Bariatric Surgery

When it’s time for a new way of life, Mount Sinai’s innovative, multidisciplinary bariatric surgery team can help you find the right long-term solution for losing weight and improving your health. We will guide you step-by-step through the process that will help change old habits and treat weight-related health problems like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

A Personal Journey

Bariatric surgery can be a powerful tool, but to achieve the best results, it must be just one part in your step in a lifelong journey of healthy living. Our team will start by determining if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery by consulting with one of our expert surgeons. They will help you create a plan of committing to healthy lifestyle choices after your surgery. Following your procedure, you will be encouraged to exercise as soon as you are able, and to follow your surgeon’s directions about what and how much to eat and drink. 

Your surgeon and your entire health care team will help you set and achieve goals for your weight loss. We suggest that you speak to others who have had bariatric surgery through one of our many support groups, and ask your family and friends for their support, as well.

Postoperative support groups

Your peers can be a great source of strength for you post-surgery, as you adjust and learn how to take care of yourself in new ways. Our postoperative support groups allow you to hear from others who are going through what you’re going through, or who may be living post-operatively for some time. You may get some good ideas that will help you with recovery or with sticking to your new healthy lifestyle goals. Just sharing your experiences can help you with your process, as you grow strong and healthy, eating less and becoming very deliberate about when you eat and what you eat to achieve your goals. Ask your surgeon and health care team about when the post-operative support groups meet so you can plan to attend.

Types of Surgery We Offer

We offer several types of bariatric surgery including:

  • Gastric sleeve
  • Gastric bypass (traditional or laparoscopic)
  • Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
  • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding
  • Other bariatric surgery options—gastric band, duodenal switch, endoscopic techniques, and revisions

Once you are approved as a candidate, you and your surgeon will discuss the best option for you based on your lifestyle, weight goals, and current health.

How Surgery Works

Bariatric surgery makes it easier for you to feel fuller with less food. You and your surgeon will decide the best form of bariatric surgery for you. While each procedure limits the amount of food you can eat, and how much food your body can digest in its own unique way, all forms of bariatric surgery succeed based on these metabolic principles:

  • Restriction—making the stomach smaller restricts how much you eat and makes you feel full more quickly
  • Hormonal effect—altering how the body produces hormones, particularly ones made by the gastrointestinal tract, reduces the feeling of hunger and effects metabolism, helping improve or eliminate diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Decreased absorption—in some procedures, such as a duodenal switch, the procedure helps limit the amount of food that can enter your stomach and small intestine to decrease the number of calories your body absorbs

Conditions We Treat

Bariatric surgery can help prevent, slow the progression of, or even reverse certain obesity-related conditions, such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes—evidence shows that bariatric surgery helps control blood sugar and can lead to complete remission of this disease that has become such a health crisis in the United States.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea—a problem in which breathing pauses during sleep because of narrowed or blocked airways.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)—condition in which the stomach contents leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) causing heartburn and other uncomfortable symptoms.
  • Degenerative joint disease—also called osteoarthritis is a condition that develops from wear and tear on the body that causes stiffness in the joints.
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)—also called heart disease, is a condition in which fatty deposits, called plaque, build up in the heart's arteries which restricts blood and oxygen flow to the heart muscle.
  • Chronic back pain—constant and persistent pain in the back that affects your quality of life.
  • Hypertension—high blood pressure that may have no symptoms but can cause risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Fatty liver disease—caused by obesity and can lead to serious liver damage.

Why Mount Sinai?

Mount Sinai bariatric surgeons are nationally recognized experts in providing weight-loss surgery to patients with a history of obesity. We use the latest laparoscopic approaches for most operations, reducing your amount of postoperative pain and length of hospitalization. Our program offers traditional, laparoscopic, and robotic approaches to bariatric surgery. Your surgeon will choose the correct approach based on your individual weight-loss needs and goals.

Multidisciplinary approach

Our bariatric surgeons work closely with other Mount Sinai service providers to put you on a path to health and weigh-loss success. At Mount Sinai, you will receive nutritional counseling before and after surgery. We ensure that you are ready for surgery by consulting with psychiatrists and nutritionists, and we provide you with pre-operative patient education.

If you have diabetes, your surgeon may also consult with an endocrinologist to discuss how surgery may improve your metabolism. If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), we collaborate closely with a medical internist. We may also discuss your case with a gastroenterologist. Our patients appreciate this collaborative, team approach, which ensures a holistic approach to their health care.

Surgical expertise

Our surgeons offer state-of-the art, minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic weight loss surgery. As experts, we perform the following types of surgery that minimize your scarring and reduce your recovery time:

  • Minimally invasive surgery—performed using small incisions for less pain, loss of blood, fewer wound complications, and shorter hospital stays
  • Da Vinci® robotic surgery—uses 3-dimensional visualization and precision instruments through small incisions

Research activities

We are part of the extensive Mount Sinai Health System that includes the Icahn School of Medicine, which is home to our innovative clinical research labs. We are constantly able to evaluate new ways to help our patients, by investigating new operations to treat diabetes and obesity. Additionally, we are studying established procedures in patients who have not traditionally qualified for bariatric surgery. Stay tuned, and ask your surgeon if you qualify.

Health Insurance Coverage

There are nationally recognized guidelines that can be very specific about what conditions make a patient eligible to undergo surgery. Typically, health insurance will only pay for surgery when the primary purpose is weight loss. If you are unsure if your health insurance carrier will cover your surgery, consult your surgeon and your insurance provider. You can start now by exploring your insurance coverage eligibility by contacting your health insurer company.