and lab follow-up because of the dramatically lower food intake.

The gastric sleeve is also appealing in comparison to the gastric band, because there is no plastic belt in the body and because there is not any requirement for frequent follow-up and band adjustment.

The gastric sleeve was originally conceived as a simple operation for very high-risk patients, but it is also gaining acceptance as an operation for patients on the lighter end of the weight scale, even down to a BMI of 30. The sleeve is commonly utilized as a conversion procedure in cases where the gastric band is not working, and in our experience, patients who change from the band to a gastric sleeve are usually very satisfied with the change.

Gastric bypass was one of the first bariatric surgical procedures developed in the 1960s – and this proven procedure may be a great weight loss option for you. Over the years, gastric bypass surgery has helped countless patients to achieve substantial and sustained weight loss.

The procedure involves placing a stapling device that divides the stomach, creating a tiny stomach pouch at the upper end. As a result, you become fuller sooner and eat less food.

In addition to weight loss, gastric bypass can help to improve or resolve many medical problems, such as diabetes and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

The surgeons at Ochsner General & Bariatric Surgery have been performing gastric bypass since 1982 – so you know you can trust our team’s experience and skill. We have been performing this procedure laparoscopically since 1982 – and today the procedure is performed this way in 99% of our cases.

The surgery involves the application of a surgical stapling device that divides the upper stomach to create a tiny stomach pouch at the upper end. This pouch is shaped to be about the size of a thumb, and will hold 15 ml or less – this is smaller than the yolk of an egg. The pouch can only hold two or three tiny bites of food, so that patients become full very easily. This restriction on the amount of food is the most important factor in helping gastric bypass patients lose weight. One outstanding feature of the tiny stomach pouch is that it helps patients feel genuinely satisfied with small amounts of food. Surgeons know that if patients feel deprived because of the small meal volume then satisfaction with the gastric bypass will be poor.

Gastric bypass surgery also involves attachment of the newly-created stomach pouch to a segment of small intestine (the Roux limb) which is brought up from the mid-abdomen. A key feature of this portion of small intestine (technically called “jejunum”) is that it cannot handle concentrated sweets or starches; therefore, if a patient consumes foods which contain sugar or carbohydrates, then this segment of intestine reacts by creating a temporary illness called “dumping syndrome.” Since dumping syndrome makes a patient feel physically ill as a result of sugar intake, most patients find it easy to stick with healthy foods such as proteins and vegetables – a sort of informal “gastric bypass diet.”

The Duodenal Switch is a very complex procedure that is usually only recommended if you are suffering from extreme obesity (also known as being super obese). It is a well-established surgical procedure that provides excellent weight loss and long-term resolution of multiple medical conditions. Due to its complexity, most surgeons and centers do not even offer this procedure. At Ochsner General & Bariatric Surgery, we’re proud to offer you individualized weight loss procedures to meet your unique needs.

This operation is usually, but not always, reserved for super obese patients (BMI > 50) or as an acceptable procedure for failed weight loss. The special benefit of this procedure is that you may expect to lose 85% of your excess weight, allowing you to achieve a truly healthy weight.

While these operations reduce the size of the stomach, the stomach pouch created is slightly larger than with other procedures. The goal is to restrict the amount of food consumed and bypass the majority of the normal digestive process. The anatomy of the small intestine is changed to divert the bile and pancreatic juices so they meet the ingested food closer to the middle or the end of the small intestine.

Since food bypasses the duodenum, all the risk considerations discussed in the gastric bypass section regarding the malabsorption of some minerals and vitamins also apply to these techniques, only to a greater degree.

In instances when surgery simply isn’t an option, a gastric balloon system can serve as an effective, minimally invasive alternative — with lasting, life-changing results. The concept is simple: one or more balloons are inserted into the stomach orally during a simple, painless outpatient procedure. A specialist expands the balloon using either air or a saline solution, displacing space within the stomach.

As a result of the “decreased” stomach size, patients eat less. The selected balloon system, along with a professionally supervised diet and exercise program, helps promote permanent lifestyle changes to eating habits for a lifetime of success. And for countless patients, it’s provided just that.

Ochsner General & Bariatric Surgery offers two gastric balloon system options - the Obalon Balloon System and ORBERA Gastric Balloon.

Obalon Balloon System
Three air-filled balloons are placed inside the stomach — one per three successive outpatient visits — displacing space so patients eat less while still feeling satisfied. This one-of-a-kind, non-surgical system has a lifespan of six months and is intended to augment a professionally supervised nutrition and exercise program to promote optimal results — and long-term success.

ORBERA Gastric Balloon
A soft, yet durable, silicone balloon is inserted into the stomach using a non-surgical procedure, then filled with saline until it’s about the size of a grapefruit. The comprehensive, two-part program lasts 12 months and includes coaching in nutrition and lifestyle changes to maintain weight loss long-term. After six months, the balloon is removed from the stomach, while the patient continues to receive coaching and support for a full year.

Bariatric surgery is the most effective means for patients to achieve significant weight loss, minimizing complications and helping cure health issues. There are, however, circumstances where patients regain weight or do not lose the expected amount of excess weight. Various factors can cause this situation. Our surgeons perform a thorough analysis including a study of the previous surgery and all factors that entered into its ultimate result. A follow-up bariatric procedure, referred to as a revisional bariatric surgery, may be required to alter or repair the initial bariatric surgery.

There are two major reasons patients seek revisional bariatric surgery at Ochsner General & Bariatric Surgery. Some patients experience significant side effects or complications from an earlier bariatric surgery that are impacting quality of life. Other patients come to us for revisional bariatric surgery when they do not achieve the expected rate of weight loss. If you have undergone a bariatric surgery procedure, you may have ceased to shed pounds before reaching your target weight or, less commonly, you may be losing weight at a rate that you find alarmingly rapid. Regardless of the reasons behind your dissatisfaction with your bariatric surgery, the first step in the revisional bariatric surgery process is to contact the Ochsner Health Center - General Surgery and Bariatrics office and schedule an appointment to meet with one of our experienced and knowledgeable bariatric surgeons. Our surgeon will answer your questions and perform a preliminary evaluation of your initial bariatric procedure.

If you want to lose weight but are unwilling (or unable) to undergo any medical procedures, our medically supervised weight loss program may be right for you. Our team of bariatric specialists created this medically supervised program for people who may exceed the weight limit for surgery, do not have insurance to cover the cost of surgery or are interested in losing weight without surgery.

Overseen by Benjamin Doga, MD, this program will help you make realistic dietary changes under the continuous guidance of a physician, dietician and support staff. The goal is to help you safely lose weight and keep it off by learning new food choices and habits. It is essentially a lifestyle modification program that will be tailored to your individual goals and needs.

The medically supervised program is based at Ochsner General & Bariatric Surgery, with scheduled visits occurring every Tuesday. This includes sessions with a dietician, behavior modification educator and exercise physiologist.

When you become part of the program, Dr. Doga will evaluate you to determine your best options, which may include meal replacement and/or pharmaceuticals to help suppress your appetite. Participants can choose a three-month, six-month or one-year plan. You’ll receive constant support from experienced professionals throughout the program – and our support staff also works with LGMC Wellness at the Townhouse fitness center for exercise, training regimens and fitness routines. It’s a comprehensive program designed to help you lose weight, keep it off and change your life for the better.

Our entire team is dedicated to helping you on your weight loss journey. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about our weight loss program, need assistance with anything or would like to schedule a consultation. Call us at 337-233-9900.

Learn more about our bariatric offerings in Lafayette.


The right type of surgery differs from patient to patient. Each of the procedures we offer can help patients lose weight and improve their health. Your bariatric surgeon will help determine the most appropriate procedure based on your health and goals.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, patients can lose an average of between 50% and 80% of excess weight one year after surgery. Results vary by patient and procedure.

You’ll need to commit to healthy lifestyle changes to maintain long-term weight loss. It’s critical to follow a vitamin regimen, a healthy diet and exercise plan and have consistent follow-up appointments and lab work. At Ochsner, it is our mission to partner with each patient to assist and support you throughout your weight loss journey.

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