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A male jogger takes steps to live a healthy lifestyle after undergoing weight-loss surgery.

Bariatric surgery in Greater Houston and East Texas

Find all your weight loss needs—and everything in between—right here.

St. Luke’s Health is committed to advancing bariatric medicine while helping our communities grow healthier and stronger. Our expertise and our belief in the power of humankindness allow us to care for patients with some of the most complex conditions. 

Our experienced board-certified bariatric surgeons serve patients throughout our health system. No matter where you live or which location you choose, you can trust that we will provide the same patient-centered standards of quality care to everyone.

According to our philosophy, weight loss procedures are the start of a new life. Obesity can keep you from doing what you enjoy. No matter where you are in terms of personal milestones—starting a family, excelling in your career, or enjoying retirement—surgical and non-surgical bariatric options can greatly enhance your quality of life.

Understanding bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery, often referred to as weight loss surgery, is designed to help individuals who are severely obese or struggling to lose weight through traditional means. The primary goal of bariatric surgery is to promote significant and sustainable weight loss, which can lead to improved overall health and a reduced risk of obesity-related medical conditions.

Weight loss surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher (severe obesity) or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions like diabetes or hypertension. It may also be considered for those who have tried and failed to lose weight through diet and exercise alone.

This weight loss approach is not a quick fix, and its success depends on long-term lifestyle changes, including dietary modifications, increased physical activity, and ongoing medical follow-up. It can lead to significant weight loss, improved metabolic health, and a better quality of life for many individuals struggling with severe obesity. However, it also carries risks and potential complications, so it should be carefully considered during a consultation with one of our bariatric surgeons.

Are you a candidate for weight loss surgery?

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What are the benefits of bariatric surgery?

  • Significant weight loss: Bariatric procedures can lead to substantial and sustained weight loss, helping individuals achieve a healthier body weight and reduce the risk of obesity-related health conditions.
  • Resolution of health conditions: Many patients experience the resolution or improvement of obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol.
  • Enhanced quality of life: Weight loss from bariatric surgery often results in improved physical mobility, increased energy levels, and an overall better quality of life.
  • Long-term weight maintenance: Unlike many other weight loss methods, bariatric surgery provides long-term weight maintenance when combined with a healthy lifestyle.
  • Reduced risk of heart disease: Bariatric surgery can lower the risk of heart disease by addressing risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
  • Improved mental well-being: Many patients experience improved mental health after bariatric surgery, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Increased fertility: Obesity can contribute to fertility issues. Weight loss from bariatric surgery may enhance fertility and increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
  • Improved sleep: Patients often report better sleep patterns and reduced sleep apnea symptoms following weight loss surgery.
  • Enhanced mobility: Bariatric surgery can improve joint pain and increase mobility, making it easier for individuals to engage in physical activities.
  • Reduced cancer risk: Obesity is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer. Weight loss from bariatric surgery can lower this risk.
  • Extended lifespan: Studies have shown that bariatric surgery can lead to a longer life expectancy, especially for individuals with severe obesity.

 

What are the risks associated with bariatric surgery?

  • Surgical risks: All surgeries carry inherent risks, including infection, bleeding, blood clots, and complications related to anesthesia.
  • Leakage: In some bariatric procedures, there is a risk of leakage at the surgical sites, which can lead to serious complications.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Patients may experience nutritional deficiencies, including deficiencies in vitamins (e.g., B12, D) and minerals (e.g., iron, calcium) due to reduced nutrient absorption.
  • Dumping syndrome: Some patients may experience dumping syndrome, which involves symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness after consuming certain foods, particularly high-sugar or high-fat items.
  • Gallstones: Rapid weight loss can increase the risk of gallstones, which may require additional treatment or surgery.
  • Stomal stenosis: In gastric bypass surgery, there is a risk of stomal stenosis, where the connection between the stomach and small intestine narrows, potentially causing discomfort and requiring intervention.
  • Psychological impact: Some individuals may experience psychological challenges post-surgery, including body image issues or changes in relationships.
  • Weight regain: While bariatric surgery is effective for weight loss, some individuals may experience weight regain if they do not adhere to post-operative guidelines and lifestyle changes.
  • Digestive problems: Patients may experience digestive issues, such as diarrhea or constipation, as their bodies adjust to the altered digestive system.
  • Complications due to rapid weight loss: Rapid weight loss can lead to loose or excess skin, which may require additional surgical procedures for removal.

Bariatric surgery options at St. Luke's Health

Bariatric procedures have proven successful for decades, and for many, the benefits far offset the risks. It is important to select a surgeon with experience in all specialized procedures, including non-surgical options, to find what is best for you. Our team is comprised of experienced surgeons who are recognized for their accomplishments in the field.

You should consider your lifestyle, health, and existing conditions. Together, we can carefully evaluate circumstances to determine the best options for you. Read our patient testimonials for firsthand insights of people from a variety of backgrounds who decided a bariatric procedure was right for them.

  • Gastric bypass surgery

    This weight loss procedure involves creating a smaller stomach pouch and rerouting a portion of the small intestine to reduce food intake and nutrient absorption, leading to significant weight loss.

    Learn about this procedure
  • Gastric sleeve

    Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, involves the removal of a portion of the stomach, leaving a smaller, banana-shaped stomach pouch to limit food intake and aid in weight loss.

    Learn about this procedure

Register for our free weight loss seminar

Our experienced weight loss team is here for you every step of the way.

Success rate, insurance qualification, surgery eligibility, and payment are important when making a decision. Given the complexity of these factors, we should discuss the options together. Attend one of our informational seminars at St. Luke’s Health–The Woodlands Hospital, St. Luke's Health - Sugar Land Hospital, St. Luke’s Health–Patients Medical Center in Pasadena, or Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. By taking the initial step, you are moving closer toward a life without limits.

Frequently asked questions about bariatric surgery

  • Previous attempts at weight loss have not been successful
  • No medical or psychological conditions exist that would make surgery too risky
  • Patient is motivated and willing to undergo surgery and a complete change in lifestyle
    AND
  • BMI (body mass index) is 40 or above
    OR
  • BMI is 35 or above with the presence of diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia, or other serious complications of obesity.

Bariatric surgery is generally safe when performed by experienced surgeons in accredited facilities. Like any surgery, it carries some risks, which should be discussed thoroughly with your St. Luke's Health weight loss team.

Most patients have a lot of questions about the type of procedures as well as the risks and complications. The first step is to attend a seminar, put on by one of our surgeons. Seminars are FREE, last about 90 minutes, and give you the opportunity to hear the information first-hand, as well as have your questions answered directly.

We recommend that you bring someone who will be your support person throughout your weight loss journey. Emotional support can be crucial during your weight loss journey. It's important to establish a support system that includes family, friends, or support groups

After bariatric surgery, individuals must make lifelong changes to their diet, exercise regularly, and adhere to post-operative guidelines. This includes consuming smaller, nutritious meals and taking vitamin supplements.

Recovery times vary by procedure and individual. Most patients can return to work within a few weeks, but it may take several months to fully recover and adapt to dietary changes.

Insurance coverage varies by provider and policy. Some insurance plans may cover bariatric surgery if specific criteria are met, while others may require prior authorization.

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U.S. News & World Report


U.S News & World Report has recognized Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties.