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HHC Bellevue - South Manhattan Healthcare Network
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Bariatric Surgery & Weight Management

The 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.

Facts about obesity 

All services are provided in modern, well-equipped facilities and 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.

Patient information (in PDF
Patient information in Spanish 
(in PDF)

FAQs about bariatric surgery   

  • 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 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.
  • Psychologic 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 which 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 the 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 for medical care than normal weight people.
  • 90% of severely obese patients do not lose sustained weight with diet, exercise, and diet pills alone. 

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 Frequently Asked Questions about Bariatric Surgery 

1.    What are some key facts about Bariatric Surgery?             

  • Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment that exists for clinically significant weight loss (50-70% of excess weight lost by 2 years) with potential to cure diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Patients who undergo bariatric surgery live longer than those who don’t (matched by weight) to a reduction in life-threatening co-illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease
  • Bariatric surgery is safe, with a very low risk of mortality or adverse event, especially when done at a nationally accredited “Center of Excellence” such as Bellevue Hospital 

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 (3) most common procedures are the gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and the gastric banding.  All three (3) are performed using minimally invasive (laparoscopic) techniques.  Patients undergoing one of these procedures can expect to lose at least 50-80% of excess weight.  If you are 100 lbs. overweight, you would typically lose at least 50-80 lbs.  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, it is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (5-12mm) as compared to larger incisions (15cm) 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 2nd 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:

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

7.    Does my insurance cover the surgery? Generally these services are covered by insurance including Medicare, Medicaid and Managed Medicaid (such as Metroplus, Healthfirst, or Fidelis).  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 HHC Advantage, an HHC program to qualify you for government-sponsored insurance or substantially reduce the cost of your doctors’ visits and medical procedures.

9.    Why does Bellevue Hospital offer this?  Bellevue Hospital 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”? This designation 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? You can call 212-562-5555 to make an appointment.  You can also attend the next monthly seminar and receive an appointment there.  You can find out about the next seminar by calling 212-562-3917.

2015 Weight Loss Surgery Upcoming Information Seminars

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