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Bariatric Weight-loss Surgeries

The University of Kansas Health System offers bariatric surgery, metabolic care and comprehensive services to support you through a successful weight-loss journey with long-lasting, positive outcomes to improve your health. Our experienced, board-certified surgeons offer the latest techniques with minimal downtime.

Trust the team that has performed thousands of procedures and is backed by the region's premier academic medical center. Our goal is to be your resource when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle and help you get back to living your best life. Weight-loss surgery isn’t just about losing weight; it’s about improving your health from the inside out. We serve people seeking weight-loss surgery from Kansas City, Overland Park and beyond.

What is bariatric surgery?

Obesity can put you at risk for several medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and more. Weight-loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, can be an excellent solution for those looking to improve a weight-related disease or reduce the risk of developing an obesity-related illness.

The University of Kansas Health System offers comprehensive weight-loss surgery solutions for people who want to improve their health. Our board-certified physicians have been performing bariatric surgery since 2002. All are fellows of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

We offer a variety of appointment types. Learn more or call 913-588-1227 to schedule now.

Who can have weight-loss surgery?

Weight-loss surgery may be an option for people with obesity. People whose body mass index (BMI) is greater than or equal to 35, or who are at least 100 pounds overweight, are considered obese. To qualify for weight-loss surgery, you must have a BMI of 40 or greater. You must also be nicotine-free for at least 30 days prior to your initial consult. We will test to confirm your status.

Those who have a BMI of 35 with certain health conditions related to their weight may also qualify. Weight-related health conditions that may qualify you for weight-loss surgery include:

How does bariatric surgery work?

Weight-loss surgery reduces the size of the stomach, altering the amount of food and nutrients the body can absorb, which causes dramatic weight loss. At The University of Kansas Health System, we offer different types of weight-loss surgery to meet your needs.

Many of our weight-loss procedures are minimally invasive to reduce pain after surgery and to speed healing.

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Those interested in weight-loss surgery are encouraged to watch our online seminar before scheduling a consultation with a weight-loss surgeon at The University of Kansas Health System.

View the online seminar

Benefits and risks of bariatric surgery

Significant weight loss is just one of the benefits of weight-loss surgery. Many weight-related medical conditions can be improved or completely resolved by weight-loss surgery and the metabolic changes that accompany it.

Often, those who have bariatric surgery are able to decrease or eliminate the need for prescription medications for their weight-related conditions. Weight-loss surgery can also have a significant impact on your quality of life, allowing you to enjoy activities you once couldn’t because of your weight.

Although there are also risks associated with weight-loss surgery, they are generally considered lower than the risks of continuing to live with obesity.

What happens during weight-loss surgery?

The specifics of your bariatric surgery will vary, depending on the approach used by your surgeon. Many people successfully lose weight after bariatric surgery. It’s normal to experience some pain and discomfort, and the recovery time depends on the type of procedure and each person’s health.

You must follow a strict nutrition plan after weight-loss surgery, often starting with a liquid diet, and then transitioning to soft foods until the body can adjust to solid foods again. Because weight-loss surgery can change the way the body absorbs nutrients, you may need to take vitamins and supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

Exercise is also a part of a healthy lifestyle plan. You will start slowly and eventually work toward a suggested exercise routine to build strength as you continue to lose weight.

Why choose us for bariatric surgery

When you’re looking for a bariatric surgeon, experience matters. At The University of Kansas Health System, our board-certified, experienced surgeons use the most up-to-date, minimally invasive techniques to help reduce pain and speed healing. With thousands of bariatric surgeries performed, our team of bariatric surgeons combines in-depth expertise, innovative surgical techniques and the latest technologies to provide you with an outstanding experience.

We understand that weight-loss surgery is only successful when it is a part of a long-term healthy lifestyle plan. That’s why you’ll have access to a multidisciplinary team that includes surgeons, dietitians, psychologists, physical therapists and insurance coordinators, along with comprehensive services to help you achieve your health goals.

Our weight management support services include:

  • Continued care and wellness classes: We offer low-cost, supportive exercise classes
  • Nutritional support: Get information, diet guidelines and nutrition plans to help you adjust after surgery and map out the best diet going forward
  • Weight-loss support groups: Meet and talk to others who can relate to what you are going through for help and support

We are also pleased to offer special prices for those paying out of pocket for their surgeries. Weight-loss surgery candidates who reside in Kansas and the 4 surrounding states – Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado and Nebraska – are eligible.

Bariatric surgery FAQ

If you are considering weight-loss surgery, you likely have many questions about what to expect before, during and after your procedure. We want to make sure you feel confident and informed about your bariatric surgery and how it can improve your quality of life.

  • Deciding if weight-loss surgery is right for you will depend on many factors, such as your mental readiness, your overall health, your previous weight-loss strategies, your body mass index (BMI), your insurance coverage and many others. Your weight alone will not determine if you are a candidate. Instead, we rely on BMI as a criterion for surgery. You must have a BMI of 40 or greater to qualify for weight-loss surgery. If you have a BMI of 35 with health conditions related to your weight (also called comorbidities), you may also qualify.

  • Certain weight-related health conditions may help you qualify for weight-loss surgery. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, obesity-related conditions that may qualify you for weight-loss surgery include:

    • Gastrointestinal disorders
    • Heart disease
    • Hypertension
    • Lipid abnormalities
    • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Sleep apnea and other respiratory disorders
    • Type 2 diabetes
  • Weight-loss surgery is an important decision and a major life event. The procedure is not a cure-all, and it is only successful when it is a part of a healthy lifestyle. If you decide to have weight-loss surgery, you will be asked to:

    • Change your lifestyle and eating habits
    • Increase your daily activity through exercise
    • Keep your follow-up visits and comply with your physician’s recommendations
    • Participate in support groups

    Being mentally ready to take on this new lifestyle is essential for maximizing and maintaining your weight-loss results.

  • You are encouraged to watch our online seminar to understand the different types of weight-loss surgery available and the benefits and drawbacks of each. If you qualify and decide to have weight-loss surgery, you will need to take some additional steps to prepare for your procedure.

    • Exercise. This key component of weight loss is part of a healthy lifestyle. Try a few different types of exercise, such as walking or swimming, before your surgery.
    • Preoperative diet. Your insurance provider may require you to meet with a dietitian before your surgery to discuss your current eating habits. The dietitian will recommend a diet to follow before your surgery, and they may supervise your diet for a period of time before your procedure is approved.
    • Psychological evaluation. Weight-loss surgery has lifelong implications and demands behavioral change that could lead to stress. You will meet with a mental healthcare professional for a psychological evaluation that will give you and your healthcare team the tools to help you be successful in your weight loss.
    • Sleep study. A sleep study can test you for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea that goes undiagnosed or untreated may cause serious problems after weight-loss surgery.
    • Smoking cessation. If you smoke, you will need to quit. Smoking increases the production of stomach acid, which could lead to ulcers and perforations of the stomach and intestines. It also impairs the ability to heal after weight-loss surgery.
  • The type of weight-loss surgery you choose will influence how much weight you will lose. Weight-loss surgery is considered successful when the loss is equal to or exceeds 55% of excess body weight.

    Clinical studies show most people lose weight rapidly and continue to do so for approximately 18 to 24 months after surgery. It is important to take advantage of this time to learn your limits and re-establish your relationship with food.

  • You may experience some pain and discomfort after your surgery, and the recovery time depends on the type of procedure and your health.

    Recovery after weight-loss surgery is gradual and requires an adjustment in the way you eat. You’ll have to start out on a liquid diet until your body is ready for solid foods again. You will also need to pay attention to how you eat: taking small bites, thoroughly chewing your food and eating slowly. You will need to learn to identify a new feeling of fullness in your body and stop eating when you start feeling full. Overeating, eating too quickly or not chewing well may result in vomiting.

  • Some people experience hair loss after weight-loss surgery. This is usually temporary, and hair begins to grow back once rapid weight loss has slowed. Consuming enough protein and taking your supplements as recommended by your physician may help alleviate hair loss.

  • Weight-loss surgery is only successful when it is a part of a healthy lifestyle. You will need to change your eating habits and choose healthy foods that fill you up so you can maintain your new weight. It is important to pay attention to emotional eating as your appetite returns so you don’t regain weight. You will also need to slowly start integrating physical activity into your daily routine.

    At times, you may experience weight-loss plateaus. Use a plateau to ramp up your exercise schedule or closely look at your eating habits.

    You will deal with a lot of changes after your surgery and, at times, you may miss your old lifestyle. At The University of Kansas Health System, we are committed to supporting you through your entire weight-loss journey. That is why we offer weight-loss surgery support groups to help you cope with these changes while sharing experiences with others who have undergone weight-loss surgery. Having this support will encourage you during challenging times.

  • Contact your insurance provider and ask for your policy information to learn what is covered. Insurance providers often have strict requirements for weight-loss surgery. One of these requirements may include meeting with a dietitian and following a supervised diet for a designated period of time before your procedure is approved. Your insurance provider may also require a psychological evaluation, a medical evaluation, a sleep study or other screenings.