Bariatric Surgery Surgical Options and Outcomes

UW Health Surgical Weight Management surgeons offer the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy procedures as surgery options for people interested in bariatric surgery.


Our surgeons also perform revisional surgery for people who have had previous weight loss surgery.


Watch a webinar to learn how the UW Health Surgical Weight Management Program can help you



Surgery Options 

Questions About Bariatric Surgery


Bariatric Surgery Frequently Asked Questions


Prior to Surgery

Bariatric Surgery Outcomes


Weight loss surgery is a tool that, with your commitment to pre-surgery preparation and post-surgery lifestyle changes, can greatly reduce excess weight, improving your longevity and quality-of-life and decreasing your risk of many weight-related conditions, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.


Weight loss surgery addresses the effects of several diseases and conditions associated with obesity. You may experience improvement or resolution of the following:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Hypertension
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer

Risks are uncommon and can often be avoided by making diet and lifestyle changes. There is a risk of complications during any surgery, including bleeding, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the legs that travel to the lungs), reactions to anesthesia, wound infections, and cardiac event or death. Complications specific to weight loss surgery may include:

  • Leaks
  • Reflux
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Ulcer
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Hernia
  • Malnutrition
  • Hair loss
  • Weight regain
  • Excess skin

Complications associated with the Band include slippage or erosion, obstruction, port flipping and port site infection. Your surgeon and team of health care professionals will work with you to determine the best procedure for you based on your health history and weight loss goals.


Who can benefit from this program?


Patients may benefit from the appropriate tier in our program if they:

  • Have significant health issues that would improve with weight loss
  • Have BMI of 35 or more with weight-related comorbities (criteria varies by individual insurance plan)
  • Have BMI of 40 or more with or without weight-related comorbidities no other qualifications (criteria varies by individual insurance plan)

Our programs are designed for adults 18 years and older. For information about pediatric weight loss, please contact UW Health's Pediatric Fitness Clinic.


Program Participation


The following is information regarding the typical patient pathway and preparation for bariatric surgery. Please note that your individual path may vary to meet your individual medical and weight loss needs, as determined by you, your surgeon, and our multi-disciplinary team.


Please note that insurance coverage for bariatric surgery varies widely, each employer may purchase a different plan, and the information below may not apply to your individual plan. Please call your insurer or employer's benefits department before starting the program for the most current and accurate information regarding coverage and requirements of your plan. If your insurance or employer changes at any time, please let us know as soon as possible as this can impact your coverage.

  • Research your insurance policy. Be certain you understand your financial responsibilities and your estimated costs for protein, vitamins and nutritional supplements that may be required for the rest of your life.
  • If you smoke, quit smoking and discontinue use of all tobacco and nicotine products. We require our patients to be tobacco-free as well as off all nicotine products for a minimum of three months prior to beginning pre-surgery education.
  • Complete questionnaire, computer-based health psychology evaluations and multi-disciplinary assessment with our bariatric surgeon, dietitian and health psychologist.
  • Complete all pre-surgery labs and studies requested by your surgeon. Complete required educational class series, homework assignments and all follow up requested. It is possible that additional visits, tests or follow-up appointments with one or more members of our team may be required prior to proceeding with surgery.
  • When we are certain that you are adequately prepared for bariatric surgery and committed to maintaining the necessary lifestyle, we will submit a prior authorization form if required by your insurer. This is a formal request for coverage and payment of your bariatric surgery.
  • Pre-surgery appointments including readiness visit, history and physical, Learning Center and anesthesiology consultations.
  • Post-surgery appointments at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and annually following your first year post-surgery; additional visits as needed for post-surgery concerns, complications or follow-up.
  • Stay connected! Attend our free monthly patient support group. Continue to learn, read books, visit websites and talk with others who have had weight loss surgery for information, support and sharing of experiences.