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Bariatric Surgery & Weight Management

The NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Center for Obesity & Weight Management is a multidisciplinary program dedicated to the comprehensive treatment of obesity and related illnesses, such as diabetes.  We offer a variety of treatment approaches, including bariatric surgery, for which we are nationally recognized as a Center of Excellence. Our core staff consists of expert clinicians in the fields of surgery, medicine, nutrition, and psychology.

2021 Weight Loss Surgery Information Seminars

CLICK HEREBariatric Surgery Program Pre-Op Information Session (English) – Presentation plays on a pop-up or new window (embed attached MP4 File)

CLICK HEREBariatric Surgery Program Pre-Op Information Session (Spanish) – Presentation plays on a pop-up or new window (embed attached MP4 File)

If you are interested in weight loss surgery, please watch the video at one of the above links for 2020 Weight Loss Surgery Information Seminars. After watching the video, you can REGISTER at obesitycenter@nychhc.org including the following information:

  • Name/Nombre
  • Address/Direccion
  • Phone/Telefono
  • DOB/Fecha de nacimiento
  • Weight/Peso
  • Height/Altura
  • Insurance/Tipo de aseguranza
  • Date seminar viewed/Fecha de ver el video educacional

Bariatric Surgery Program is offering a virtual WebEx education series facilitated by our expert staff. For the calendar of upcoming webinars and registration information, click here.

El Programa de Cirugía Bariátrica ofrece una serie educativa virtual de WebEx facilitada por nuestro personal experto. Para obtener el calendario de los próximos seminarios web e información de registro, presione aquí.

Our team will follow up with you. You can also call 212-562-5555 to make an appointment.

To download information about the Online Information Seminars click here.

Provided in modern, well-equipped facilities, services include: 

  • Bariatric Surgery – state-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgery to treat severe obesity.  Treatment options include laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.
  • Medical Weight Management Clinic – intensive medical treatment for obesity. Services include intensive lifestyle counseling and goal setting, individualized nutrition and physical activity recommendations, and pharmacotherapy. Treatments are specifically tailored to a patient’s cultural background, functional capacity, and other medical conditions.
  • Pediatric Medical Weight Management Clinic – comprehensive evaluation and treatment for children and youth with weight management problems through the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Nutrition and Fitness Program (BENUFIT).  There are also innovative research-based programs working with parents to prevent obesity.
  • Intensive Nutritional Treatment – an evidence-based diet program to achieve weight loss for all obese patients and to optimize post-surgical outcomes for bariatric surgery patients.
  • Psychological Counseling – to identify psycho-social risk factors contributing to obesity and to make recommendations to facilitate weight loss, including behavioral interventions. Psychological counseling is also provided to all bariatric surgery patients pre- and post-operatively.
  • Post – Bariatric Body Contouring Surgery – an affordable option to remove the excess skin that may occur after significant weight loss from bariatric surgery.
  • Monthly Bariatric Surgery Information Seminars in English and Spanish – offered to all prospective patients to learn more about surgical options.
  • Monthly Bariatric Surgery Support Groups in English and Spanish – offered to all bariatric surgery patients, regardless of where surgery was performed.

Facts about Obesity

  • Obese patients have a lower life expectancy. Only 1 out of 7 obese individuals reach the US life expectancy of 77 years.
  • Obese patients have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Obese patients have an increased likelihood of depression and social/economic problems.
  • Obese people spent $1,429 more annually for medical care than people whose weight falls within the recommended range.
  • 90% of severely obese patients do not lose weight and sustain weight loss with diet, exercise, and diet pills alone.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bariatric Surgery

1. How does bariatric surgery compare to other weight loss treatments?

  • Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment that exists for clinically significant weight loss (50-70% of excess weight loss by two years), with the added potential to cure diabetes and high blood pressure as well.
  • Patients who undergo bariatric surgery are less likely to have life-threatening co-illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, and as a result live longer than those (matched by weight) who don’t have the surgery.
  • Bariatric surgery is safe, with a very low risk of mortality or adverse event, especially when done at a nationally accredited “Center of Excellence”—like NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.

2. What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a life-saving option that can help cure diabetes, high blood pressure, severe joint pains, infertility and numerous other disorders.  Bariatric surgery changes the anatomy of your intestines to help you lose weight. It helps you eat less and feel full quicker. The three most common procedures are the gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and the gastric banding.  All three are performed using minimally invasive (laparoscopic) techniques. Patients undergoing one of these procedures can expect to lose 50-80% of excess weight. In other words, if you are 100 lbs. overweight, you would typically lose 50-80 lbs., if not more. The degree of weight loss and complications vary depending on the type of procedure. When you visit the Bariatric Surgery Clinic in person, each of these procedures will be discussed in more detail.

3. What is laparoscopic surgery?

Also called minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopic surgery is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (5-12 mm) as compared to larger incisions (15 cm) in traditional surgical procedures. Advantages include a faster recovery and less pain than traditional surgeries.

4. What is the typical hospital stay and recovery period?

Since these procedures are done through small incisions, the recovery period is much quicker than standard surgical procedures. Your hospital stay is typically 1-2 days. Patients are usually able to return to work and activities in 1-2 weeks.

5. Are these surgeries painful?

The pain is much less since we perform the procedures through small incisions. Usually by the second day, your pain is well controlled with oral medications alone.

6. Am I eligible for bariatric surgery?

In 1991, the National Institutes of Health established the following criteria for bariatric surgery:

  • Over 18 years of age
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40, or over 35 with an obesity-related medical problem (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, severe joint pains, or reflux).
  • Tried to lose weight in the past but have been unsuccessful
  • No active substance abuse problems (drugs, alcohol, etc.)

*patients between ages 16-18 or BMI 30-35 may be eligible for bariatric surgery depending on the clinical circumstances

7. Does my insurance cover the surgery?

Generally, these services are covered by insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid, Medicaid managed care (such as MetroPlusHealth, Healthfirst, or Fidelis), and private insurance plans. Your insurance carrier will be contacted for authorization if this procedure has been determined to be medically necessary.

8. What if I don’t have insurance?

If you do not have insurance, financial counselors will help you apply for , an NYC Health + Hospitals program to qualify you for government-sponsored insurance or substantially reduce the cost of your doctors’ visits and medical procedures.

9. Why does NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue offer this?

Bellevue is committed to meeting the health care needs of the community we serve. Our bariatric surgery service is now available as an alternative treatment for severe obesity.

10. What is a “Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery”?

“Center of Excellence” is a coveted designation bestowed by the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. It recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes after bariatric surgery.

11. How can I be referred to the Bariatric Surgery Clinic?

If you are interested in weight loss surgery, please watch the video at the top of this page for 2020 Weight Loss Surgery Information Seminars. After watching the video register at obesitycenter@nychhc.org with your name, address, phone number, date of birth, height and weight. Our team will follow up with you. You can also call 212-562-5555 to make an appointment.

12. Click here to find out what surgery option is best for you.