Weight loss surgery
For many people, diet and exercise are simply not enough to achieve the kind of weight loss they need. If your weight is endangering your health and preventing you from doing the things you love, weight loss surgery could be your path to a healthier and more active life.
Weight loss surgery—also known as bariatric surgery—works by limiting the amount of food you can eat at one time. It permanently alters the digestive tract, so weight loss doesn’t depend on restrictive diets or unrealistic exercise programs. There are several types of weight loss surgeries available, and your Allina Health care team will help you select the right option for you. Then they’ll guide you through every step of your bariatric surgery journey—from pre-surgery prep to post-surgery recovery and beyond.
Take the first step
We invite you to attend our free online webinar to learn more about weight loss surgery. Or call to speak with weight loss surgery specialist.
What it is
There are several types of weight loss surgery. In most cases, you will have laparoscopic surgery. Allina Health surgeons use laparoscopic surgery because you will have smaller incisions, smaller scars, less pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and fewer complications.
Allina Health Weight Management offers the following types of bariatric surgery:
- sleeve gastrectomy
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
- duodenal switch
- revision/conversion – to revise or correct previous surgery.
Is weight loss surgery for you?
Weight loss surgery is a complex and personal decision. This option is best for people who have who have not been able to sustain weight loss through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. One of the requirements for weight loss surgery is a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher. Your Allina Health care team will help you determine if surgery is the right choice for you and your health.
What to expect
- Your care team will help you determine the surgery that is best to meet your needs.
- We will work with you and your insurance company to understand what services and care are covered.
- You can expect that it will take at least three to six months to prepare for surgery.
- You will get a lot of education and information before surgery to make sure you feel prepared.
- You will have several clinic visits before surgery.
- You may be referred to Courage Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy to support your preparation for surgery, recovery, your new lifestyle and wellness.
- During your hospital stay, you will receive compassionate care from specially trained staff members.
- Post-operative clinic visits monitor your progress and help you stay on track--at least once a year, every year.
- Access to free weight-loss surgery support groups, available across the metro area.
- Your provider may refer you to Courage Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy, where you’ll get guidance to increase your activity level and move safely and confidently—and help transitioning to a home exercise plan.
Good for treating
Weight loss surgery not only enables you to enjoy your life in a new way, it can improve many types of health problems:
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- sleep apnea
- heart disease
- high cholesterol
- polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- back and joint pain
Good to know
National bariatric surgery recognition
Abbott Northwestern, Mercy and United hospitals are nationally recognized for safe, high-quality bariatric surgery standards by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. The program accredits bariatric surgery centers that have undergone peer evaluation in accordance with nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center
Abbott Northwestern Hospital and United Hospital are recognized for their bariatric surgery programs as a Blue Cross Blue Shield BDC+ programs. Blue Distinction Centers+ are healthcare facilities and providers recognized for their expertise and efficiency in delivering specialty care.
Optum/UnitedHealthcare Bariatric Centers of Excellence
- Allina Health Weight Management – Mercy is an Optum/UnitedHealthcare Bariatric Center of Excellence.
- Allina Health Weight Management – United is an Optum/UnitedHealthcare Bariatric Center of Excellence.
Billing and insurance
Please check with your insurance company and ask questions before scheduling with a surgeon to ensure you are covered for weight loss surgery.
Source: Deborah Vanderall, RN, program manager, Allina Health Weight Management
Reviewed by: Charles Svendsen, MD, MBA, program medical director, Allina Health Weight Management
First published: 12/13/2017
Last reviewed: 1/29/2021