Weight LossAt Foothills Weight Loss Specialists in Knoxville, we work with patients to find a weight loss solution that best suits their condition and health goals. We offer two forms of bariatric surgery, as well as the new, non-surgical weight loss procedure, ReShape.

If you are struggling with obesity, and have not seen successful results from weight loss methods such as exercising and dietary modifications, you may be considering a weight loss procedure. With so many options available, it’s common to wonder which route may be best for you, and what the differences between the various procedures are. Our team breaks down the differences between bariatric surgery and the non-surgical ReShape below.

“The primary difference between bariatric surgery and ReShape is the surgical aspect,” says bariatric surgeon Dr. Mark Colquitt. “Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy involve incisions and surgical manipulation of the patient’s stomach, whereas no incision is involved with ReShape. With ReShape, the dual balloons are inserted through the mouth in an outpatient setting.”

Each procedure serves the primary goal of restricting food intake and curbing hunger in order to aid weight loss, however, the method in doing so differs significantly.

Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

“In terms of weight loss surgery, laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the current gold standard procedure,” says Foothills Weight Loss Specialist surgeon Dr. Jonathan Ray. “During this surgery, we do not remove part of the stomach, but rather staple a section to create a small stomach pouch.”

This procedure creates a system in which the pouch empties directly into the lower part of the small intestine by dividing the small intestine and connecting it to the small stomach pouch. The surgeon then connects the Roux limb of the intestine to create a “Y” shape. The procedure ultimately allows for the bypassing of calorie absorption, providing the patient with a feeling of fullness, causing the patient to reduce food intake.

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

“Unlike the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass method, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy involves the surgical removal of part of the stomach,” explains Dr. Ray. “This procedure is considered a solely restrictive operation because it promotes weight loss by physically restricting the amount of food the patient can consume.”

During the procedure, one of our surgeons removes approximately 85 percent of the stomach (including the portion that creates the hormone responsible for appetite and hunger), making it similar in size and shape to a banana. Patients with a BMI greater than 35 may be eligible.

“Another significant difference between the procedures is the fact that laparascopic sleeve gastrectomy cannot be reversed,” says Dr. Colquitt.

ReShape Dual Balloon

“ReShape is a new, FDA approved weight loss procedure we began offering in February,” says Dr. Colquitt. “What makes ReShape unique is that it does not involve surgery. Rather than banding or removing part of the stomach to control consumption, the dual balloon fills space in the stomach. During the procedure, we insert the saline-filled balloons endoscopically, or through the mouth.”

The ReShape procedure is for patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-40 and one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. The balloons help modify eating behaviors by acting as built-in portion control. An important aspect to note is that the procedure is not permanent. After six months, the balloons are removed, and patients are equipped with tools, coaching, and a nutrition plan to achieve and maintain their weight loss and health goals. Another significant difference between ReShape and traditional weight loss surgery is the recovery process. Because the procedure doesn’t require surgery, patients recover much quicker. In most cases, you’ll be able to return home within a few hours.

All three procedures will decrease the amount of Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) in your blood stream.  Your brain will interpret this as your stomach being full and will decrease your hunger, so you are less tempted to eat when you are around food.


If you are interested in learning more about our weight loss procedure options available at Foothills Weight Loss Specialists in Knoxville, do not hesitate to contact us at 865-984-3413.

Check out our recent blog posts for more information:

ReShape Your Life and Health: Now Offering Non-surgical Weight Loss Solution

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for Me?

Comprehensive Weight Loss with ReShape