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Find the new you.

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Dignity Health understands the importance of self-discovery. Our compassionate providers use a team-centered approach to facilitate every step in your weight loss journey. From our acclaimed education sessions to personalized consultations, nutrition counseling to post-surgery support – we are here to help you discover the new you.

Weight Loss Surgery Procedures

Learn about the options for gastric weight loss procedures at Dignity Health. 

Find a Bariatric Specialist

Our skilled bariatric surgeons are fully committed to your safety, comfort, and long-term wellness. At Dignity Health, you are the top priority. Let us help you determine if weight loss surgery is right for you.

Do I Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery?

For millions of Americans, obesity is a daily battle. It can be debilitating, frustrating, painful, and can sometimes lead to premature death. It can make leading an active and rewarding life difficult.

If you or someone you love is battling obesity, we want you to know that there is hope. At Dignity Health, our goal is to help you reclaim your life. Our multidisciplinary team includes program surgeons, nurse managers, registered dietitians, and patient coordinators.

We help you at every step of this life-changing journey. We offer high-quality education sessions, personalized physician consultations, in-depth nutrition counseling, and post-surgery support. Our goal is to help you develop the tools you need to begin a new life of happiness, improved health, activity, and longevity.

To be a candidate for bariatric surgery, you must have the following characteristics established by the National Institutes of Health and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery:

  • be more than 100 pounds over your ideal weight
  • have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or a BMI of 35–39.9 along with one or more diseases (for example, diabetes and/or hypertension which can improve significantly with weight loss)
  • have not been able to lose weight from diet and exercise after a sustained period of time
  • be prepared to make a lifelong commitment to dietary, exercise, and behavioral changes necessary for long-term success
  • have no mental or behavioral disorders that may interfere with long-term weight loss goals

We understand that each procedure may have a different weight loss outcome. This is why your care team will sit down with you before surgery to discuss every potential outcome your body may experience post-surgery.

On average, people lose 50–80 percent of their excess body weight in the first year depending on the:

  • type of surgery performed
  • level of commitment to the post-surgical diet and exercise regimen
  • regularity of medical follow-up

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with bariatric surgery. You and your surgeon will discuss specific risks related to your individual health condition and your selected surgical procedure. 

At Dignity Health, we believe that your state of mind is a catalyst for healing. We want you to be fully prepared before having surgery. We will enroll you in a bariatric surgery education program that prepares you, not just for surgery, but also for life afterwards. During the program, you will receive nutrition counseling, undergo physical exams, and be given a psychological evaluation.

From a lifestyle perspective, there are many things you can do to prepare your body for bariatric surgery.

Start a Preoperative Diet

Your care team may suggest that you start eating several small meals a day to prepare for the changes ahead. Your doctors may also recommend that you gradually stop consuming high calorie/high carbohydrate foods and drinks, such as soda, ice cream, or milkshakes.

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, you may already know that to quit smoking is a healthy choice. Your care team will highly recommend that you quit prior to surgery as the termination will optimize the healing process.

Exercise Regularly

As with diet, exercise will be a key part of recovery and long-term weight loss. Light exercise before surgery will help you increase your lung capacity and prepare you for an active post-surgery life.

Immediately after bariatric surgery, there will be some pain and discomfort. Our highly-skilled and sensitive care team will offer you the right medications to help you feel better. You will stay in the hospital for one to two days after surgery, and then return to normal activity within two to three weeks.

During the first two weeks of your recovery, we will recommend that you only ingest liquids. We will then guide you as you gradually progress to pureed foods, soft foods, and then to regular foods about two to three months after surgery. You will need to chew your food slowly and fully. You may experience a very fast weight loss initially, so it is important to get all of the nutrition, vitamins, and hydration you need. Your doctor will also likely recommend supplements.

If you undergo the Lap Band procedure, you may return during the first six months to have your Lap Band adjusted. This adjustment will help to enhance your weight and appetite loss. It involves injecting saline into the port just under the skin connected to the Lap Band. You will be happy to find out that the adjustment is painless. Also, the adjustment is typically done by the surgeon who performed your procedure successfully.

During weight loss, you may experience fatigue, chills, body aches, dry skin, mood changes, and temporary hair thinning. However, as your weight stabilizes, you may find out that these problems fade out.

Weight loss typically continues for about a year and then abates. You should use the first year to develop good eating and exercise habits that will keep you from regaining weight.

Many weight-related health problems improve or even disappear after bariatric weight loss surgery, including diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and obstructive sleep apnea.

Adjusting to life after bariatric surgery can be challenging physically, socially, and emotionally. The support from a caregiver can make a world of difference. While people who undergo bariatric surgery usually do not need intensive help, having support on-hand is key. If you are considering getting a caregiver, try to make the appropriate arrangements ahead of time.

Immediate post-surgery care — people typically take one or two weeks off from work. You may need help with food preparation, dressing, or self-care. In the early weeks, you may have low energy. You may need assistance with house activities and shopping until you can lift and drive, usually in about six weeks.

Dietary support — your diet will be restricted as you will progress gradually from liquid to low-volume meals. You should educate your caregiver on the guidelines and restrictions to help with your adherence. Your caregiver should be firm and not give in to food requests that may make you stray. Look up recipes to make healthy choices fun and interesting. Ensure that you take all vitamins and supplements according to your doctor’s prescriptions.

Physical activity support — regular exercise is necessary for maintaining a healthy metabolism throughout the weight loss process. Your caregiver can support your active schedule by getting involved. Do gentle stretches together that are within the guidelines provided by your medical team. Go for evening walks together. Go to an attraction that requires walking (such as the zoo), which will not only improve your physical health, but also lift your spirits.