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Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, can have a life-changing effect on your appearance, overall health, and quality of life. It is the only proven long term approach to treating morbid obesity and has been endorsed as safe and effective by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Surgeon General of the United States, and Medicare.

When you’re ready to take that first step toward becoming a healthier version of yourself, Community Memorial Healthcare is here for you. As a Blue Cross Blue Shield Designated Blue Distinction® Center for Bariatric Surgery, we offer a full range of care, including patient education, surgery, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care, and nutrition counseling to help you maintain your weight loss over time.

The Facts About Obesity

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. A diagnosis of morbid obesity requires a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with associated co-morbidities, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or sleep apnea. Obesity is a complex condition with many causes, some of which are beyond an individual’s control. Left untreated, it can have severe health consequences. According to the American Journal of Public Health, one in five deaths in the United States is linked to obesity.

In addition to poor overall quality of life, obesity is associated with higher risk of heart attack, stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, coronary heart disease, cancer, infertility, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.

Health Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery can eliminate or minimize many common health issues related to obesity, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, asthma, migraines, arthritis, depression, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, gout, and acid reflux.


Thanks to the powerful health benefits of bariatric surgery, most insurance providers will cover it under the right conditions. Insurers typically require a BMI of at least 40, or 35 if you have co-morbidities. Your insurance company may also require:

  • Previous unsuccessful weight loss attempts
  • A psychological evaluation
  • That you be a non-smoker
  • That you not have any substance abuse issues

If you need help to qualify for insurance benefits, please talk to your doctor’s office.

Advantages of Robotic-assisted Gastric Bypass Surgeries

Our bariatric surgeons can conduct most major bariatric procedures using the da Vinci® Robot. The robotic approach offers these important advantages:

  • Less post-operative pain
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Fewer complications
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities.

Bariatric Procedures

At Community Memorial Hospital, our bariatric surgeons perform more weight loss procedures than any other hospital in the region. Their patients consistently report long-term weight loss success and enhanced overall health. Some of the most common bariatric surgeries performed at Community Memorial include:

  • Lap Band: The lap-band is an adjustable gastric band that is placed around the stomach to reduce its capacity. When the band is placed, the stomach becomes the shape of an hourglass, contributing to a greater feeling of fullness, limiting the amount of food that can be consumed, and slowing the removal of food from the stomach. Recovery from the lap band can be faster than with other bariatric surgeries and can typically be performed on a same-day or outpatient basis. The average lap band patient can expect to lose 70% of their excess weight over a two year period.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy: Sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve surgery, is now the most common weight-loss surgery performed in the United States. It reduces the size of the stomach by 75-80%. This size reduction causes people to feel fuller quicker, reduced the volume of hunger hormones released into the body, and increases stomach motility leading to an average weight loss of 60-70% of excess weight after two years.
  • Duodenal Switch: Duodenal switch surgery, also known as bilio-pancreatic diversion surgery, is a complex procedure that induces weight loss via sleeve gastrectomy and intestinal bypass. The procedure decreases the stomach size and bypasses two-thirds of the intestine, significantly decreasing the absorption of food. Most patients who undergo duodenal switch surgery can expect to lose 60-80% of their excess body weight over a two year period.
  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: Roux-en-Y (roo-en-wy) gastric bypass is a type of weight loss surgery that involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting this new pouch directly to the small intestine. Following this procedure, swallowed food goes into the small pouch of stomach and then directly into the small intestine, thereby bypassing most of the stomach and the first section of the small intestine. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients usually experience a 60-70% loss of excess weight.
  • One-Anastomosis Gastric Bypass: One-Anastomosis Gastric Bypass (OAGB) is the third most common weight loss procedure worldwide. It creates a long, narrow gastric pouch and bypasses part of the small bowel. This procedure decreases stomach size, which limits capacity and increases the feeling of fullness. By bypassing a portion of the small bowel, the absorption of food is also decreased.

Revision Surgeries

If you or a loved one had a sleeve gastrectomy or bypass surgery and have experienced inadequate weight loss or weight regain, bariatric revision surgery may be the next step for you. Community Memorial’s bariatric surgery specialists are recognized as the most experienced in Southern California at performing revision surgeries to help you get your weight loss and your health back on track. Our bariatric surgeons perform the following revision procedures:

  • Band Conversion to Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Band Conversion to Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy to Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy to Modified Duodenal Switch
  • Vertical Banded Gastroplasty to Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy after Previous Gastric Bypass

Are you ready to take the first step? Take our online Weight Assessment to find out if you’re a candidate for bariatric surgery and to determine your risk for weight-related disorders.