Obesity is a chronic, progressive medical condition that is best treated by an obesity medicine specialist. Because each person experiences obesity in a different way, treatment needs to be approached through a unique lens, considering your individual needs and related health conditions.

Surgical weight loss alters your physiology and hormonal function to treat obesity and reduce the severity of obesity-related medical conditions. It is not about the number on the scale, and previous efforts to lose weight do not define your future success.

The compassionate, dedicated specialists affiliated with Memorial Hermann are your partners in the weight loss journey. They take the time to listen and learn about your medical history, lifestyle and past weight loss efforts, and then recommend a tailored plan to address your specific needs. It is important to work with a specialist who understands the spectrum of available procedures and has the experience to recommend the option that can be the most effective and sustainable for you.

The field of bariatric surgery includes several different surgical options, each with a different approach to helping patients achieve a sustainable healthy weight. If weight loss surgery is appropriate for you, our obesity medicine team can work with you to determine the best possible surgical option.

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NewStart Surgical Weight Loss Program Information Sessions

Find out more about your surgical weight loss options and how the Memorial Hermann NewStart Surgical Weight Loss Program partners with you to prepare you for the entire process.

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Common Misconceptions About Obesity

If you are frustrated by past efforts to maintain a healthy weight, you are not alone. One of the challenges to treating obesity is overcoming the prevalence of misconceptions about the disease and its treatment options. When obesity cannot be easily controlled through diet and exercise, there are benefits to additional medical intervention.

People may wrongly assume weight loss surgery is unsafe, overly expensive, or simply used for vanity. Today’s procedures, when combined with appropriate follow-up care, can be highly effective for sustained weight loss, treatment of related chronic conditions and overall health improvement.

Which Weight Loss Option is Right for Me?

The answer to this question is different for each person. What works for one may be less effective for another because obesity is connected to multiple factors including other health conditions, lifestyle and even your occupation and hobbies.

Before undergoing bariatric surgery, you and your physician should discuss all the options and how they interact with your unique health profile. Many factors should be considered, including:

Height/Weight/Body Mass Index (BMI)

The basic statistics of height, weight and BMI are the first place to start. A patient with a BMI of 60 has different needs than someone with a BMI of 40.

Body Proportions

It is important to evaluate the patient’s body proportions, beyond just the BMI calculation. People who have central obesity, and carry most weight above the waist, can have a more severe obesity experience than someone whose weight is primarily carried below the waist. With central obesity, the issues of visceral fat, fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome must be considered.

Obesity-Related Health Conditions

When working with an obesity medicine specialist, it is important to review a detailed medical history and any comorbidities that may be present. These obesity-related conditions include cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, sexual dysfunction and reproductive dysfunction. The specific comorbidities that patients experience along with obesity can affect the safety and effectiveness of different surgical options.

Previous Surgical and Nonsurgical Weight Loss Treatment

Each patient’s history of weight gain and loss, and especially any previous treatment methods and their effectiveness or ineffectiveness, has an impact on the procedure that should be chosen for the future.

Eating Habits and Food Preferences

Different eating habits, meal schedules and composition of daily food intake can affect the choice of surgical procedures.


Weight loss surgery has implications days, months and years following the procedure and some options require more post-surgery maintenance than others. When choosing an option, details like work schedule, frequency of travel and overall lifestyle must be considered to find the most appropriate and sustainable choice.

Who is a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

Each patient’s unique situation, including medical history and health status, will be thoroughly evaluated when determining eligibility for weight loss surgery. Most surgical weight loss candidates meet these criteria:

  • BMI 40+ or more than 100 pounds overweight
  • BMI between 35 and 39.9 with at least one obesity-related health condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities or gastrointestinal disorders
  • Age 18+
  • Ability and willingness to participate in weight loss treatment and lifetime follow-up care

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

Each type of weight loss surgery has benefits and risks, and it is important to select the procedure that is best aligned with the patient's specific needs and health concerns.

Duodenal Switch (DS)

The duodenal switch is a combination of two surgical procedures: gastrectomy and intestinal bypass. It is considered the most effective surgical procedure for weight loss. Gastrectomy involves removing part of the stomach; intestinal bypass reduces the length of the intestines. Together, they restrict the amount of food the stomach can hold and the body can absorb.

Surgeons began using the duodenal switch procedure in the 1970s, and it is still used today because of its effectiveness. It is appropriate for patients who are aiming to lose more than 100 pounds and significantly improve their severe, obesity-related conditions.

More about Duodenal Switch


Also called gastric sleeve, this laparoscopic surgical procedure restricts food intake by removing a portion of the stomach, leaving only a narrow area called a “sleeve.” Gastrectomy is performed as the first part of the duodenal switch procedure. Patients who are large-portion eaters are often good candidates for gastrectomy, while it is not as effective for people who typically snack or graze on smaller amounts of food throughout the day.

More about Gastrectomy

Gastric Bypass

Also called Roux-en-Y, the gastric bypass procedure is intended for people living with severe obesity, usually with a BMI greater than 40 and with significant obesity-related conditions. The procedure involves creating a small pouch from the existing stomach and connecting it directly to the small intestine, so that food bypasses much of the intestinal tract. Gastric bypass can be a good option for patients who suffer from severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), because reflux is often eliminated as a result of the procedure.

More about Gastric Bypass

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (LABG)

An adjustable and removable silicone band is placed around the stomach to reduce the amount of food the stomach can hold and to slow digestion. The stomach and intestines are not permanently altered during this procedure. LABG has a lower rate of complications compared with other bariatric procedures but is also less effective in the long term. Follow-up appointments are necessary to adjust the band.

More about Gastric Band

Bariatric Revision Surgery

Some patients need a second surgical procedure. This can happen if the patient regains a significant amount of the weight loss and/or when the patient had limited follow-up care to support sustainable weight loss. Before undergoing revision surgery, it is important for the patient to commit to ongoing follow-up care to manage their condition.

More About Bariatric Revision Surgery

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The highly trained specialists affiliated with Memorial Hermann are experienced with leading-edge surgical procedures and the intensive follow-up care necessary for long-term success. Effective, sustainable weight loss can be achieved when the appropriate procedure is matched with the patient’s individual health profile, other medical conditions and lifestyle habits. Finding the right match is essential, and our team will take the time needed to fully evaluate each patient to give them the best possible chance to maintain a healthy weight.

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Thank you for your inquiry and congratulations on starting your weight loss journey with us. If you're ready now, you can move on to the referral request step, or you will be receiving an email from us shortly with a link to the form that you can submit at your convenience.

We are committed to providing you with all the information you need to decide whether bariatric surgery is right for you. Our NewStart Care Concierge Team is here to help you through the entire process from choosing a surgeon to post-surgery support.