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Bariatric Surgery


Weight loss surgery can change your life. Dignity Health’s Bariatric Surgery program offers a multidisciplinary, team-centered approach to weight loss surgery.

Patient Testimonial Videos

The physical, emotional and health benefits of weight loss surgery can put life on a whole new path. It’s a big decision, but of those who commit, no one ever wishes they’d waited longer. Meet some of the people who changed their life with bariatric surgery.

Meet Jessica
Meet Henning
Meet Germarie

Bariatric Risk Assessment

Enjoy the life you were meant to have. Find out if bariatric surgery is right for you by taking our online health risk assessment.

Take the Assessment

  • Get Started at Our Bariatric Seminar


    Attend one of our introductory education seminars to learn more about bariatric surgery. 

    Register Today

Weight Loss Surgery Procedures

Dignity Health's Bariatric Surgery Program offers patients three types of weight loss surgery:

The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is considered the gold standard in bariatric surgery and is the most widely used weight loss surgery procedure for patients seeking significant results. Sleeve Gastrectomy is a restrictive bariatric surgery procedure in which 85 percent of the stomach is removed. The Lap Band® is the least invasive weight loss surgery procedure, performed using a minimally invasive/laparoscopic technique.

 

  • Recognized Excellence


    Dignity Health’s Bariatric Program has been nationally accredited. 

Program Accreditation

Dignity Health’s Bariatric Surgery program offers a multidisciplinary, team-centered approach to weight loss surgery that has been recognized by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). The programs at Methodist Hospital of Sacramento and Mercy San Juan Medical Center are accredited Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Programs (MBSAQIP), meaning the industry’s experts recognize us for providing safe, top-quality surgical care. In addition, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento and Mercy San Juan Medical Center are also designated as Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery, accredited by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Bariatric Surgeons

Our skilled bariatric surgeons are committed to quality, with a focus on the safety, comfort and long-term wellness of our patients. We place an emphasis on educating patients about bariatric surgery to help them determine if weight loss surgery is their best option and, if so, which procedure is most appropriate. Learn More

Important Facts About Obesity and Bariatric Surgery

Patients who choose bariatric surgery to help them lose weight can achieve long-lasting weight loss. Here you’ll find important facts about obesity and bariatric surgery. Learn More

Bariatric Surgery Centers

Dignity Health has two locations designated as MBSAQIP Accredited Bariatric Surgery Centers by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery: Methodist Hospital of Sacramento and Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael.

Those distinctions recognize our comprehensive and personalized approach to treating the patient and providing tools for lifelong success, including:

  • Pre-surgery Education Seminars
  • Physician Consultations
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Exercise Planning
  • Support Groups
  • Post-surgery Follow-up

Learn More About Bariatric Surgery

We recognize the obstacles and challenges you face every day and applaud you for taking the first step on your journey toward better health. To qualify for bariatric surgery, you must meet the following criteria established by the National Institutes of Health and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery:

  • You are more than 100 pounds over your ideal weight
  • You have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater or a BMI of 35-39.9, along with two or more medical conditions such as diabetes and/or hypertension which would improve significantly with weight loss
  • You have tried and been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise
  • You are prepared to make a lifelong commitment to dietary, exercise and behavioral changes necessary for long-term success
  • You have no mental or behavioral disorders that may interfere with long-term weight loss success

     

The physicians and staff associated with Dignity Health's comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Program will be with you every step of the way on your weight loss journey, from our introductory education session and physician consultation, to nutrition counseling, weight loss surgery and post-surgery support. We are here to help you develop the tools to begin your new life—a life of 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.