Bariatric Services

Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are two basic types of surgical weight loss procedures: restrictive procedures such as adjustable gastric banding, which limit the amount of food the stomach can hold and are most appropriate for patients with a target of 50 percent excess body weight loss; and combined restrictive and malabsorption procedures such as traditional Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery, which is most appropriate for patients who need to lose 70 percent of excess body weight.  For more information on the types of procedures offered at Mercy Bariatric Center, please click on the topic links below.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding -- procedure places a restrictive band around the top of the stomach. It limits food intake. The band is adjustable and removable.

Gastric Bypass -- helps weight loss by making a small stomach and bypassing part of the intestines. Food is not absorbed as well as previously and the stomach is smaller. 

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy -- procedure removes part of the stomach so that a tube is formed. This restricts how much food can be taken in.

Criteria for Bariatric Surgery

For consideration into a bariatric surgical program, patients must have:

  • Current BMI of greater than 40 or BMI of greater than 35 with obesity related comorbidities. 
  • Longstanding history of obesity despite failed medical weight loss regimens with documentation of at least three years of previous weights.
  • Motivated patient who can demonstrate a lifetime commitment to a surgical weight loss program with nutritional guidelines and follow‐up appointments. 
  • Letter of referral from primary care physician with as much health information as possible.
  • Verification from insurance provider that bariatric surgery consultation is a covered benefit (i.e. will the provider even consider coverage for surgery) or the patient is willing to self finance. 
  • No drug or alcohol addiction and no poorly controlled mental disorder that would interfere with appropriate follow‐up regimens and compliance.
  • Must have quit smoking for at least two months prior to surgery.
  • Between the ages of 18‐65.
  • Weighs less than 400 lbs. and BMI < 55.
  • Willing and able to use effective birth control for at least 18 months after surgery (women only).

**Each patient that meets the above criteria is then evaluated collectively by our multidisciplinary team to assess their candidacy for weight loss surgery.

Obesity and Related Health Conditions

According to the American Public Health Association (APHA), overweight and obesity are associated with 300,000 deaths each year in the United States. Today 97 million Americans, more than one-third of the adult population, are overweight or obese.  To be considered obese, an adult must have a BMI of 30 or greater.  An estimated 5 to 10 million of those are considered morbidly obese. 

Obesity becomes "morbid" when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions or serious diseases (also known as co-morbidities) that result either in significant physical disability or even death. As you read about morbid obesity you may also see the term "clinically severe obesity" used. Both are descriptions of the same condition and can be used interchangeably. Morbid obesity is typically defined as being 100 lbs. or more over ideal body weight or having a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher.  According to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Report, morbid obesity is a serious disease and must be treated as such. It is a chronic disease, meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time.

 People who suffer from overweight and obesity are at increased risk for a number of health-related problems, including:

Perceptions of obesity have changed as the disease escalates in our country. 

In the past:

  • Obesity was seen as a weakness or failure of the individual.
  • Diet and exercise were prescribed treatments.
  • Weight-loss surgery was viewed as extreme and dangerous.

In the present:

  • Obesity is considered a disease with serious health risks.
  • Diet and exercise remain the cornerstone of obesity treatment.
  • Surgery is accepted as proven treatment for obesity.
  • Surgical treatment is appropriate for qualified patients.


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