Surgical Weight Loss

Picture yourself losing weight and living a full, active life. Our nationally accredited Centers of Excellence and experienced staff are here for you. Weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) can improve your health and change your life for the better. If you’re considering weight loss surgery, explore your options and find out what’s involved.

MBSAQIP accredited center

  • Step 1: Understanding surgical options

    Understanding the surgical options is a first step towards better health. At the Center for Weight Management, our surgeons perform more robotic-assisted and laparoscopic procedures than any other hospital in the country. That means smaller incisions, less pain and fewer complications and a quicker recovery time.

    Sleeve gastrectomy

    Sleeve gastrectomy is an effective procedure where more than half the stomach is removed laparoscopically or using a robotic surgical system, leaving the remaining portion in the shape of a sleeve. This procedure involves removing part of the stomach to reduce the amount of food a person can eat. Most people return to work in two to three weeks.

    Gastric bypass 

    Roux-En-Y gastric bypass surgery is one of the most time-tested procedures in weight loss surgery. With gastric bypass, a smaller stomach pouch is created to reduce calorie absorption. In most cases, it can be performed with a robotic surgical system or laparoscopically for minimal invasion and quicker recovery. Most people return to work in two to four weeks.

    Duodenal switch/SADI

    Duodenal switch is an option for people with severe obesity and involves removing a large percentage of the stomach and permanently altering the normal digestive process. Using a stapling device, a segment of the small intestine is divided and rearranged. Approximately 85 percent of the stomach is removed creating a sleeve out of the remaining portion. The unused stomach section is removed. The procedure both limits food intake and reduces calorie absorption. Most people return to work in three to four weeks.

    Revision surgery 

    A surgical consultation regarding possible weight loss surgery for people who have already undergone a form of bariatric surgery.

    Adjustable gastric banding (LAP-BAND®) management

    The goal of gastric banding is to limit food intake with a smaller stomach pouch. If you have an existing gastric band placement, we can help with the management and adjustment of bands.

  • Step 2: Answers to common questions

    How do I know if I’m a good candidate for surgery?
    You may be a candidate for bariatric surgery if your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40, or if your BMI is greater than 35 and you experience severe, weight-related side effects. Take our free self-assessment to see if you qualify.

    What is BMI?
    BMI is an estimate of your body fat level based on your height and weight. A high BMI weight category indicates the potential for health problems. Your BMI estimates how much you should weigh, based on your height. For your convenience the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has BMI calculators for adults.

    Use the chart below to see what category your BMI falls into, and whether you need to be concerned about your weight.

    BMI Category

      Below 18.5   Underweight
      18.5 - 24.9   Healthy
      25.0 - 29.9   Overweight
      30.0 - 39.9   Obesity
      Over 40   Severe obesity

    How soon will I be able to return to work after my bariatric surgery?
    Many people return to full activity at work or home within several weeks of their procedure and are fully healed within a couple of months.

    How long will I need to stay in the hospital?
    Most people stay in the hospital for one to two days, depending on the individual and the procedure.

    How long does the procedure take?
    Depending on the individual and the procedure, surgery time can vary from three to four hours. Your surgeon will consult with you before surgery.

    How much weight will I lose?
    Each person, depending on personal goals, surgical procedure and support system, will achieve varying results. Consult with your surgeon about what you can expect to lose following surgery and over the long term.

    What can I eat after surgery?
    For most people, we recommend the following guidelines for after your surgery:

    • Temporary, liquid-only diet
    • Slow transition to pureed foods, then to soft foods and finally to solid foods within one to two weeks or months after surgery (depending on your procedure)
    • Nutritional foundation of high-protein liquid drinks and supplements accompanied by healthy food choices

    For optimal weight loss success, you should also limit certain foods and beverages after surgery:

    • Eat only small quantities of food (one to three ounces) at a time
    • Don’t eat desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients
    • Avoid carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes or high-fat foods
    • Don’t drink alcohol
    • Eat only limited snacks between meals

    What is robotic-assisted surgery?
    With robotic-assisted weight loss surgery, the bariatric surgeon uses a computer-guided robotic surgical system with 3D visualization to make ultra-precise surgical movements through small incisions in the abdomen. View our surgical weight loss treatments to learn more about robotic-assisted surgery, including gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgery.

    What will my long-term diet be like?
    Good nutrition is key to your long-term success in losing weight with bariatric surgery. Our registered dietitians offer nutrition counseling services both before and after your surgery to help you build lifelong healthy eating habits. Our nutritionists can help you create a plan that’s right for you. In general, you’ll want to aim for somewhere between 800 and 1,500 calories with 60 to 80 grams of protein a day.

    Will I need to take nutritional supplements after bariatric surgery?
    Bariatric surgery affects the way your body absorbs essential vitamins and minerals. Because one supplement does not fit all, our registered dietitians work with you to choose the nutritional supplements that meet your needs.

    What lifestyle changes will I need to make after my bariatric surgery?
    Your care team will help you incorporate healthy changes into your routine, including exercises that are appropriate for your overall health and fitness. The goal is to work up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week.

  • Step 3: Navigating financial and insurance options

    Over the long term, losing weight can help improve or resolve chronic and obesity-related condition which may reduce your costs for prescription medications, provider visits and hospital stays. We’re here to help you navigate the financial process.

    Weight loss surgery: What will my health insurance cover?

    The costs of your weight loss treatment vary depending on many factors, including:

    • Whether your health insurance plan covers bariatric surgery
    • Whether Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is a preferred or out-of-network provider in your health insurance plan 
    • What your copayments and deductible amounts may be

    Before you come in for a consultation with our bariatric surgery team, please contact your health insurance carrier and ask what costs, if any, your plan covers for weight loss surgery.

    Paying for weight loss surgery

    For those who are self-paying for all or part of their treatment, we offer affordable pricing packages that include:

    • Surgeon’s surgical fees
    • Surgical assistant’s fees
    • Anesthesiologist fees
    • Hospital’s surgical fees
    • Postoperative visits for the first 90 days
    • Nutritional counseling

    Other fees may include:

    • Preoperative lab tests and exams to qualify for surgery
    • Psychological evaluation
    • Protein drinks and nutritional supplements

    Out-of-pocket costs for our weight loss programs may be tax-deductible.

    Total costs for self-pay patients range from $16,000 to $24,000, depending on the type of procedure. You can receive a price quote at your initial consultation. We can also connect you with an option for financing your surgery.

  • Step 4: Start your journey here … Take the next step

    Three easy options to get started today. Learn more by choosing a location below.  Appointments available in-person or virtually.

     

    St. Francis Hospital

    (clinic locations in Federal Way and Gig Harbor)

    St. Michael Medical Center

    (clinic location in Silverdale)

    Virginia Mason Medical Center

    (clinic locations in Federal Way, Lynnwood and Seattle)


Support Groups

We invite you to join our free monthly virtual support group meetings led by members of our team. Our group discussions give us time to discuss common concerns and celebrate victories. We encourage pre-operative patients to attend our sessions to learn more about life after surgery and prepare them for success. 

  • St. Francis Hospital: Federal Way

Offered the second Tuesday of each month from 12-1 p.m. through Zoom

Call 253-944-2080 for more information.

 

  • Virginia Mason Medical Center: Seattle, Federal Way, Lynwood

Offered the second Wednesday of each month from 6-7 p.m. through Zoom

To register, send email to [email protected]

 

  • St. Michael Medical Center: Silverdale

Offered the first Monday of each month at various times through Zoom

Call 360-698-4520 for more information.